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article imageConsumers are beginning to accept automated customer service

By James Walker     Jan 26, 2018 in Technology
Consumers are starting to accept automated customer assistance. According to a report, people are abandoning traditional communication methods as they believe they're generally ineffective. Digital alternatives are seeing increased use as a consequence.
The number of email and phone-based customer service interactions has fallen by 7% in the U.S. since 2016, Business Insider reported this week. Data shared with the publication by Aspect Software revealed a lack of confidence in the effectiveness of customer service is behind the fall. Consumers are increasingly sceptical that traditional customer service will be able to resolve their problem.
Over the past year, digital agents have begun to gain a presence in customer service departments. Several companies are trialling early versions of support bots that can handle frontline queries. Although they can't yet process the most complex questions, in some cases bots can be quicker and more efficient than a human worker.
Aspect Software discovered that uptake of these bots is growing. Despite initial concerns that they could prove unpopular, 49 percent of all consumers are said to engage with digital service agents at least once a week. This figure rises to 66 percent when considering millennial consumers.
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Survey respondents said they'd be willing to use a bot if it could provide comparable service to a human. It appears as though consumers are becoming accepting of the shift towards digital support, with 45 percent saying they don’t mind whether they talk to a human or a bot. The top priority is to receive a quick response containing accurate information that resolves their concern.
Customer service tech still has a long way to go before it entirely replaces human communication. Developments in natural language processing, decision making and intelligent reasoning will be required if bots are to handle the most complex queries.
The eventual aim for businesses is to improve efficiency by offloading time-consuming customer requests onto automated platforms. As the technology progresses, it can be expected that more customer service helplines will be staffed by digital agents that become the first point of contact for new support requests.
Bots will be able to learn and predict how consumers interact, so they can anticipate the user's needs and provide a more effective service. Some algorithms are already surpassing the performance of human support teams, delivering an improved experience that lets consumers get answers faster.
More about Customer service, digital transformation, chatbots, Bots, support bots