On the one hand, their supporters believe that thanks to them it is possible to free humans from time-consuming tasks so that they can refocus on value-added missions. On the other hand, their detractors point to the replacement of the customer advisor by robots, for a question of cost reduction. In reality, we are in the wrong debate.
An unavoidable and necessary development
In 2021, 56% of marketing decision-makers place customer experience management as their main focus and 72% believe they are in a process of digital transformation. To the question of whether AI and automation technologies have any future in the customer relationship world, the answer is undoubtedly yes. This is already the case and this trend will only increase in the years to come, because the equation to be solved is eminently complex. The company must indeed reconcile contact channels which are multiplying (email, SMS, social networks, applications …) and must be unified to deliver a satisfactory customer experience, personalized content on each platform, enhanced proximity. in the exchange, all combined with a growing imperative of performance. Without technological support, the mission appears (almost) impossible.
However, let’s not fall for caricature. It is not tomorrow that our exchanges with brands will only be handled by robots. In customer relations, empathy and nuance go hand in hand with a memorable customer experience. Algorithms, as sophisticated as they are, are still a long way from reaching human standards in these areas. They can nevertheless be of great service to them, as long as they have been created starting from business uses.
Reduce the gap between people and technology
If deploying customer relationship software seems essential, most companies still too often choose closed and complex solutions that present a major pitfall: once installed in information systems, they require that the processes be adapt to their specificities and not the other way around.
Technology then governs the organizational choices of the company. Choices that do not necessarily resonate with the main stakeholders: customer advisers, who are sometimes unsettled at the idea of using 4/5 software which causes a waste of time for them and a lack of profitability.
With this software, each customization effort generates significant development and integration costs. Their lack of agility requires IT teams to be used for each modification or new configuration.
This is why the trend today is towards open solutions, designed for the businesses and which are really at their service without imposing their way of doing things. Software platforms that can be configured and adjusted to the process of organizations, meet their needs for agility and flexibility. They support the daily life of the customer relationship center teams in a natural way. Their adoption is immediate or almost, their acceptance facilitated with the key to real performance and efficiency gains.
5 years ago, companies were focused on the digital journey, today they are concerned about collaboration between technology and people. Putting technology at the service of its users and thus giving customer advisers the means to do their work in the most satisfactory way is possible. Everything now depends on the choice of the tool that will accompany them!
Ana Athayde is General Manager EMEA at Innso, a spin-off of Sitel Group, which offers a new platform model born in the heart of contact centers with the aim of putting technology at the service of customer relationship agility.