Myth: Automation is Bad for Customer Service Agents. Here’s Why.
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Myth: Automation is Bad for Customer Service Agents. Here’s Why.

Harry Chang
May 11, 2022 3 min read

Contact Center Automation is putting to rest common AI misconceptions

When people think of Artificial Intelligence and automation, one of the first questions they ask is ‘will this replace human jobs?’

Contact centers are no different. And in an era where it’s harder than ever to hire and retain great agents, it’s a valid question. 

But Contact Center Automation was built for this exact reason: agents have never been more stressed and disenchanted with their jobs. 96% feel acutely stressed at least once a week. Almost half cite ‘too many calls’ as their biggest challenge. They’re being asked to manage 7.2 more calls per day. 

However, there’s still plenty of room for hesitation when it comes to automation. Here are some of the most common myths about Contact Center Automation and agents, and how Replicant is proving them untrue. 

Myth #1: Automation will replace human agents

As mentioned above – today’s contact center agents have far too much on their plate. The Great Resignation has seen talented agents leave to seek more engaging and higher paying work. Meanwhile, those who are still serving customers have been asked to pick up the slack in order to keep wait times at a minimum. But their workloads are unsustainable, and customers are waiting historically long times to speak with an agent. With Contact Center Automation, Replicant’s Thinking Machine offloads repetitive, tier 1 requests like order updates and account maintenance from agents, so they can focus more on engaging customer interactions. 

And when agents are more engaged, everyone wins. Not only agents and employers, but customers too. McKinsey & Company found engaged and satisfied call center employees are:

  • 8.5x more likely to stay than leave within a year
  • 16x more likely to refer friends to their company
  • 3.3x more likely to feel extremely empowered to resolve customer issues

Myth #2: Automation relieves contact centers, not agents

While it’s true that certain kinds of automation only offer marginal process improvements for things like data entry and ticket creation, Contact Center Automation does much more.

Replicant resolves common tier 1 requests, from question to answer, within a single interaction. Using conversational AI, it allows customers to talk, type, or text as they would with an agent, providing an automation experience that they actually want to use.

In doing so, Contact Center Automation transforms what automation can mean in customer service. By serving customers more fully and decreasing the amount of customers in queue, Replicant’s Thinking Machine provides true relief to agents. It’s why agents love Replicant: the Thinking Machine acts as a partner to customer service representatives by helping them solve requests – not simply offering tools that encourage them to take on even more requests. 

Myth #3: Automation leads to more escalations

Automation is not new. In fact, customers have been dealing with it for years in the form of Interactive Voice Response menus (IVR) and rudimentary chatbots. These traditional forms of automation have given the term “automation” a reputation of customer frustration. Think of how many times you’ve been told “Listen closely, our menu options have changed,” or “Sorry, can you repeat that?”

But Contact Center Automation and the conversational AI that powers it are purpose-built for customer service. Because of this, Replicant’s Thinking Machine is able to create customer experiences that significantly decrease escalations. It does not aim to deflect customers to websites for self-service, or prevent customers from speaking with an agent. Instead, it aims to resolve every tier 1 request that it was designed to tackle, and does so with an over 85% success rate, making more agents available for customers who truly need them. 

Myth #4: Wages and agents won’t grow

One of the biggest concerns around automation isn’t just that it will replace agent jobs, but will deprioritize them as managers focus investing in technology over people. 

But Contact Center Automation is not a zero sum technology. It is designed to deploy in weeks, and quickly begin tackling thousands of high-volume requests across every channel – a stark departure from the months-to-years-long cycles contact centers are used to when implementing a new technology. By prioritizing simplicity over complexity, Replicant ensures that contact centers won’t lose focus from their core objective of serving customers and empowering agents. 

And while wages are already rising to attract more talented contact center agents, automation aims to provide agents a greater capacity to earn certifications and develop professionally as they focus on handling more sensitive and complex customer issues. 

Learn more about the benefits of Contact Center Automation by downloading the complete guide. 👇
Learn how Contact Center Automation is transforming customer service with Replicant.