CCI Kenya is part of Africa-based CCI Global, Africa’s biggest business process outsourcing (BPO) provider. They allow multinational companies to outsource portions of their digital customer management services to international and domestic clients.
The company works with many international e-commerce clients, including major leading brands in telecommunications, leisure sectors, mobile technology, airline, and energy companies. CCI Kenya and CCI Kenya Call Center is a leading BPO company incorporating cutting-edge technology into its service offering.
Here is CCI Kenya’s Managing Director, Rishi Jatania’s take on the importance of achieving a workable balance between automation and human involvement and how future-thinking contact centers are already doing this.
All kinds of industry sectors worldwide are adopting automation. Many consumers are now used to the concept of automated or AI-driven chatbots on websites, for example.
However, given the rate at which automation and AI are developing and being incorporated into e-commerce, it’s essential that BPO providers, call centers, and contact centers continue championing human involvement with domestic and international clients.
The humanization of automation is critical to successful use cases
If we take Google as an example that everyone around the world is familiar with, we have experienced how technology has completely transformed the way we buy goods and services.
This rapid technological evolution has also reshaped consumer expectations from retailers and e-commerce platforms. People expect deliveries fast, and they want to access customer service 24/7 — and as such, the fast-paced commercial environment has begun to cater to them.
While automated chatbots can deliver this to a level for customer service functions, there really is no replacement in the minds of consumers for human interaction.
CCI Kenya balances automation and human interaction
We work with internationally renowned brands with the highest consumer and customer care standards. It’s our role to find that balance between automation and high standards of human interaction.
As global business become increasingly entrenched in the automation of all kinds of services, and big platforms such as Google come to rely on it more, smaller retailers and e-commerce brands need to catch up.
Working with leading BPO companies like CCI Kenya allows brands to fully take advantage of and reap the benefits of automated services, along with highly trained contact center agents delivering the human touch that people still want.
Keeping up with technology and consumer demand
At CCI Kenya, we constantly update and refine our BPO services to facilitate this delicate balance between human agents and automation.
Full automation is unlikely ever to be the best idea for companies, as there are always errors to be corrected or consumer questions to answer. And while generative AI is great for a basic level of customer interaction, there’s no doubt that most customers demand far greater attention from the brand they’re buying from.
Countries, including the U.S., China, and Japan, are fully embracing the increase in automation within business. In other words, the need to remain competitive globally is beginning to outweigh workers’ concerns about losing their jobs.
Giving consumers what they want
While many people may extol concerns over the rise of automation and profess to be concerned over ‘robots taking our jobs,’ the fact remains that millions of us take advantage of it every day.
The only way that eBay, for example, can facilitate the super-fast order-to-delivery model is through automation. However, smaller sellers lose money every day due to precisely this. But for the consumer, this is not uppermost in their minds, usually ordered via mobile technology.
Most people have become extremely used to being able to order something online and have it delivered right to their doorstep within 24 hours. This quick delivery has set a standard for consumers that others must try and match or fall by the wayside. We find this in a lot of companies before they join CCI Kenya.
The benefits of automation don’t outweigh human involvement
Within e-commerce, there are genuine benefits from automating platforms. However, this sector also sees errors and a consistently high level of consumer questions that need answers.
For customers, it can be extremely frustrating only to have a basic chatbot to interact with when asking specific questions. Automated customer support (as part of a global delivery network) does allow access to a level of assistance 24 hours a day. Still, for consumers who want answers to more complex questions, it’s arguably damaging for a brand.
If e-commerce companies over-rely on automation for customer service, they will lose customers or fail to deliver consumer sales.
Trained CCI Global contact center agents provide the human touch
At CCI Kenya, we believe there is a place for AI-assisted customer service chatbots and automatic billing functionalities for e-commerce clients. But we also know that even the most sophisticated and intuitive AI or automated systems simply cannot replace the quality of a human customer service agent.
Contact center agents come with their own personalities, emotional and empathetic responses, instinctual abilities to communicate with people on all levels, and, at CCI Kenya, a vast amount of training and expertise to sustain specialist capabilities.
These human qualities are why automated customer service platforms should never replace human agents. The human touch is the means to deliver excellent customer service and achieve meaningful customer engagement.
Dealing with the emotional needs of customers
Consumers or businesses interacting with an e-commerce platform who get stuck in a loop of automated replies that ultimately lead nowhere will only become more frustrated.
A chatbot cannot de-escalate a nuanced situation that has become emotionally charged — our contact center agents can. We must remember that consumers and customers are concerned about situations involving their hard-earned money.
Naturally, emotions may run high, and the importance of a BPO contact center, therefore, is to have highly trained agents equipped to mitigate, de-escalate, and end up with a solution that works for the person involved.
Without this, consumer trust in the platform, business, or brand will inevitably erode.
We all need human-to-human communication
At a certain level, whether we are working for a multinational platform or an entrepreneur with a startup, we all want human interaction.
In an increasingly automated world, this is becoming more and more important. Arguably, the enforced mass lockdowns due to the Covid-19 pandemic exacerbated people’s need for human-to-human interaction.
This realization is sinking in for many brands that are now incorporating non-automated support into their sales pitches. They realize how important this is to their customers and potential customers — and CCI Kenya offers the ideal balance on behalf of a brand or business.
The future of customer service lies in the BPO sector
It’s also worth remembering that automation needs human interaction and intervention for it to work. So, while some express concerns over job losses, the World Economic Forum (WEF) points out that by 2025 there will be a net increase of 13 million jobs linked directly to facilitating automation in different forms.
We don’t yet know how far automation within business will change our world. We do know that it has already shifted much in our lives by making it possible to carry out certain tasks faster and more efficiently.
But for businesses to successfully scale, there must be a place for human involvement and interaction, regardless of how far automation goes. People will always be frustrated by a lack of connection, and customer communication and compassion are what we strive for at CCI Kenya.
It’s increasingly becoming the role of contact centers and BPO providers to bridge the human/automation gap for business partners and clients. Finding this balance is going to become more important for every brand and business everywhere around the world. And the BPO sector is perfectly positioned to provide this.
About CCI Kenya
As part of the CCI Group, CCI Kenya is the leading business process outsourcing provider for outsourcing customer service centers in Kenya. CCI Kenya provides a range of customer management services, including outsourcing services for call centers, digital customer management strategies, lead generation, consumer sales support, and all other support services involved in the customer life cycle. For more information on outsourcing customer center services to Sub-Saharan Africa (including CCI South Africa and call centers in West Africa), please visit CCI Kenya.