IMHO: Virtual AI Assistants will soon save us from the agony of telephone hotlines

Ah, telephone hotlines. Who does not love them? The endless wait, the awful music on hold, the friendly (or not so friendly) staff who regale us with their standardized answers. It’s almost as if they’re testing us to see how long we’re willing to hang on hold before giving up and crying.

Remember the last time you tried to call your ISP to find out why your Internet is so slow? Two hours of waiting, only to hear that you should reboot the router. Or how about trying to change a flight booking? Three hours of waiting, only to be told that you have to pay a fee that is higher than the price of the original ticket.

But fear not, dear readers, for salvation is at hand! Imagine if instead of real people keeping you on hold, you could talk to a human-looking avatar powered by Conversational AI. This avatar is available at any time, speaks any language perfectly, knows everything and can react faster than any human. Doesn’t that sound like a dream?

Imagine calling and being immediately greeted by a friendly, all-knowing avatar who knows exactly how to help you. No waiting, no standardized answers, just fast, efficient help. And the best part? This avatar never gets tired, doesn’t need pauses and will never be rude no matter how many times you ask the same question.

But wait, it gets even better. For companies operating a hotline with 100 employees, the savings are enormous. Think about salaries, benefits, training, break rooms and all the other costs associated with human employees. With an AI-controlled avatar, these costs could be drastically reduced. And that means companies could invest more money in their products or services instead of spending it on expensive call centers.

Of course, there are always those who argue that nothing can replace human contact. But let’s be honest, when you’re trying to solve a problem, do you really want to make small talk or do you just want a quick answer? With Conversational AI, you get just that: fast, accurate answers without all the human baggage.

And for those worried about AI stealing our jobs, remember: there are still many other areas where human skills are needed. But in a call center? I think most of us would agree that we would rather talk to an all-knowing avatar than a tired, frustrated human.

In summary, the days of endless queues and terrible music on hold are numbered. With the introduction of Virtual AI Assistants, we can finally get the customer service we deserve: fast, efficient and without human error. And for companies, that means huge savings and happier customers. It’s really a win-win situation.

So, the next time you’re on hold and wondering why you’re putting yourself through this, remember: the future is near, and it’s looking pretty good.

Michael Neidhöfer, Managing Director ZREALITY GmbH