Another concern involving the use of automated systems with customer service has arisen, and it also entails seeking out algorithms to do tasks that humans can do easily enough with the right training, skill and industry pedigree.
The New York Times reported on a startup that's developing software that can analyze the vocal tones used by customers in conversations to determine their "true feelings."
While a person is speaking, the software works to detect the patterns used in speech and match them to specific traits that can be recorded and used to make judgments. These can be as sophisticated as "emotional fatigue" and "loneliness" which can theoretically help operators read between the lines.
The problem is, this sort of practice could be a crutch that a perceptive group of customer service representatives don't need. The article quotes Professor George Lowenstein of Carnegie Mellon University on the dangers that might cost companies some of their sense of humanity.
"It seems to me that the biggest risk of this technology is not that it violates people's privacy, but that companies might believe in it and use it to make judgments about customers or potential employees," he said.
Just like the other unspoken aspects of a conversation that this blog has talked about, a live answering service can do so many things that companies might not be aware of because of the focus on technology. The best way to figure out the effect human understanding can have on your customer base is contact professionals in this field and start incorporating them into your services soon.