The Value of Human Customer Service
Luke Wyckoff, Social Media Energy
Since the late 2010s, businesses have been debating the advantages and disadvantages of using humans or AI bots for customer service. Arguments arise over the impacts on the bottom line or individuals’ thoughts on the inevitability of technological change. The conversation is rarely centered on the human experience. As AI customer service bots become more common, social listening data about the customer experience has finally been gathered.
Do Humans Prefer AI or Human Customer Service?
According to a representative survey of 1000 adults by Treasure Data in 2019, four out of five respondents prefer human customer service over electronic systems. Why such the strong dislike for electronic customer service? Not surprisingly, 73% of respondents said that “an electronic system has failed at connecting them to the correct department or customer service representative in the past.” In a time of need when you are trying to resolve a problem or get a question answered, this can be incredibly frustrating. Many electronic systems misunderstand human speech and take users through level after level of complicated options. These experiences upset customers and make them less likely to interact with your company in the future.
Survey respondents preferred human customer service interactions for the following reasons:
Humans understand their concerns better
They provide more thorough explanations
Having emotional responses in an interaction is preferable
Humans can hear them better
Customer service representatives give them more options
Live people address their problems faster
Humans are less likely to anger and frustrate clients
The Benefits of Human Customer Service After Hours
Human interactions are particularly helpful in unusual situations. While bots can answer routine repetitive questions with relative accuracy, situations that deviate from the norm lead to bots incorrectly categorizing problems and giving answers that frustrate customers. Some companies prefer to use bots to answer questions outside of regular business hours – on the evenings and weekends. Unfortunately, these are the times where the most unusual situations arise. If you’re a parent in the middle of the night worried about the rash rapidly spreading across your child’s skin, you don’t want to be met with a canned recording of automated options that don’t fit your needs when you call your pediatrician. Using human customer service after hours can provide reliable, efficient answers to the most unusual of questions.
Businesses need to use social listening data to understand what clients want and create positive customer experiences. People want to speak with other people. Connection, communication, and problem solving are at the core of being human. To humanize your brand in a digital world, schedule a consultation about human customer service options with Social Media Energy today!