What Will You Do When the Robots Take Over?

We are living in the 4th Industrial Revolution, where technology is changing the way people and businesses operate. The face of customer service has changed with recent studies showing that robots can now handle 80% of customer interactions. Is your business prepared for this change? Is your thinking in line with the rest of the world’s?

What Will You Do When the Robots Take Over? 
The 4th Industrial Revolution has brought emerging technology breakthroughs such as artificial intelligence, and the internet of things that will be the future of customer service. Here are 3 global trends in Customer Service Infrastructure:

1.    Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Customer Service
Thanks to the advancement of AI and machine learning technology, companies now have the ability to predict (with a high level of confidence) the right answer to a customer’s inquiry in any digital channel — email, SMS, chat, or social media. This advancement in technology makes Contact Centre agents much more efficient. The only action they have to take is to hit “approve” or “personalise” on predicted responses. AI is easing the pressure on front line customer service agents by making tools such as interactive voice responses smarter by deriving insights from existing customer data.

2.    Social Media Customer Support
Zimbabwe’s internet penetration is currently at 50.8% and growing rapidly, meaning half the population can interact on social media. Social Media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have become conduits for customer feedback, with 63% of customers globally expecting companies to offer customer support via social media. Consumers now expect immediate responses on social media and businesses who are “mentioned” must master whether to respond privately through direct message or publicly as this affects the brand directly.

3.    Self-Service Customer Support on the Rise
Consumers are posting how to troubleshoot problems in YouTube videos and online forums, becoming super support agents working on a free basis. Contacting companies directly is slowly being viewed as a last resort and an inconvenience. Customers only want to talk to a human after they’ve tried and failed to answer their question themselves. They’ll Google “How do I recharge my prepaid electricity meter?” before they call the electricity company. This is the fastest, easiest and preferred way to get an answer to simple customer service queries.

How can you keep up?

  • Embrace Big Data – Well, you innovate faster using big data to outperform your competitors. The digital age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is about accessing and using data. The use of data analytics to derive insights allows businesses to thrive through data driven decision making.
  • Treat All Customers as Equal – Provide the same support to free and paying customers, and treat each customer touch point as a positive interaction and upsell opportunity. On social media, customers who have not purchased your product can still have a great impact on your brand’s perception.
  • Keep the Human Touch – When you provide an intervention in your value chain to improve speed of service, such as Interactive Voice Responses (IVR) ensure that there is a human on standby to address escalated issues and incorporate warm greetings to make the customer feel acknowledged.


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