I work in a call centre for a bank – the company has already started slowing down on new hires as the systems in place are becoming more automated.
I lived through the fear of wondering whether my job would end up going overseas, but at least then it would’ve been taken by someone with mouths to feed!
Is my job likely to be taken over soon? Should I start looking for something else already? What?
Probably not! Considering where we are now with technology, robots can’t give customers the type of experience that they want. People want personal replies, they don’t want to feel like they’re talking to a robot. Any company that goes in this direction right now is going to feel the consequences.
Once artificial intelligence is so developed that it can replace humans, you may want to worry. But I’d wager that we’re still a few years out from that.
That said, you may want to focus on developing your skills just in case. We may be totally surprised and machine-learning will explode in the near future replacing all of us customer service reps. Or your job could always be outsourced to a cheaper country.
But even then there is some contention as customers want to feel like CSRs are close by and actually part of the organisation.
In short – you don’t need to be looking for another job right now, however, it’s a good idea to start developing your skills in other areas.
Is your job likely to be taken over soon? Well it probably depends on who you ask, and what your definition of soon is.
What’s pretty much certain is that improved technology will make parts of your job redundant.
But you can choose to be optimistic about the changes – if automation helps answer the most common questions, then you can focus on tackling the complex queries your customers have, making your job much more fulfilling.
Of course, to do this you’ll need to make sure that you can communicate well and do things that robots can’t do so well – like negotiate and empathise.
So I wouldn’t start looking for a new job (not for this reason anyway), but I would think about how you are developing your skills to make sure that they remain valuable in the future.