Artificial intelligence (AI) has been around for quite some time now. The goal of AI was to make life easier, solve complex problems, and provide humans value. Recently, chat bots have become incredibly popular and are being created at the rate of a few hundred new bots per day. Facebook popularized this at their F8 conference, and now they’re everywhere.
The customer service industry has started to pay attention to the news. Many questions are swirling around. Are bots the future, is AI what customers want, and will large call centers be abandoned in favor of an intelligent computer?
The answer is a resounding no.
Meet Bionic Customer Service
While the bots’ buzz has increased, the search trends for human customer service have continued to increase. Chat bots are a blip on the chart, but true human-to-human interaction is on the rise. In October 2015, McKinsey’s new Customer Decision Journey was released and showed a major shift towards relying on human interaction for building bonds.
Customers are pushing for more human hand-holding, not more bots, and not more self-service. However, with Bionic Customer Service (BCS), customer care agents are elevated to AI status. As I wrote in the introduction, AI was created to provide value to humans. Bots create headaches and are wonky. However, with a human oversight, they can be incredibly helpful.
Bionic Customer Service is the hybrid of AI/bots and humans. Simple questions like, “Where’s my food?” can easily be answered by the agent’s bot. Yes, you read that correctly. The agent’s bot. Just like ox pull plows through fields to help us, bots can be used by agents to be more superhuman. This human-centric philosophy is the best of both worlds: Bots are helpful and customers get human interaction. Nothing will build a bond better than a positive experience with customer service. Adding speed and putting data at their fingertips allows agents to increase these bonds easily.