All those in favour, say AI
Over the Bank Holiday weekend, I found myself disgruntled by some poor service delivery from a leading homeware provider who, even when I had questioned it, had assured me a delivery on the BH weekend would be made. So, plans were changed. I stayed in waiting – but no delivery. Time to contact the company’s customer service department. I appreciate that staffing levels are probably low on a BH, but the company website confirmed that even during holiday times, customer service operatives were available should you need to ‘speak’ to anyone. I waited in the queue – I obviously wasn’t the only one with an issue – and was then able to use their ChatGBT (Generative Pre-Trained Transformer in case you weren’t sure) in order to try and resolve my situation – which, I wasn’t able to, as I did actually need to speak to a human in order to fully explain the extent of the issue. And the frustration with AI chat extends further than my grumpy BH experience.
People want people
The conversational AI still has various limitations that make it impossible to completely replace human customer service representatives. The 2022 Global Consumer Trends Report by Qualtrics XM shows that today’s customers crave genuine, authentic, and human customer service now more than ever. According to the report, 62% of customers wish brands would show that they care about them as individuals, and 60% say they’re willing to pay more if they’re treated better by their chosen brands. Other recent studies show 76% of customers still prefer the traditional medium of phone calls when reaching out to their chosen brands and more than half of consumers dislike “automated telephone systems” and would rather be connected to a human agent immediately upon calling.
ChatGPT is able to answer frequently asked questions or respond to simple feedback, but it cannot solve new problems, acquire new knowledge through organic interactions, help customers feel at ease, or provide services requiring a genuine human touch. Although AI tools are likely here to stay, software like ChatGPT should not be thought of as a replacement for human customer service interactions, because it just isn’t. In lots of cases, it extends the amount of time the consumer needs to allow to resolve the issue, going through the ChatGPT process then having to go back to square one with a human agent too.
Improving your customer experiences is about more than just listening to and acting on feedback. Today’s consumers expect their chosen brands to create genuine relationships with them, understand their wants and desires, and then customise you r messages based on those needs. By simply treating customers as people and nurturing your relationship with them, your business can foster brand loyalty and advocacy on a much greater scale. AI excels in many areas, such as complex calculations, data analysis, pattern recognition and processing massive amounts of information. AI continues to advance and researchers are working on improving its capabilities in the areas where it currently lacks versus human capabilities. However, achieving human-level cognition and understanding remains a significant challenge due to the uniqueness of human intelligence and consciousness, which, put simply, means that nothing can compete with real human interaction….yet.