Are robots replacing humans? The proposed question sounds cliché, but it’s a relevant one for many enterprises today. It’s particularly relevant for the individuals responsible for vetting and choosing contact center technology solutions. Because they have a deep understanding of the technology stack, and thus for the people using it, they are more aware than most of those who may be replaced by robots.
It is completely understandable why this would be a concern. These people have families, and they rely on their hourly wages to support those families. They are also the frontline representatives for your organization, and they’re vital in providing the customer experience that keeps customers loyal, and differentiating your company from competition. They’ve also been a staple in your organization since its inception. So of course it is worrisome to think that there is a possibility they can be replaced. But to be frank, technology advancements aren’t stopping and the digital transformation of your contact center is inevitable. A simple truth resulting from digital transformation is that nobody wants to be left behind.
What is the reality of this change though? The truth is that robots are being used to automate the repetitive tasks in your contact center that often take your agents’ attention away from your customer. By automating these tasks, it means less holds, lower Average Handle Time (AHT), less transfers to alternative agents, and easier call dispositioning – all of which makes the agents’ job easier and reduces operating expenses. This leads to a better and more cost-effective customer experience, which is the only real differentiator for organizations these days.
What does it mean when robots provide this type of value to an organization? It means fewer agents can handle more calls, and that your best agents can handle more complex call types. Keep in mind, enterprises are simultaneously investing in technology to make it easier for customers to self-serve as well in order to deflect calls. This would tell you that robots are in fact, replacing humans.
According to Gartner, AI technologies will be the most disruptive class of technologies over the next 10 years, but full mainstream adoption may never be achieved. (McKinsey says this will take longer, but that it is a reality). It’s also important to note that according to EY, a number of RPA projects have failed. Unattended automation has proven successful to an extent, but many of the projects from your most-known RPA vendors haven’t scaled, and can’t, to provide the need for attended automation on an agents’ desktop.
Ultimately, a full replacement will take a long time to come to fruition, but it is a real possibility. However, robots have been designed to make humans more efficient with their time and the need for human contact is still necessary. Humans and contact centers will adapt to the presence of robots, and learn how to work in conjunction. So yes, some humans may be replaced, but rest assured that new roles will become available due to extended company bandwidth and resources.
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[About the author] Kevin is an advocate for autonomous customer experiences and quick customer resolutions. He is driven to help enterprises realize their full potential, by educating themselves on what’s possible with technology. He has a background in marketing, public relations and advertising, and has a firm belief in the mission of Uniphore. He is an Atlanta native who loves competition, and is passionate about his family, his work, and his dog Peaches.