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Why Call Service Center Agents Will Still Outperform Automated Options 

Events of the current decade have accelerated the shift to greater automation in certain sectors. Lenders, insurers, and call centers are a few of the industries where this growth is most evident. Even as service center operations, including call centers and help desks, have become increasingly important ways for organizations to interact with their customers, customer service that requires human interaction is expensive, making artificial intelligence (AI) and automation an increasingly attractive option for companies. 

The answer to reaching an unwelcome automated assistant might seem (irritatingly) obvious to consumers: press 0 and give us a human on the phone. But, what’s the downside?  

For one, humans do not always follow the guidance as expected — as indicated by something termed as “behavioral inertia.” Inertia is effective when the call center agents deal with complicated issues. Human discretion will always be needed in certain situations. Humans are social beings, and empathy given and received is a piece of human behavior that machinery cannot replace.  

Additionally, service centers undoubtedly directly impact customer satisfaction. So, companies should search for the most efficient ways to manage service centers beyond automation — including routing calls to appropriate representatives. Likewise, they should establish protocols that allow agents a certain amount of discretion when making routing decisions and should not leave that up to AI to determine.  

Whatever a company decides to automate, the bottom line is they will rely heavily on the people in their operation to manage the process because humans are psychologically better equipped to handle the nuance and emotion of customers. Automation shouldn’t be about replacing people with machines; it’s about augmenting a workforce with technology that makes it easier for teams to operationalize scale and quality.  

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