Robots May Become Go-To Customer Service Reps

Robots May Become Go-To Customer Service Reps 620 330 C-Suite Network

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The customer service robot market will be worth US$88 million by 2022, according to a report Tractica released earlier this week. Annual shipments are expected to increase from 2,730 units in 2016 to nearly 4,800 in 2022.

The robots will be both humanoid and non-humanoid. However, telepresence robots, chatbots, and stationary customer interactive systems that don’t have moving parts are not included in the count.

Nearly half of all customer service robots will be deployed in the Asia Pacific Region; other significant markets will be North America and Europe.

Demand for customer service robots is driven by the following factors, according to the report:

  • interactive marketing and re-branding strategies;
  • the cost of human staff;
  • customer service digitization and competition;
  • robotics as a tool for customer behavioral analytics;
  • the shifting roles of human staff; and
  • initiatives to promote robots for the service industry, particularly in Japan and China.

Jobs for Robots

Robots will be useful in situations where customer interactions are standardized and repetitive — such as in banks, shopping malls, family entertainment centers, exhibitions and events, airports and stores, Tractica noted.

Robots “can pick up where self-service in kiosks leaves off by humanizing some of the capabilities and using other sensory areas such as vision, hearing and speech to improve engagement,” said Ray Wang, principal analyst at Constellation Research.

“The demand’s coming from the automation of lower-skilled white collar jobs,” he told CRM Buyer.

Japan’s Henn-na Hotel, for example, is fully staffed by robots, Wang pointed out.

A number of organizations already are using robots on a trial basis in…