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Latest 03 Oct 2019 |

This week: Will Bots Replace Human Agents?, Our Latest Airline Guide, and the Customer Service Week

Hello and welcome to The Conversation Round-Up where I sift through the latest news and trends in messaging, automation and customer experience to bring you the stories that matter.

Will Bots Replace Human Agents?

It’s certainly a topic that captures the imagination. Will my job be replaced by a robot? For some, the introduction of AI into the workplace is the first step in the rise of Skynet. However, in reality, the human touch is still required in most white-collar roles.

In this article from the Financial Times, they spend time with a Customer Support Officer who utilizes AI to generate automated responses to customer queries. When asked whether he feels his job is under threat, he says: “I wouldn’t say it’s put my job at risk — it’s made my job better.” With bots handling the more repetitive inquiries typically received in a contact center, human agents are freed to offer an empathetic service to customers who require more complex support.

The future of customer service is humans and bots working side-by-side to deliver the best experience. Which brings us neatly on to the release of our latest guide...

The Definitive Guide to Customer Service in the Era of Messaging for the Airline Industry

This is the first Conversocial guide that I've contributed to since becoming CEO and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out! While it’s aimed at the airline industry, it’s packed with great takeaways that are relevant for any brand delivering customer service via messaging channels. 

One particular theme that I think will become more widely discussed over the coming months is the need for brands to become uni-channel rather than omni-channel. Being omni-channel means you're likely a jack of all trades (as opposed to a master of one), particularly when it comes to customer service. If you spread your teams and their capabilities too thin, how can you deliver the best service to your customers?

Instead, you should be focussing on fewer channels and going deeper. For example, low-cost airline Volaris reduced agent response time by 43% and average handling time by 29% by making Messenger their key customer service channel and deflecting away from email and phone.

64% of people say Customer Experience is more important than price when making a purchase.

National Customer Service Week

Next week, October 7th-12th, is officially National Customer Service Week. While I appreciate it may not be the hottest date on everyone’s calendar, I think it’s as good a time as any to think about your own customer service. According to a report by Gartner, 64% of people say Customer Experience is more important than price when making a purchase. Customer service is integral to delivering that experience and consumers now expect to have conversations with brands in their preferred channel - messaging. If you do one thing next week, take 5 minutes to consider how you can future proof your contact center with the use of messaging and automation.

That’s it for another Conversation Round-Up. As always, I’d love to hear from you. You can carry on the conversation @IdoHacohen.

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