Automation is all the rage for businesses. Studies show that automating business processes can improve efficiency and accuracy while reducing costs. It reached a point where it almost seems like there’s nothing that can’t be automated, with businesses either going remote or adopting artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to automate their workflows.
Studies show that almost 60% of businesses have either adopted or are planning to adopt automation in the next 12 months.
But as efficient as automation can be, businesses still require people. Employees are a company’s most valuable resource, and there are some tasks that humans do better overall. Here are a few areas where businesses shouldn’t automate and instead focus on developing their workforce.
If there is one business function that requires people more than machines, it would be customer service. Chatbots, for example, are commonly used to offer customer support, with some studies claiming that they can provide up to 80% satisfaction rates. But they can only do so much.
Customers want to talk to another human being when they’re having an issue. They want someone who can empathize with their problem and offer a solution tailored to their needs. It is something that machines cannot do.
The bigger your company is, the more customer service representatives you need for your customer support team. But even if you’re a small business, you should still have at least one customer service representative who can handle customer complaints and inquiries. Of course, automation and technology will still be valuable in your customer service operations. But it would help if you only used them to complement the human touch, not replace it.
Sales is another area where businesses need people. No matter how good your product or service is, you still need humans to sell it.
Some companies use chatbots and artificial intelligence technologies to automate their sales processes. But these technologies are still not at a point where they can replicate the human touch and personal connection needed for sales.
For example, imagine you’re trying to sell a new product to a potential customer. They might have some questions about the effect that a chatbot or machine couldn’t answer. Or maybe they’re undecided about whether they should buy the product or not. Salespeople get trained to handle these objections and close the deal.
The best salespeople are usually the ones who build strong relationships with their clients. They understand their needs and can offer solutions tailored to them. This is something that machines cannot do.
Recruitment is another business process where humans are still better than machines. You can use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to help screen candidates and identify the most qualified ones. But you still need humans to conduct interviews, assess non-quantifiable qualities, and make the final decision.
Some companies are starting to use artificial intelligence for their recruitment process. But AI technologies are still not at a point where they can replicate the human touch.
For example, imagine you’re looking for a candidate with specific skills. You might be able to find someone who meets all the qualifications using an ATS. But to find the best candidate, you need humans to assess their capabilities and match them with the job requirements.
You also need humans to conduct interviews and get to know the candidates personally. This is something that machines cannot do.
Packaging is a business process making strides by incorporating automation. After all, it is more efficient to have a machine wrap and seal a box than to have a human do it.
But there are still some areas of packaging that require humans. For example, imagine you’re shipping a fragile item. You might be able to use a machine to wrap it in bubble wrap. But you still need a human to put it in the box and ensure it is secure.
The same goes for items that are too big or heavy for machines to handle. You might be able to use a device to package them. But you still need humans to load and unload them onto trucks and other vehicles.
However, the most vital process in packaging where humans are necessary is product placements in packaging. There is a design in every box telling the consumer what is inside. A machine cannot make these kinds of decisions.
Still, packaging thousands of products can be time-consuming, not to mention expensive to pursue in-house. Fortunately, you can partner with a company that provides hand packing services to ensure you can design each product’s packaging feels personal.
As much as businesses would like to automate everything, some processes still require humans. This is because machines cannot replicate the human touch.
So if you’re thinking about automating your business, make sure you understand the limitations of technology. Otherwise, you might end up replacing humans with machines that also can’t do the job.