In an increasing digitalized world, consumers are expecting interactions via all communication levels and platforms such as personalized emails to in-app and web-based chat services. In addition to ease of communication, consumers are also expecting this service at a fast pace. Chris Messina, a previous developer at Uber, coined the term conversational commerce in 2015. The term lives strong today through players such as WhatsApp, Siri, Google Nest and Amazon Echo who are changing the way we shop. These “concierge” services make online shopping more convenient and personalized for all of us on-the-go.
However, what happens when these conversational platforms and assistants cannot answer all our shopping inquiries? While bots and virtual assistants are positively impacting the world of AI and increasing the speed at which we shop, humans are still a crucial element to add to the customer experience (CX) conversation – stepping in when bots cannot.
Can AI Read You Better Than a Human?
It’s clear that artificial intelligence (AI) has completely changed how we interact with customer service representatives. However, AI is not possible without humans – as humans are the source that AI learns from. The backbone of artificial intelligence is machine learning – the natural teaching via interactions with human and machines to better assist and cater to needs. But what happens when AI can read emotions better than humans can? Gartner predicts that by 2022 our personal devices will know more about our emotions than our families and friends. To some this may sound ideal, and to others this might sound frightening. The one constant is that we all need to realize the importance of reacting to customer emotions when it comes to the ultimate customer experience.
While AI continues to positively impact the CX space, automating mundane tasks, freeing up humans to tackle more complex tasks – in this instance, AI identifying the issue and the human stepping in to solve the problem for the customer. There is still the need for cognitive thinking unique to humans to carry out and complete complex tasks and to improve AI (via machine learning and natural language processing) for further innovation.
Please Put Me in Touch with a Representative
The entire CX process shouldn’t be left to the bot. In fact according to a recent survey of 3,000 consumers by Calabrio, 79 percent of consumers said it’s more important to interact with a human over a chatbot or another digital channel for a good customer service experience. In addition, consumers are more loyal to companies that provide an option to speak with a human.
As discussed, consumers want instant gratification – ease-of-use and the quickest service speeds possible. Leveraging AI provides just that. Consumers also want their emotions to be recognized, and that is where humans excel. By blending AI and human interactions, we can reach that sweet spot of creating a beautiful customer experience. Two minds are better than one – we find greater success when machines and humans can come together and even bigger winnings when companies can incorporate these two aspects into their CX.
The overall premise of conversational commerce is that CX is not one-dimensional – there are multiple aspects and players that can either make or break a customer’s experience. Thanks to new technologies such as AI, the experience has improved to give customers faster service speeds and provide insights to agents who can analyze a customer’s problem and share a personalized response. It’s a company’s responsibility to decipher how they can leverage AI and human interactions best in their business to meet customer needs.
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