I didn't see a choice that matched exactly what I would want. Ideally, I'd like to be able to use a site that makes everything clear and straightforward. However, I do like to know that there is a person I can speak with if I have questions, and I consider access to a live (and, we hope, competent) person part of a customer service.
@HH, Yes, though I bet someone is working on algorithms to address that based on wording. Still, computers are limited to what's been programmed. So if you have an issue that is not standard, you usually need a person to help.
"But I don't like the way people think machines are here to take our jobs and we should therefore fight them."
lol, me neither. People seem to think that machines are some sort of species that created themselves to come and replace humans. They seem to forget who designed, manufactured, and prorammed those machines. I find this particularly funny. :D I wonder if some people want to start a war against machines, just like in the sci-fi movies.
Ariella, I may be jaded but many customer service folks don't sound warm and fuzzy. They recite their lines and won't be moved from the predictable. They don't want to listen to any explanations and are quite in a hurry to make the next call. In other words, they reflect the larger society. The machine may lack feelings but if it can understand me and provide some answers before a human comes on the phone, I'll settle for that any time.
"I am going for machines. At least you can rewrite the algorithms. Just try rewiring a human being!"
Yes! Right, right, right! Rewriting a human being is close to imposible. Only possible with a few with an open mind and undertsanding about change, evolution, and adaptation. Otherwise, imposible to rewrite, in my experience.
That's why LivePerson will be a hit for those organizations that understand that. It is the same support options just more in touch with the consumer. It will help to increase conversions and keeping customers satisfied.
Ariella, You'll have to wait for the day we fuse man and machine. It's gonna happen (or has it already?) Anyway, there was one featured in Aliens 3. You wouldn't have guessed she was a machine until everyone thought she was dead and she just bounced back. I think she combines feelings with 100 percent expertise!
"...machine can,t match that. machine would do a good job but Humans will do a better job."
I don't think we can say that anymore. Robotic technology has advanced tremendously lately. As we speak, there are robots aiding surgeons in micro surgeries, and robots running factories controlled remotedly by humans. There is a huge robot in Mars at the moment. By the year 2029 is is said that robots will be able to pass the Turning test (a test of a machine's ability to exhibit intelligent behaviour).
this video explains how man will merge with machine by 2029. So no, humans will not do a better job. They will do an equally good job. Or less, because there is always the emotional factor intercepting the rationality in the human being.
Of course they are not the same. But some customer services can be automated and be as good as what human can do. It is not that machines will replace us any time soon, but I would prefer to get pre-recorded answers to FAQs than the system telling me "all our representatives are currently unavailable". When human customer services agent is unavailable, the machine can be there to answer "basic" questions.
"I would prefer to get pre-recorded answers to FAQs than the system telling me "all our representatives are currently unavailable""
That's right! Plus, how many times did you land with a human person doing the job and reciting the answers as if he were a robot, and if you take him out from his recording he has to transfer you to someone else who might know what you are asking.
Ashish, If I was an electronics design engineer, I will tell you my goal is to give you only one option -- the best, which I, being an electronics design engineer, will naturally define as "machine."
The best social systems have codified laws and practices. If many can learn these, machines can probably memorize them better and facilitate compliance with them. There will be extenuating circumstances that may vary how we react to the individual but mainly I expect that 80 percent or more of circumstances will be similar, which machines can handle. The best move on man's side is to let machines handle what machines are best at and let humans do what humans do best.
I wouldn't want to be given the option of deciding if I want to walk up to the 80th floor of a building, for instance. Just because we can do it doesn't mean we should.
I guess then the debate is which is more valuable. Saving cost with removing humans from the equation OR increasing customer satisfaction by servicing them well. It sounds like an easy decision but a lot of companies do not follow that logic.
pocharle, Man is being removed from many transactions whether we like it or not. That process is bound to continue so hold on tight. It's an evolutionary process and we all have to figure out where we fit in as these changes eliminate jobs and create new professions. The driverless train is already here and the driverless automobile is on the way.
The need to socialize is understandable and we want to be able to do this even in a business environment or within a customer relationship situation. However, we'll be doing more of this with machines and that's not always a bad thing.
Steve Jobs described this process when referring to outsourcing as 'creative destruction'. I guess the same principle can be applied to the robot-ization of the world. The onus is on us as humans to not get complacent and be surprised by job elimination. The time is upon us to prepare ourselves for the next logical/technological shift.
"Steve Jobs described this process when referring to outsourcing as 'creative destruction'"
More like spinning around in a circle, screaming with his arms flailing wildly, and hitting things at random, is what I call it. He happened to hit the right thing by accident, in my opinion. Meanwhile the dust is settling, people who feel they owe him and his company favors will move on, and we'll forget. And move on ourselves to better things. Like more adaptable human workers. And development of human resources, rather than Jobs's brand of waste.
"It's an evolutionary process and we all have to figure out where we fit in as these changes eliminate jobs and create new professions."
The problem, I believe, comes when people don't accept evolution, and therefore don't adapt. We know what happens with those who can't adapt to the new environment, don't we? We are living in times of rapid changes in the relationship between man and machine. Without forgetting that man created the machine the focus should now be put in creating those new professions.
"However, we'll be doing more of this with machines and that's not always a bad thing."
Exactly. The wisdom comes in adapting to changes, and change as we adapt in order to continue the evoltionary process without getting stuck somewhere in between.
Rich, You'll think different after a trip to a French post office on a Friday afternoon. It's usually time for a little chit chat that per customer may last five to 10 minutes! They may only go to buy stamps but it's a social visit that many of the older folks indulge in and when you have only a 30 minutes lunch break it isn't fun. Humans, in other words, don't always serve only what the customer is supposed to need at that moment. They tend to veer into the bushes . . .
@Bolaji I can sympathize with being in a rush and having to wait around while people socialize when all you want to do is finish a quick transaction. On the other hand, consider that even in post offices where machines are available for the purchase of stamps, people tend to get on line for the clerk, much like they get on line for the teller at the bank rather than using the ATM (granted if you want something other than $20s, you usually need the teller,but people come into the bank even for simple deposits).
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.