Staying human in the age of bots
As we market our voice bot and successfully implement increasingly complicated use cases, a big question I hear within the call center industry is “ What will the role of humans be in the call center now? Will bots completely replace people?” The short answer is “no”. The long answer is slightly more nuanced. Read on..
All of us are experiencing bots in some form or another. Chatbots are both expected and accepted now on most websites. Last year we introduced Voice bots too with a bang. We see accuracy levels improving almost daily. We can soon expect this technology to be stable and predictable, especially in English, Hindi (India) and other vernacular languages.
When will bots take over? Possibly never.
One question which a lot of our customers ask is when will voice bots replace agents? My view is that it may never happen in toto. Yes, very basic and mundane query-based processes (like shipment/delivery status of an order) will definitely move to bots. Surveys, basic level KYC processes will also move to bots. These are easy to implement and will not require any human intervention. (Although currently human backup is recommended..read more).
Compassion is still a human-only skill
Let us consider processes that deal with nephrology patients who are undergoing dialysis: these CANNOT move to a bot. Currently, agents deal with these patients by speaking with them in a language that they understand. They have to be compassionate. Similarly, an HIV helpline cannot be a bot. The afflicted person needs human contact.
So what’s my final take?
A fine balance will emerge as bots mature. The ratio of calls being handled by bots and humans will depend on the industry and processes. There is no formula that fits all.