Amid Rapid Shift to Automation Why Human Touch Cannot Be Underestimated?

In the latest pace of digital transformation, industries around the world are rapidly shifting to automation. Organizations are increasingly leveraging advanced technologies like AI, machine learning, big data, and other automation tools in order to deliver effective customer experience and garner more productivity. However, technology can certainly outpace human ability and has the potential to bring great economic benefits. But machines lack the uniquely human ability to cater to the needs of the individuals.

Industries like healthcare, education, hospitality, among others, where a self-service model is not adequate, require deep human expertise, monitoring, soft skills including empathy and advice. In a McKinsey report, healthcare and education are two sectors where the significance of human interaction is evident and have a relatively low technical potential for automation. For healthcare, the sector has a technical potential for automation of about 36 percent. Though the potential is lower for health professionals whose daily activities require expertise and direct contact with patients.

Losing Human Touch Can Harm Customer Experience

The rapid growth of digital communication platforms such as email, social media and web-based self-serve portals, have had an enormous impact on customer service. Moreover, customer engagement is one area that is constantly associated with a move towards automation, especially as AI and self-serve platforms become more developed and advanced and is reaping further recognition for their ability to drive efficiencies whilst offering customers speed and convenience.

Despite this, most consumers these days globally still prefer to engage with businesses face to face or over the phone, especially for more complex enquiries. This requires organizations to ensure their customer service advisors are highly skilled and empowered to address customer queries in a professional and emphatic way.

While technology continues to grow and deal with more simple enquiries, the traditional role of customer service advisors remains to evolve into a mix of dealing with more complicated query requests, or stepping in when electronic channels prove ineffective. So, investing in customer service staff along with technology continues to be imperative. Also, businesses must ensure they have the right quality and quantity of advisors that can adequate for handling intricate and sensitive queries hastily as well as deliver a reliably high level of quality service.

The Collaboration of Humans and Technology

Some industry experts have concerned about job loss by automation. But in some industries, automation technologies like robots are working next to human workers in a shared workplace. Even it is predicted that humans and machines will work collaboratively and will add each other’s strengths and weaknesses in a unified digital workforce.

Systems and channels that are able to provide efficient service while minimizing costs are of significant benefit and something businesses should continue to investigate. This is particularly suitable for chatbots and other AI platforms like virtual assistants which will continue to become more proficient at dealing with enquiries, as well as provide proactive communication.

So, as automation will make every day work more effective, businesses should also balance their digital and human interaction to deliver customer experiences efficiently.