Does Artificial Intelligence Reduce The Use Of Call Center Agents?

Did you know that when you listen to the podcast interview and the guest said something and you did hit the head, stop the podcast and start tweeting? It happened to me last week.

Now, I give some indulgence to those who don’t belong to our industry, so they won’t get the proper details. But the idea is wrong (and, unfortunately, more and more popular), it does need to be fixed.

Will the robot do all the work?

One of the important issues that are being faced increasingly includes automated long-term structural unemployment. This is not an easy topic because there are many ways to visualize economic data, especially for countries as large and diverse as the United States. In addition, it is difficult to separate the effects of population ageing, globalization and automation. (The last two forces are particularly inseparable in the call center space because the work of the call center is the easiest job to do on the high seas). This big problem is beyond my experience, but I can talk about the current situation and short-term calls.

Duplex does not affect agent replacement

In order to treat Mr. Yang fairly, this is his comprehensive call center meeting, which begins at 11:20 am:

“Google’s recently launched software can do the job of ordinary call center staff, and there are still 2.5 million call center employees in the US… [At the time] calendar, do you think Google’s software can exceed the software of ordinary call centers? In this case, it won’t result in a loss of 1,000 or 10,000 jobs, but hundreds of thousands of jobs, because when the AI ​​can beat the call center staff, you can beat everyone.”

We will disarm this. In the first sentence, I guess you are referring to Google Duplex. This now famous program of ai call center, the duplex robot called Barber Appointment is amazing, but this type of SMB transaction is not handled by the call center. Therefore, at least in this use case, there is no direct impact in the world of call centers. We solved this problem in our blog: No, Google’s duplex will not replace the call center.

Agent is not a single job description

However, Duplex may not be the right product to illustrate this. What is the more common problem of artificial intelligence that is catching up with call center agents? It doesn’t make sense to talk about “changing a call center agent” because it’s not a specific job (for example, a shoemaker). The agent can be a bank teller, nurse or computer technician. They just work through remote interactions instead of working in person.

(I have heard similar arguments about truck drivers, the other is riding on the edge of the locomotive, but as a truck driver involves more than just driving a truck).

We didn’t see it in the data

Let’s take a look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They show that the use of “customer service representatives” has been growing steadily in recent years. Yes, this step of viewing data in the previous paragraph of the previous paragraph, for example, should consider the career of a “nurse” through the call center as a nurse, and should not appear on the table.

My best guess is why we see an increase in the use of agents: the range of transactions we do remotely continues to expand (individually move interactively), avoiding any shrinking automation via ai call center.

Change self-service

How can we coordinate this with all the progress we have seen in NLP, AI and speech recognition? What’s wrong with Siri, Alexa and Cortana? So how much is the cat and the interest in chatbots? All of this will definitely have an impact when implementing ai call center?

Yes, but not as people think. What happens is a change in the way customers and businesses interact. Self-service is getting better and better, not easy to make mistakes and more popular. For example, a phone-based IVR is replaced by a text-based chat bot. But it seems that we can achieve the limitations of automation. Every company has a long series of interactions that are too rare or too unstable to adapt to their services. More information: What is a self-service roof?

Maybe today, book your flight through the mobile app, maybe book through Siri next year, but this replaces the work you do through the online form. These advances will not affect the role of the agent. In many companies, we have reached a “stable state” in self-service compared to what our agents need. As the scope of self-service grows, the agent’s regular interactions are removed, but the interaction becomes more complicated and longer.

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