You may well have noticed a change in recent years, particularly in the digital world. When you attempt to use a customer service platform, whether it be for your bank or an online store, you are met with an efficient, and quick to reply person on their chat program… that can’t comprehend anything outside of its programmed remit. Bots. Could they be the future of customer service and online communication?
Whilst it may impact upon those that currently work within the customer service sector, could bots be a solution that actually works better for us all? Many of us may feel awkward discussing certain things with a human, or perhaps have a lack of trust when sharing certain details. But once you know you are talking to a virtual bot, and not a real person, that wall tends to come down. We are much happier talking about our medical issues to an online chat bot, or providing our bank details to an automated voice – simply put, particularly for the younger generation, the less human interaction the better. Which is exactly what bots provide.
Lack of personality, lack of panache?
The problem with bots, however, is that they can only discuss what they know. You couldn’t talk to them about their favourite food, place in your local area or a full account of the football game the previous evening – they just don’t have the personality that humans do, and providing them with one could be a dangerous game…
Their lack of personality and full understanding of things such as local customs, traditions and more means they you may not necessarily get the friendly conversation that you might be lucky to get with a human call centre agent. But could the sterileness of a bot actually be better anyway? No wasted time spend discussing things with a person you don’t know and will likely never meet, instead your claim/issue/problem can be quickly discussed and resolved.
However, could this be the end of good will? If you are polite it is often believed that you will get further with a call centre agent – but with a bot not understand good or bad will necessarily, treatment will be the same for all. Will the good guys lose once again?
Your own personal bot
The future of bots is fast approaching however and will be a reality for many of us more and more over the coming years. In fact, somebody has created a website where you can pre-register your own bot.
So, in the future when your friends want to get together and go for a meal you wouldn’t all get your diaries out and correlate a date. No, you would let your bots do the hard work! They would have full access to your schedule and be able to arrange something with your friend’s bots to ensure a date in the diary that is suitable for all. Convenience at it’s very best, right?
With our transition towards an increasingly digital world, are we looking to almost avoid human interaction entirely?
Whilst a computer is efficient, something that humans are not built from the ground up to be, their lack of empathy and personable nature could mean we become devoid of that friendly touch when receiving customer service or similar; and after all, isn’t that what customer service is all about?