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What parts of customer relations are hard to automate?

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Customer relations, the backbone of any business, is a multifaceted discipline that isn't always easy to automate. While automation can handle multiple tasks such as ticketing processes or inventory management, certain aspects call for a human touch. We delve into some of these hard-to-automate areas in this post.

Building Trust and Emotional Connections

Trust and emotional connections serve as essential components in customer relations, and these elements are challenging to automate. Authentic connections are often fostered through human interaction, whether it's a warm greeting, personalized recommendations, or empathy during service recovery. These human-centric traits can be hard for computer programs to master, despite advancements in artificial intelligence (AI).

Customers tend to trust businesses more when they feel understood and valued. Tangible demonstrations of understanding customer needs, desires, and frustrations can portray an empathetic business. Human customer service agents, guided by emotions and intuition, are sometimes better equipped to recognize and respond to such nuances. Thus, it’s this element of trust and emotional responsiveness that becomes a hurdle when automating customer relations.

Handling Complex Customer Queries

Automation systems, including chatbots, can answer straightforward queries by referencing a database of scripted responses. Yet, they can struggle when it comes to resolving complex customer problems, which require creative problem-solving or a deeper understanding of the product or system issues. These situations often demand human intervention for efficient and satisfactory service.

For instance, when a customer has multiple intertwined issues complicating their product experience, automated systems might fail to grasp the nature of the problem or respond adequately. In such cases, the knack and training of a human agent often provides a superior service, accurately addressing the concern and offering tailored solutions. Thus, the resolution of complex cases in customer relations poses a challenge for automation.

Sensitive Customer Relations Scenarios

There are situations where careful handling and diplomacy are needed because they are sensitive, risky, or high-stakes. It might involve resolving serious complaints, managing customers who are disappointed or irate, or even receiving and making sense of customer feedback shared in the heat of the moment. These sensitive scenarios involve higher levels of stress and emotion, and automation in these situations can often come off as cold and unfeeling.

Comprehending subtle emotional signals, using discretion in interpreting and applying policies, conveying genuine concern for a customer's issue, and employing tactful language to deescalate tension are skills that humans handle well in sensitive scenarios. An automated system can lack this sophistication and finesse, negating its practical use in such high-stress customer relations situations.

July 18, 2023
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