Can AI Replace Your Customer Service Representative?

Businesses are quickly changing the way they operate by automating menial tasks with the help of Artificial Intelligence or AI. More companies are now using chatbots to help users accomplish tasks that would, in the past, require the assistance of a customer service representative.

Despite the rapid progress, however, experts say that there is still a glaring need for development before machines can fully replace humans in providing customer support. In order for machines to provide full value in addressing real-life customer concerns, they must first understand human semantics.

Chatbots as Customer Service Reps

Using chatbots in place of actual customer service representatives is a good idea, in theory. For one, you can teach a chatbot to answer thousands of possible questions consistently. They even have the capacity to decode questions with grammatical errors, misspellings, and a certain level of colloquialism.

This autonomy and intelligence are some of the characteristics that have made current chatbots a possibility. But while this holds a lot of promise, there are limitations to machine learning that prevent AIs from fully learning semantics.

A simple question can have several different interpretations depending on tone and emphasis, and teaching all of that to a bot can be tedious and time-consuming. To provide users with adequate responses, bots need extensive chat log histories that can train them to understand real-life scenarios.

Companies who want to deploy bots at the foreground of customer support either have to input all of the possible data manually or do away with a bot that doesn’t have sufficient input.

This is the very reason why we hear stories of bots who’ve gone rogue minutes after deployment. Without access to properly labeled and extensive chat logs, bots don’t have the full capacity to pair questions with their underlying intent. In that sense, they only have semi-autonomy in dealing with customer concerns.

AIs Working in Conjunction With Real Life Customer Service Reps

Today’s AIs have the capacity to understand basic questions and provide entry-level responses. Anything more complex would still require the understanding of a living and breathing customer service representative. This slight limitation, however, doesn’t mean bots can no longer provide customer support. Many brands and businesses are already making significant investments to integrate AI into their customer service operations.

The real and imminent possibility at the moment is to deploy AIs and machines to work with people on the front lines of customer support. This advancement on its own can make customer support more accessible and decrease call traffic for most support hotlines.

Once developers find a way to fully optimize AI in handling real-life scenarios without going rogue, it’s quite certain that using bots as customer service representatives is in our near future. For now, studies and further work need to be done to ascertain if bots can provide customers with a satisfactory resolution to their complex concerns.

The hype surrounding AI doesn’t mean humans will be obsolete in the customer service sector. This just means businesses can allocate more of their resources and manpower to more demanding aspects of business operation.