It’s no secret that artificial intelligence is already starting to impact customer service. This impact is certainly to grow immensely in size in the coming years.
Employees in many customer service roles are beginning to wonder whether they will lose their job to a robot, whether or not their role will be replaced.
There is a great deal of fear and uncertainty out there and it is incumbent on customer experience leaders to help guide their teams and try to allay these fears as much as possible.
Here are a few tips on how to prepare your customer service teams for the coming disruption likely to be caused by artificial intelligence.
Most of the fear that comes from these discussions of artificial intelligence is certainly is around the uncertainty that it causes.
A lack of communication on the topic only feeds the uncertainty — and that feeds the fear.
You don’t have to have all the answers yet. No organization that is pursuing artificial intelligence as a business strategy has those answers, but you can talk about the general direction. You can talk about what the organization is hoping to achieve.
If you can give team members a sense of the timeline — and this is particularly true if these changes are years down the road — it will help give a sense of comfort and help remove some of that sense of uncertainty and impending doom.
In many cases, both the companies I’ve spoken with and researched, artificial intelligence will not create a net job loss. It will in most cases change the nature of the work, the types of jobs.
AI will take over everyday, purely informational interactions so that human agents and reps will have more time to spend with the customer.AI will take over everyday, informational interactions so that human agents will have more time to spend with customers. #artificialintelligence Click To Tweet
It will actually help teams be more attentive and more focused on customers without the pressure of the call queue or chat queue.
If this is what the future looks like at your organization, let your teams know that AI is actually going to help them provide better customer experiences and feel less pressure.
Let your teams know how they can take control of their own destinies.
Let them know what they can do to make themselves more valuable to the organization in this evolving environment.
Let them know what skills will be most coveted as the nature of the job changes.
And of course, let them know how you will support them, including what type of training and opportunities you will offer to help them grow into any changing roles or changing responsibilities.
Finally, let them know how you will communicate with them in the future.
Assure them that you will keep them up to date and will keep the lines of communication open about developments in artificial intelligence as a tool and strategy — what it means to the organization, and what it means to them.
By using these four strategies, you can eliminate a lot of uncertainty and — as a result — a lot of fear and worry.
Make sure to prep your teams for the coming AI disruption and, perhaps, it won’t be all that disruptive.
By Adam Toporek. Adam Toporek is an internationally recognized customer service expert, keynote speaker, and workshop leader. He is the author of Be Your Customer's Hero: Real-World Tips & Techniques for the Service Front Lines (2015), as well as the founder of the popular Customers That Stick® blog and co-host of the Crack the Customer Code podcast.