Why Outsourcing a Human is Still Better Than AI

Customer service is an absolute must for any company’s customer retention. So much so that 61% of people will willingly switch to a competitor because of poor customer service.

For any growing firm, however, assembling the customer service department often involves a lot of struggle. It involves hefty tasks: hiring and training support agents, purchasing expensive virtual tools, scheduling shifts, and the list goes on. It’s surprising how much expense and lost time can rack up at this stage. Here, companies often get backed into a corner finding the next step to make things easier. Plenty of options come up — the most common of which are: making use of artificial intelligence or hiring offshore.

Artificial intelligence, or AI, is a type of virtual intelligence produced and executed by machines and computers that comes in all shapes and sizes. Nowadays, businesses employ AI that comes in the form of automated chatbots, voicebots, self-service machines, and more. Mind you, they certainly have their merits, as it makes their customer service front much more responsive. It’s not hard to believe that 74% of companies have either already adopted it or are looking into it.

messaging with friend 1

AI has a wide reach of applications in customer service, which can range from answering basic customer inquiries to text transcription to pulling up information from a database. Tapping into AI for customer service easily works out these concerns.

On the flip side, however, it lacks the human touch. In the context of customer service and call center agents, a walking, talking, thinking human is miles better than a fancy reply bot.

You may be wondering what consumers prefer. According to Forbes, 86% of consumers prefer humans to chatbots, and over 70% prefer not to use a brand if it doesn’t have human service agents available.

So, what does a human team have over AI?

LTV06283 1

1. Ability to multitask and handle complex issues

AI and response bots can indeed get things done quickly, but only for one concern at a time. Furthermore, they use canned responses that are programmed into them, and usually might not have the capacity to unravel complex, intertwining issues. Thus, they may not deliver the best solution. This can cause concerns to eat up much of a customer’s time to get resolved.

Meanwhile, actual human support can absorb multiple queries, solving them with a detailed action plan. They can sort out concerns and route them to the appropriate departments for the right assistance. A live agent can also provide more insight to significantly more complex issues and can provide helpful recommendations.

2. Authentic human interaction

Emotion is a key factor in the customer service experience, to the point that 83% of consumers say that they’re more likely to purchase from brands they have an emotional connection with.

Innovations in today’s tech are indeed useful, but they often fail to make a connection with consumers. They lack that human touch that only a live agent can provide: emotional awareness, personalization, empathy, and proactiveness are things a machine lacks. Live agents can also perceive a consumer’s emotional cues and adjust their responses accordingly.

3. Can mitigate customer frustration

From a consumer perspective, chatting with a bot and pressing buttons is easier and less time-consuming. While it’s definitely an easy solution for quick inquiries and simple tasks, a bot can’t respond or even detect your frustration for more complicated, urgent concerns.

57% of consumers can give a company a one-star rating if they’re unhappy with the service they receive from an automated agent. Again, a human connection contributes to customer satisfaction, keeping customers engaged. Bots were not built to make rapport with customers, and that can be a cause for frustration. In these cases, being able to speak with a live agent to augment a chatbot front to diffuse issues can be one way of working around this.

collage customer experience concept 1

4. Ability to gather qualitative data, instead of just numbers and statistics

A human customer service rep can talk directly with clients, so it’s easier for them to gather the right information to solve problems. As opposed to an AI, which can only gather bits and pieces of only quantitative data.

Instead of typing out their concerns that can be lost on a bot, the consumer can relay their experience with an agent, which is vital for gauging their satisfaction as well. With this, companies can gather data that’s vital for improving customer service as well as their products.

young woman enjoying work 1

In conclusion

Even as artificial intelligence takes over some sectors of human activity, they are not the end-all solution when it comes to customer service. It will be difficult to imagine a customer service world run purely by bots. While many job functions related to customer interaction were automated, the rest of the customer satisfaction pipeline ultimately falls on the hands of humans.

What does this mean for outsourcing? Companies that use this technology are able to replace poor processes, instead of replacing customer service agents — around 50-60% improvement on time to resolution, employee satisfaction, and customer self-service success. All in all, humans can fill the gap that AI can’t accomplish, and vice versa. It’s possible for AI and human intelligence to supplement each other, instead of having one replace the other.

JEF03069 1

Augment your business processes with a capable team of professionals, ready to communicate your brand’s human touch. FGC+ is able to provide you with the recruitment, training, and onboarding of your outsourced team. Learn more about what we do on our website: www.wordpress-665053-2176586.cloudwaysapps.com.