The Intersection of Business and Technology: Balancing Customer Service and Artificial Intelligence

The Intersection of Business and Technology: Balancing Customer Service and Artificial Intelligence

Businesses are constantly faced with the challenge of meeting and exceeding customer expectations both efficiently and seamlessly. Artificial Intelligence is changing the way consumers engage with companies. While AI may cut down on costs in some cases, it can ultimately diminish the customer experience if it is overused.

It’s imperative to find the right balance of tech and human interaction that meets customers’ needs. An article by Harvard Business Review states, “These connected customers also expect an omnichannel approach to interactions: They want the convenience and accessibility of online self-service, but they also want access to talk with a human agent when problems get confusing or complex.”

So, what exactly is the perfect balance between technology and human interaction? Unfortunately, there’s not one standard answer, but here are a few things to consider.

Technology’s Role

Many companies use digital assistants or chatbots to answer standard questions or help with simple troubleshooting quickly. Since these technologies can assist multiple customers at once and solve a myriad of common issues, they often improve overall efficiency (and cut costs).

What you must continuously consider is whether the AI elements are actually giving customers what they’re looking for. If the average consumer feels that technology is hindering more than it’s helping, then you’ve run into some issues. I’m sure you’ve encountered a situation in which a robot simply wasn’t giving you the solution you were looking for, and the only thing you want is to speak to a real, live human being.

AI Strengths:

  • Able to answer common questions quickly and precisely.
  • Consistent across all interactions.
  • Filter customers to the correct department.
  • Track incoming data.

AI Weakness:

  • Lacks problem-solving skills, empathy, and emotional interaction.

The Human Element

While AI benefits both customers and companies in many ways, having accessible customer service representatives is essential for more complex issues. Customers should be able to talk and chat with someone promptly if AI can’t provide the answers or assistance they need.

If you are using a human to help with all issues, your processes could likely use a little help from technology. When considering the balance between humans and technology, always think about the customer experience. The ultimate goal is to get your customers the support they need in the fastest and most pleasant way possible, so they will keep coming back.

Human Strengths:

  • Able to solve complex issues.
  • Can empathize and emotionally connect with the consumer.
  • Has the ability to be more knowledgeable than a bot.

Human Weaknesses:

  • Can only work with one customer at a time.
  • More expensive and less consistent.

For your business to successfully balance human and AI customer service elements, you must play on the strengths of each. Listen to customer feedback regarding their experience, and, if necessary, consider bringing in a consultant to help you restructure your customer service department. For more on customized software solutions, check out The Vested Group.