It seems every month a cool concierge service app comes on the market. These apps range from telling you where the best Mexican food is near your hotel to scheduling your travel for you. Whatever it may be, even as we get more reliant on technology, and as artificial intelligence (AI) advances at a seemingly fast pace, the human touch is still required or expected by consumers.
Why? Because in today’s world we all want personalized, impeccable customer experiences. And though AI bots might be able to get the job done, they still struggle to be personal, relatable and perfect (see the mistakes of Microsoft’s Chat Bot). So it seems autonomous tech in the customer service world may still need humans after all.
As we move further into the 21st century, we stay in the 20th century when it comes to the demand for human interaction. Behind many great apps and tech-savvy services, human touch points remain. Think of the revamped Hilton HHONORS app and a company like Shyp.
One great example of this is Pana, the app that is bringing us the travel agent of the future. The app makes it as simple as starting a chat, then telling the person where and when you need to travel. Once you quickly hear back from your own travel specialist, you’ll see a few flight (plus hotel or restaurant, if needed) options and you make the purchase in-app.
But, what makes Pana even better is that your now-personal travel specialist will update you as your travel plans approach, check you in for your flight and let you know if there are weather conditions or other unexpected reasons for a flight delay. With 24/7 human interaction capability, it makes booking travel and fixing any unforeseen issues a breeze.
Another great service is DUFL. A concierge service that provides you your own professional packer. And no, robots are not packing your bags for you, you are – with the help of an app and some DUFL employees. Another impeccably simple app for the user, which allows you to send your favorite business travel clothes in a provided suitcase to a storage warehouse. Your items are stored there until you pick what you want packed from your in-app closet. It’s then packed and delivered to your hotel the day you arrive, sent back when you leave, and so on and so forth.
Though these apps have a level of AI working for them, they are able to marry AI and real-life humans to create a more personalized experience. AI is great for managing and predicting behaviors, while the human element ties it all together making the consumer feel like they were personally and individually served.
Until bots can learn to display true empathy and emotion, it looks like humans are here to stay – at least, for now.