As industries like retail adapt the latest technology like chatbots and advanced video conferences to enhance customer experience, the question arises as to which vehicle will the customer interact with more comfortably: the AI-powered robot or the familiar human face?
Industry leaders, business owners, and employees themselves can be forgiven for thinking that the dawn of robocalypse has finally come. Machine intelligence is now enabling robotic tools in their various forms to learn on their own and adapt to situations. Naturally, business people they see that it may only be a matter of time before disembodied tech voices and smart bots start doing customer service and marketing tasks that were once regarded as the sole province of humans.
Observers and artificial intelligence (AI) advocates point out that customers want more personalized experience; this is to say that they want to feel that their unique needs are being addressed and that they are not mere cogs in a consumer-driven machinery. Bots and other tech tools which can easily screen and analyze tons of data would be in a better position to leverage on them and bring a more memorable customer experience to the user.
Virtual assistants like the Amazon Echo are but the precursors to more advanced tech like the smart vehicle guides described in AM-Online. For example, these virtual assistants that would be an inherent part of a smart car can provide customer service 24/7 to non-driving users. Not only can they guide them to their destinations, but based on past experiences, these assistants suggest restaurants where they can stop over for a meal. Should the car break down, the handy smart digital helpers can also advise them as to the nearest repair shop and connect them with traffic cops and tow truck companies.
The Retail Consumer Experience heralds the introduction of full-fledged robots like Pepper, who are mechanized assistants who are designed to look, act, and move like human beings. A few such Peppers can literally sing and dance in front of human customers to keep them engaged, and then entrance them with stories and songs while helping them shop in the supermarket.
Still, despite all these tech innovations and the inevitable rise of the machines, other industry insiders say that, at the end of the day, the human customer will want to interface with a fellow human. After all, that is why chatbots have been wired to sound like an actual flesh-and-blood customer service representative and not as an emotionless machine who can talk.
Entrepreneur argues that while chatbots and other tech tools can help address a user’s basic needs, that same user would want to interact with a fellow human for more urgent and sophisticated cases. The user’s desire for a more personalized service would be met if the virtual assistant helping him or her can empathize with his or her situation. And while robots can sound sensitive, empathy is not yet part of their programming.
Video chats prove that point. With 100 out of the 500 top global companies implementing video chat by 2018, the conversant that the user would be dealing with would be visible. The users, in turn, would want to see an actual human being and not an avatar.
While AI may be invading the ins and outs of retail, one should not write out the human equation. At the end of the day, consumers want personalized customer experience. For that, human beings, flawed as they are, can best fill that role, by simply strengthening the emotional connection.
Cannabidiol in food: While CBD business is booming in America, Germany gets left behind
West Coast Ventures Group Corp. (OTC: WCVC) is America’s first CBD restaurant stock. In their first year of operations alone...
Sweet taste of India: When western chocolate meets the orient
With India’s society on the rise, many people are now looking for a premium sweet treat: chocolates. Today, premium chocolate...
New quality-of-life facilities in demand throughout the U.S.
Municipal leaders and local governments are creating more and more quality-of-life enhancements in their areas despite facing huge constraints on...
The giants of fintech: How Mastercard and PayPal stay afloat during financial technology boom
The world of digital finances has come a long way since first wireless transfers changed the way people do business....
The impact of alternative financing on entrepreneurship
One of the biggest obstacles for entrepreneurs is raising their much-needed capital to launch their business. Case in point: 29...
- Sponsored4 days ago
CEO Spotlight: John Fielding, Toronto entrepreneur, founder of Array Marketing
- Crypto5 days ago
Why a cryptocurrency payment system makes companies competitive
- Business5 days ago
5 tips on selling on social media without driving people away
- Featured4 days ago
Neo banking disrupts fintech