The data is in, and it might surprise you: despite the rise of AI-powered tools and capability, most customers still want human interaction.
Take a look at the numbers:
Far from being a replacement of human agents, chatbots still aren’t the magic bullet many call centers hoped for in terms of customer service and the customer journey. Instead, chatbots work best alongside human agents, and many customers still prefer to chat directly with a human agent the first time. AI can empower agents to work more efficiently and serve customer better.
In addition, chatbots and AI tools have other troubling problems—for example, the propensity to deliver inaccurate or biased responses (56% of people surveyed had experienced this) and the risk of “hallucinations” (inventing false answers or straying from programmed scripts) or emotionally inept responses (e.g. Congratulating a user who shares that their dog died).
That said, the role of human agents remains crucial. Not only are human agents necessary for complex customer concerns or unique situations and needs, human agents are the only ones who can respond with appropriate empathy, develop real connections with your customers, and ensure a…well, human touch for your brand.
This human touch remains essential in 2024 and beyond, when customer service continues to play a major role in customer satisfaction and loyalty. Without real connection, empathetic agents, and a feeling of understanding and support from your brand to your customers, customer loyalty will remain elusive.
However, that doesn’t mean that call centers should ignore AI altogether. Instead, the answer lies in implementing the right AI tools that can provide the appropriate support for your human agents—in short, letting AI be good at what it’s good at, and letting humans be good at what they’re good at.