The Hypes and Hopes of Customer Service Automation, Self-Service and AI

February 20, 2020

Nick Sellers, Senior Director, Strategy and Marketing

Somewhere in the world, at any point in time, something is being hyped.

Customer Service, for example, has seen many things raised on pedestals to be admired and aspired to, including outsourcing, offshoring, nearshoring, chat, social media and many more with the promise of better, higher, faster…

Such solutions, when executed properly, deliver benefits to companies and their customers through greater convenience, consistent high standards and lower costs.

The latest hypes– Automation, Self-Service and Artificial Intelligence – promise much but rely on new skills and the broader adoption of digital for success in Customer Service operations.

Technology is, as always, the great enabler.

Contrary to many headlines offered, however, “The Machine” is not taking over but will help Customer Service achieve better, higher and faster outcomes.

By automating mundane, repetitive Customer Service tasks, a lot of time and effort is removed. And through analysis and redesigning online help, content is so much more easily understood and helpful to customers.

But Customer Service people remain very much central to successful Customer Service delivery.

The Danger of Hypes is that so Much is Promised but Not Achieved.

Over lunch a few months ago, a friend shared that a completed RPA (robotic process automation) project had removed 98% of the human effort required, reducing a team of 200 to just 4. And errors were reduced, too.

This is headline-grabbing, for sure, and an example of a labour-intensive, paper-processing task subjected to its own industrial revolution.

Not all tasks, and especially Customer Service interactions, can be automated to the same extent as this, but they can be improved.

Our hopes may soar when we read articles and papers quoting high double-digit percentage stats…and then slump into the trough of realization.

Platform vendors and the media polished the story, making it gleam and sparkle.

Now to Customer Service Reality

If it were easy, every company would already be doing Automation, Self-Service and AI brilliantly!

…this would mean that today’s Customer Service would barely take a call.

But, transforming Customer Service is more than unboxing, configuring and setting the programmes into action.

Customers are people and delivering an Intelligent Customer Experience requires rethinking, redesigning and executing differently.

The Point of This

These Hypes can become Hopes that help customers so much at their first point of contact, while removing unnecessary and wasteful activity.

So much about Customer Service, and the customer’s experience, has been poorly executed because it’s regarded as a cost to the business that should be heavily constrained.

But now, Customer Service is becoming recognized as a means of differentiation from competitors.

Consequently, great Self-Service, and the smart application of Automation and AI, removes unnecessary customer interactions, improves those that are needed and enables a better customer and agent experience.

SYKES has been a trusted global outsourcer for many years, and recent acquisitions add digital expertise and resource to deliver transformation. This #NJAT campaign brings hope rather than hype that Customer Service, augmented by Self-Service and Automation, will serve the needs of companies and their customers very well.

For more information, please get in touch!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This