As artificial intelligence becomes more prevalent in various aspects of marketing and customer service, companies who have yet to invest in AI are wondering if they should make the switch. While AI provides the ability to reach more people more quickly, some customer service loyalists are claiming that AI cannot provide the same level of customer service that real people can.

The Argument Against AI Customer Service

Recently, customer service expert Micah Solomon interviewed Rob Siefker, Zappos’ senior director the company’s customer loyalty team. According to Siefker, Zappos customer service model encourages personal and emotional connections between customers and customer service employees. In related terms, they do not use AI-backed customer service technology to handle their customer service requests. Siefker argues that “no matter how ‘intelligent’ an auto-response system can be, there’s no way to replicate the warmth and authenticity that a live customer service rep can offer.” He also says that since every situation is different, people who call or contact the company need to be able to personally assess the situation in order to be able to fully understand the customer’s needs and really help them.

Overall, the biggest argument against AI customer service response is the lack of a personal connection between customers and the company. AI-backed customer service might not be able to handle very specific cases as easily as real and living customer service reps.

The Argument for AI Customer Service

Customer service is needed by every company. Customers need to be able to reach out to companies when problems arise and help is needed. The trouble with only having living customer service representatives is that a company is limited by the amount of people they have available on their customer service team, and they are only available when customer service agents are working.

When a company has a team of customer service representatives who work nine in the morning to five in the evening, that means your customers can only receive customer service help during those hours. When your company has AI-backed customer service, customers can receive customer service help any time of the day. Customers can text, message, or chat in complaints and questions. Then an AI-response system can answer those questions and address those complaints. Most AI responders have a repertoire of questions they know the answers to, and they also grow from experience, so the more situations they come across, the more customer service situations they will be able to assist with.

The Argument for a Comprehensive Customer Service

There are advantages to both AI-backed customer service responders and real customer service agents. Both also have their limitations. While AI customer service is available all day and every day, the might not be able to assist in every customer service situation. And while real customer service agents might be able to more fully help people, they are limited by the number of people available, the hour of the day, and even the language they speak. Every company should assess the customer service needs of its clients and work to better customer service in all its possible forms.