Channel 4 hit a home run with its 2015 series Humans, hailing it as its most successful drama in 20 years, with the first episode alone being viewed by 6.1m people. Proof that - as much as we love our smartphones - we’re all a bit concerned about the rise of the machines.
It’s understandable that businesses and customers alike sometimes worry that business automation technology could replace the human element in the workplace. However, as Howard Williams, Marketing Director, Parker Software, explains here, these tools can actually enable more meaningful human interaction.
Let’s say you’re in a shop that sells laptops. You definitely want a new laptop and you know it needs to be light enough to carry around and powerful enough to keep up with your heavy workload. You stroll along the aisle and all the labels claim they meet your requirements. You’re at a loss. Cue the helpful store assistant who can offer advice and guide you in making the right choice.
That’s what makes the difference isn’t it? The human touch. We don’t want that taken away from either our personal or professional lives because being able to interact with another person helps us make more informed choices. However, modern businesses of all shapes and sizes are increasingly relying on online channels for both purchasing and sales.
The European B2C E-commerce Report 2015 showed that European e-commerce turnover increased by 14.3% in 2014 to reach €423.8bn, proving the growing popularity of online purchasing. Yet, if in your hunt for a laptop you sat frustratedly comparing options on a website rather than in store, where is the assistant, the human touch that could help you? Cue business automation.
With just a little technological wizardry you can set up a live chat solution to step in at the same point an assistant would in a store to engage the customer. From there, it’s all about human interaction, because (believe it or not) there’s an actual person sitting behind that live chat pop up! So rather than being the antithesis of person-to-person communication, technology tools are actually bringing human interaction to the digital world.
As with all technology, this approach is only a success if it’s done in a well-rounded and targeted manner. However, it’s clear that – for now at least – advances in business automation that can help your digital business think for itself are helping to bolster the human touch in a way that will greatly improve the success of your business. So perhaps there’s no need to be worried about the machines taking over just yet!