Skip to content

How can we strike a balance between humans and robots?

Having worked in the customer interaction space for many years, I have witnessed the advancement of technology aimed at improving customer service or reducing supplier costs.

The industry has moved from advanced routing and call control to the first IVR revolution, multi-channel and omnichannel, WFO/E/M XY and Z, and now the AI-powered world of automation, augmentation and BOTism.

Post Covid-19 hibernation, with people starting to reconnect with friends and family in bars, restaurants, clubs and sporting venues, the inevitable “How’s Work?“ question always comes up. This is a question I find somewhat difficult to answer, because my company operates in a highly specialised field.

I work with some of the brightest PhD-level minds to solve extremely complex business problems. As a result, converting this capability and the technologies we have developed into a snapshot update is difficult. The elevator pitch is clear, but many recipients’ eyes glaze over when I discuss NLU and NLP large language model, generative AI speech augmentation, real-time automation and analytics powered by conversation intelligence. Therefore, I frame my response as a question: “When was the last time you were DELIGHTED with an automated or self-service interaction with a company?”

The response is always the same: negative, and it resonates with them on a personal level. Many of these people describe their latest interaction with a company that they believed in and expected better customer service from.

It is then very easy for me to describe how my company creates software that solves this problem. Indeed, our solution determines why someone called in the first place, corrects any root-cause issues, and ensures that the customer experience, journey and response are highly optimised, lowering costs and increasing C-Sat and revenue.

Today, we are witnessing a resurgence of concern for the customer rather than a covert desire to save money. Simply automating has not worked and customers have clearly voted with their feet. (Or, these days, a finger). Click.

A genuine customer-first perspective, which focuses on business and customer challenges rather than technology, is emerging. I refer to this as Intelligent Business Transformation, in which the old phrase  “people, process and technology” is adorned with a fourth area of knowledge.

In short, it is critical to understand how these capabilities are coordinated, harnessed and optimised. People (customers) converse with people (agents). People (customers) converse with technology (bots). Both interaction systems must be optimised, and this is where process and knowledge come into play.

Intelligent Business Transformation will improve our people, augment our humans and allow automation to function.