The use of robots in the business allows bringing the process of communication with customers to a new level and automates routine tasks. In addition, they easily replace a large staff of support representatives, taking on the performance of many different functions.
There are already hundreds of studies on the prospects of replacing people with robots across industries and individual economies. And their conclusions are similar. For example, according to the studies of economists Carl Frey and Michael Osborne, under the onslaught of robotization, 47% of jobs existing in 2018 in the United States are at risk of disappearing by 2033.
Can Robots Replace Customer Service Representatives?
According to Mel Siegel, a “robot is a purpose-built, reprogrammable mechanical device capable of operating without human assistance.” According to Statista, the global robot market will grow to $994.5 million by 2024. In 2015, for example, it amounted to only 113 million dollars.
Robots are used in customer support for ecommerce, medicine, financing, insurance, retail, tourism, media, entertainment, etc. The increasing popularity of robotic assistants is due to the fact that they are designed to simplify customer service and help employees perform their functions faster and more efficiently.
Basic Types of Robots
In general, two main types of robots can be distinguished:
- Those that perform a number of pre-programmed functions. Such assistants execute only the commands prescribed by the developer and do not recognize the rest of the requests. For example, they are used to inform users about typical requests;
- Advanced robots. They are created with the help of artificial intelligence technologies and are capable of self-learning. By performing various commands and communicating with clients, they become more and more intelligent and can increase the list of works performed.
Tasks Solved by Robots
In the field of business, robots help solve many important tasks:
- Provide technical support to clients. They edit the client’s personal data, help track the parcel, inform the user about new services and products, etc.;
- Give instant answers to the most frequently asked questions;
- Sell goods and services. The robot can not only provide advice to the client but also choose the most suitable product, accept payment, and place an order;
- Perform an interactive function (send life hacks, useful offers, etc.);
- Engage in questionnaires and conduct surveys;
- Make a preliminary appointment with clients (for example, an appointment with a doctor, a visit to a beauty salon, etc.);
- Register in the loyalty program, etc.
Thus, robots successfully cope with many functions in a customer service outsourcing company. However, there are some important drawbacks to their application. Learn about it below.
Disadvantages of Robots Compared to Humans
Modern automated systems have a number of disadvantages:
- Robots do not always understand what people want from them. They provide answers to clear and simple questions, while a service representative can answer any question and help solve any problem;
- Lack of emotions. For some customers, live dialogue is important when a service representative will find the right words, support, help with the search for the right product or service, etc. Robots are not yet capable of this;
- If the user makes grammatical or lexical errors, the automated system may incorrectly recognize the text and, as a result, react incorrectly to the request.
Thus, automated robots are able to take over part of the functions of HR managers, salespeople, consultants, bank employees, etc. However, they cannot completely replace a person yet.
Are Employers Really Seeking to Replace Humans with Robots?
Every modern employer wants to increase the efficiency of business and revenue, as well as reduce costs. In this regard, it can be argued that many will want to replace people with robots if this turns out to be promising and profitable. For example, according to Deutsche Bank’s CEO, “50% of employees will eventually be replaced by robots”. This will help ensure the company’s round-the-clock operation, save on staff, and increase income.
As we can see, robots can perform many important functions. They free the company’s employees from routine work and make it possible to spend less money on support and customer service. Despite this, at the current stage, bots are not able to cope with all the tasks that are subject to a person.