How to use AI to create more human service, not less

Technologist, futurist, entrepreneur, investor, co-founder and CEO of an intelligent automation company Rainbird Technologies.

Thanks to science fiction, AI is often seen as a threat to humans, a job destroyer, and an unsympathetic overlord working in the cloud. But AI’s greatest strength is its ability to augment rather than replace human capabilities. Rather than seeing AI as an all-powerful machine, it is better to think of it as creating narrow tools that can augment and extend human capabilities.

In business, AI is being used to create a more human service experience. It can help companies keep up with the demand for customer engagement across all channels while empowering employees to do so with empathy and understanding. It’s an opportunity for employees to work smarter.

AI is not the enemy of human services

Many fears surrounding AI are based on a fundamental misunderstanding of what AI really is and how it works. The word AI has become synonymous with machine learning, but not all AI is predictive data science.

We are also seeing the resurgence of a new generation of expert systems technologies. It is now possible to make systems based on human expertise and therefore more human. This allows organizations to take advantage of significant efficiencies, but also achieve better results, allowing human workers to be more engaged with customers than they could be before automation.

AI has become not a human competitor but an essential tool to help us be more productive, raise our standards and generate new customer value.

Don’t worry; AI is here to strengthen your team

AI can be a powerful force in customer services. For example, AI can analyze data quickly and precisely to identify correlations and patterns. Humans are best placed to invest in relationships with others, manage ambiguity, and build coalitions in situations where there is no single correct answer.

A recent McKinsey report found that 58% of all occupations have at least 30% of constituent activities that could be automated by adapting currently demonstrated technologies. This means that organizations have enormous potential to reduce costs by doing more with less and enabling low-skilled workers to perform higher-skilled, intelligence-backed tasks.

let them be human

Machines are undeniably better than humans at calculating numbers because they can do it so quickly and accurately.

This continuous evolution of computerization is an unstoppable train, and while AI still seems to be on the horizon, the field of AI has created a long series of uniquely identifiable technologies that are blended into the way we work, to include workflow, robot process automation (RPA), and now features like natural language processing (NLP) and intelligent document processing (IDP). We are even witnessing a new generation of nonlinear rule engines capable of reasoning in the same way as us.

Humans have empathy, creativity, and other powerful tools that machines will never be able to attain anytime soon, if ever. By focusing our efforts on the aspects of our jobs that require our unique humanity and leaving what can be automated to technology, we can become more impactful and provide better services to customers.

Machines are efficient and consistent, driven by the absence of noise that affects human decision-making, and humans have strengths that machines simply cannot emulate, which is why balanced human-machine partnerships are so effective. For every “human weakness” we have (short attention span, inability to juggle probability, susceptibility to bias), there is a technological strength to balance it (processing speed, memory capacity, accurate inference).

Use AI to deliver effective personalized marketing campaigns

AI is also capable of integrating the human element into automated customer service.

When it comes to marketing, personalization is key. We know from experience that a one-size-fits-all approach does not work today. But how do you effectively deliver personalized campaigns at scale? The answer: A combination of AI prediction and human insights enables brands to learn more about their customers and create compelling content personalized to their individual needs on an unprecedented scale.

With the help of AI, marketers identify customer preferences, behaviors and trends to deliver personalized content based on their unique and individual interests. It can also help identify areas where content is not being consumed and make suggestions for changes. AI allows us to understand what resonates with our customers and deliver that content in the most efficient way possible.

Make the customer experience smart

According to research by Gartner, 70% of customer service interactions will involve workers leveraging some sort of AI automation technology.

Customers want to feel like they’re taken care of with the benefits of both automation (immediate service available 24/7) and human service (with all of its tribal knowledge and nuance). While a bad experience can mean a business loses customers forever, delivering exceptional service by combining these attributes can increase loyalty and drive long-term growth.

With the right approach, AI can augment your human customer service agents, enabling them to deliver better customer experiences and help your business stay competitive. AI is not designed to replace human interaction in customer service except in the most restricted areas. It’s designed to automate repetitive tasks and augment staff when focusing on more complex interactions that require empathy and problem-solving skills. This blended approach has a high success rate for customer satisfaction.

So instead of focusing on replacing humans with machines, we need to think about how AI makes humans better at their jobs.

In the age of AI, leaders must learn to harness technology in ways that make humans more productive and do more, not less. Developing such intelligent automation systems to perform assured tasks efficiently can free up skilled workers to take on higher-level tasks and focus on more strategic goals. Automation is already having a huge impact on the way we live, but there is also a brighter future for employees and businesses if we use AI to properly drive the next generation of automation solutions.

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