I am the customer: Jo Causon

“Automatisation will free up people for real service roles”

Numerous reports have been published recently suggesting that artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics could compel governments to legislate for quotas of human workers and disrupt traditionally accepted working practices. They warn that the idea of creating differentiation between organisations, based on customers’ service experience, could be eroded as robot production lines and intelligent computer systems undermine the need for human activities.

In my view, however, there is no denying that ­automatisation is a force for good where it removes activities that are purely transactional. Doing so will free up people to undertake real customer service roles and activities, creating more job satisfaction – and therefore, engaged employees – as people can be retrained for customer-facing roles that require a greater level of interaction.

With the world of work changing fast, utilities should focus on people development so that employees have the right skills, competencies, capabilities and training to be able to deliver in their roles.

The apprenticeship levy does encourage people development at one level, but good employers will be those exploring ways to upskill their people across the full range of today’s multi-­generational workforce. Automatisation and AI will not just affect new entrants to the labour market so employers should be deliberating how they create a workforce fit for purpose now and able to handle the future.

Author: Jo Causon, chief executive, Institute of Customer Service,
Channel: Customers
Tags: Recruitment and Training

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