Today we hear from Tina Squire, Director at Interact Contact Centres and resident digital expert as she shares her thoughts on bots v human interactions

“I got this question 7 years ago when we started implementing our first chat bot with the industry buzzing about the bot take over and our team worried about losing their jobs to bots and automation.

My belief has always been that there is a place for everyone, primarily because there is a logic that dictates that there are jobs that are handled well by automation and bots and there are jobs that will always require the human touch.

Four years later, I think this is being consistently proven everywhere in the digital interactions that we see. I actually think there is an argument to say that bots can make the human work more interesting and have even created new roles within the contact centre. Bots also need a manager!

Having been in the contact centre industry for 22 years I’ve not met a team member that likes doing repetitive, monotonous tasks. So why not give that to a bot and let humans handle anything that requires emotive and/or complex answers. I think this leaves both customers and our team happy.

I know when I’m the customer and I have a simple question for an airline, or my bank, or any other supplier that I use, I’m quite happy as long as I can get a quick answer in the digital sphere, without having to speak to anyone. Equally, when I want to speak to someone it’s because I want reassurance from another human. Or my query is complex, and my next question will depend on the answer I get to the first question, etc.

So, the short answer to the question of whether bots take over the work of humans is No, I don’t think that will ever happen. But I do think that bots and automation have a place and can make the work for our team more interesting and rewarding, resulting in a win-win or everyone involved.”