What’s next.

Continued progress in reinventing the relationship between people and technology.

What’s my line?

With the advent of new technology and rising customer expectations, the customer service industry looks a lot different than it used to. George outlines how customer service has evolved over the years, and what it means for businesses and industry professionals. What answer will customer service professionals get when they ask themselves, “What’s my line?”
As technology advances, how will the role of the customer service professional change?

Customer service has been through many changes over the years, but the most rapid change has been in the past year or so with the dawn of new technology and ever-rising customer expectations. This chart from customer service influencer Blake Morgan illustrates the evolution of customer service and how technology has improved the customer experience landscape.

evolution of customer service

Some of you may remember – or may have seen the reruns of – the popular game show “What’s My Line?”, where a panel of celebrities would have to ask a contestant yes-or-no questions in order to guess their unusual occupation. That seems to be the resounding question many customer service professionals are asking themselves. What will be their line of work, as artificial intelligence make its way deeper into the realm of customer experience? To answer that question, we need to first ask the question –


How will AI affect jobs?

Though some people may warn of the negative impact of AI on jobs, a lot of research speaks to the contrary. Accenture predicts that AI will boost productivity by as much as 40 percent by 2035, because AI technologies will enable people to make more efficient, creative, and innovative use of their time. In fact, AI will reinforce people’s role in driving business growth. In addition, some argue that machines will increase the “demand for flexible, mobile workers with skills and agility that no robot can come close to matching.” These thought leaders are finding that even though more artificial intelligence and robotics are being used, the growth resulting from the automation is causing companies to hire more people in areas like marketing, sales, or IT.


How can customer service professionals adapt to the rise of AI?

As for contact center agents, AI will relieve them of the lighter customer issues, allowing them to tackle more complex situations. The way for agents to survive these higher-stress customers is to shift their attitude and increase their aptitude in answering these kinds of questions.

More importantly, though, is that AI won’t take away from their job, but assist them in their job, working in the background. Additionally, human agents will be assisting the virtual agents by supplying them with more human-sensitive, intuitive responses, allowing the machine to learn as they work together.

If we feel threatened by AI, we should make use of the resources that are made available by new technologies. Learn new skills or create a job that is necessary to make some AI tasks more relevant. Reinvent how you run your contact center – or reinvent yourself.

An article in Wired magazine addressed the issue well, “Innovative technologies create more wealth and better jobs in the end by eliminating unpleasant rote work and increasing overall productivity… We must think about the future of labour with a healthy dose of creativity and an expansive frame of mind… New technology will open up richer worlds of human interaction as we develop new techniques for measuring and understanding our humanity.”

After reading that, it may become a question that evokes excitement. So go ahead and ask, “What’s my line?”

Let’s work together
Engage us

innovations for an omni-channel world

AI is driving new customer engagement capabilities across channels and around the world. Your customers are ready. Are you?

Learn more

Tags: , , ,

Let’s work together
Engage us
George Skaff

About George Skaff

George Skaff is the VP of Worldwide Marketing for Nuance’s Enterprise Division where he drives cross-divisional global marketing strategy and is responsible for all outbound and inbound marketing activities. In this role, he oversees all customer marketing, product and solution marketing, field marketing, partner marketing, and sets direction for PR and Industry Relations. He joined Nuance as part of its acquisition of TouchCommerce where he served as CMO. Prior to that, he held various senior marketing positions at SGI, Wyse and NEC Computers. George has more than 30 years of progressive experience in the computer industry, and has demonstrated a proven business expertise in marketing and strategic partnerships for various sized companies in high technology and services areas, in both the domestic and international markets.