Why Your Customers Still Expect Human Interaction in an Artificial Intelligence World

Human and robot play tug-of-war.
There's no question about it that artificial intelligence (AI)  computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence  will rapidly transform our world as we know it. In fact, it already is. From voice-controlled assistants to self-driving cars, the future is knocking (literally... a robot could be knocking). Is your company going to answer?

The real debate is how good are AI capabilities without the joint efforts of human touch? Will a lack of human emotion have a negative impact on the customer experience? Arguably, there are some things AI simply cannot replace.

If your company does take the leap into AI, we believe it works best in conjunction with human interaction. Below are the reasons why you should keep your company's human touch alive, even after implementing artificial intelligence.

Authenticity


Are you listening to what your customers want? An Accenture study found that 73 percent of customers prefer human interactions. Whether you utilize interactive voice response (IVR) or chatbots, AI is beneficial for increased efficiency and freeing up your agents from tedious tasks. 

When this is the case, provide your customers with an easily accessible communication option that allows them to quickly connect to a real human. By granting them the option to choose, you're making the customer experience more customized and much more enjoyable for both parties involved.

Empathy


Have you ever had a bad customer service experience that made you feel bitter toward a company? Picture being infuriated, calling the company's customer service team in an effort to resolve the issue, and then reaching a machine. The machine navigates you through a long list of menu options that connects you to another machine. Unfortunately, you click the wrong option and are pinballed around for 11 minutes until you finally land with a human to solve your problem.

Regardless of whether a human or machine answers the customer service line, the last thing an angry customer wants to display is patience. They want prompt acknowledgment and a helpful solution. If you haven't already, consider providing an easy-to-find customer service line that's separate from your main business number. That way, the caller can get in touch with one of your employees more quickly, and they can get the solution they're looking for. 

Determining the right mix of AI and human touch can be a challenge. What will your company do to find the right balance?