The Customer Service business is expected to meet its ending within 3 to 5 years time. In the past, when customers need help with their bank account or about their internet connection service call center agents handle the problem. After a long wait, an agent would answer and determine how they can help. But because of the long queue and number of transfers, customers might no longer be in a good mood.
Call center agents absorb the stress of the customer and attempt to provide the answers. Countries like the Philippines and Asia are some of the nations offering BPO service. Call center workers in the Philippines account for just 3 percent of the country’s employed population but the high wages might not last forever due to the existence of AI intelligence software.
Automation technology has advanced greatly and it is predicted that within 2 to 5 years time, a lot of call center jobs would be transferred to AI robots. Companies have already started automating more low skilled tasks like data entry to AI robots. Companies in the Philippines are already getting services of chatbots, computer programs with artificial intelligence already answer basic customer service questions. Instead of hiring thousands of call center agents to man Facebook accounts more and more AI software is being used.
These AI robots can now perform more sophisticated programs and are predicted to become better than human counterparts in just a small amount of time. This is because AI robots continue to learn, all possible scenarios of handling the situation and are even able to learn different types of language including tagalog.
Automation is seen to be a good cost-cutting move by companies who are looking into saving money for other ventures. Instead of losing millions to basic customer service queries, they can just use AI robots. AI robots are awake 24/7, do not require any special bonuses, and can work effectively without being interrupted by other external issues. One of the top companies offering their AI robots services is IMARK international, the AI software that they are using can already customize and make responses more human-like for customers.
In the next 6 years, low skilled jobs in the outsourcing industry will decline by 28% and this is expected to increase in the coming years. But Filipinos should not be worried because this will be the invitation of better learning- when Filipino call center agents are no longer bothered with menial tasks, they can start learning more complex and high paying types of jobs. According to the Frost& Sullivan “This is not a challenge but an opportunity for the Philippines to handle more interesting, more complicated tasks and come out a winner,” he said.
The next generation of Call center agents, in order to remain in their jobs, need to be better educated and with better language skills. Before his inauguration on June 30, the new Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, promised to spend more money on educational programs to match employers’ needs.
The next generation of call center agents who will remain is required to have critical thinking and complex decision making to be able to retain their jobs and get higher paying jobs. There are jobs that are repetitive in nature which can already be done by AI and automation. For this reason, employees need to learn more and increase their capabilities.
The automation of tasks or use of artificial intelligence is growing, with services being made available even on social media platforms in the form of messenger bots, and on smartphones as virtual assistants.
The group AI literacy Philippines has already started its information campaign for Filipinos and has partnered with a number of websites. In order to help usher in the age of AI technology in the Philippines. Filipinos must be given an equal opportunity to understand what is going on and there should be more intelligent discussions even on social media to help keep up with AI consciousness.