The headlines were cranked up to eleven:
“Google’s Duplex AI could kill the call center.”
“Google Is Reportedly Looking to Take Over Call Centers.”
As usual, the press misunderstands the role of the call center, and the forces that might make it grow or sink.
The demand for real-time human-assisted help – whether by voice or text – is not primarily a result of insufficient self-service tools. There are already many ways for companies to offer self-serve interactions to their customers. Adding a new format of self-service is exciting, and potentially useful, but rarely moves the needle in the balance between self-serve and human-assisted service.