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Will AI ever completely replace human customer service?

Artificial intelligence (AI) has had more than its fair share of news lately. From good news stories about some of the most innovative applications of AI in schools and business, right down to concerning stories about the ‘rise of the machines’. But just how much will it affect jobs – will AI ever completely replace human customer service?

It’s important to note before we go on that mature AI technologies are still relatively in their infancy. Therefore, when we write anything like this there is always going to be a certain amount of speculation involved. However, with something like customer service, we can already look at the great deal of automation that is already in place.

Automation has helped and hindered in a number of different ways. It is now utilised across a vast range of different sectors to help with production and manufacturing. According to PwC, up to 46.4% of manufacturing jobs could be automated by the early 2030s. On the flip side, this will help could help boost production and increase jobs in the development sectors.

How does AI work?

Before we ask whether or not AI could ever replace human interaction, we have to look at how AI works. WI requires what is called machine learning, which requires a bunch (a whole bunch) of data. Data driven applications are everywhere, not least on the internet. The most obvious would be something like a search engine.

AI and data within CRM

In the realm of customer management, data-driven technology has seriously helped boost the way that businesses work. Beforehand, legacy CRM was useful only as a tool that could be used to look back at past successes – now, with AI and data-driven technology, it can be used to enable the highest levels of productivity in the future.

Our speculation – you can’t fake the human touch

While it is undoubtable that AI and automation will completely revolutionise how business is conducted, and indeed replace certain jobs, AI simple is not human. AI is being developed to enable humans to do the best that they can – not that computers can. Automation can take control of mundane, everyday, simple tasks. This allows humans to do the human things.

Most importantly, when it comes to customer service, you simply cannot fake the human touch. When we look at AI for customer service we are particularly focussing on things like chatbots and AI for customer interactions where FAQs are around. However, people will still want to deal with people where large sums of money are concerned.

Our prediction is that while AI will continually shake-up customer service, it will primarily complement it rather than replace it all together.

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