In a bold, somewhat audacious move that is already the talk of the business world, a leading tech firm’s CEO replaced 90% of their support staff with artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots, triggering a discussion on the evolution of customer support and the role of AI in it. Is it the end of human touch in customer support, or does it signify a more comprehensive future for customer service delivery? Let’s delve in.


First, it’s important to understand that AI chatbots aren’t exactly the alien force they’re often made out to be. In the last decade, the integration of AI into Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms has been a transformative change, allowing businesses to maintain round-the-clock interactions with their customers. AI is not only changing how businesses operate, but it is also revolutionizing the customer service landscape by automating many processes, making them faster and more accurate.

So, why are we surprised when a CEO takes this concept to a new level by replacing a large proportion of their support staff with AI?

AI chatbots are changing customer support from being just a responsive function to a more interactive and dynamic one. An AI-enabled customer service chatbot can answer up to 70% of simple, FAQ-oriented customer questions or direct customers to find additional information or resources on your website. They can provide instant support, significantly reduce the number of support tickets, minimize customer support costs, and even collect real-time feedback, thus offering a seamless hybrid of human and AI-driven support.

Industrial revolution

The idea of replacing human support staff with AI might sound alarming to some, echoing fears from centuries ago when machines started replacing human labor during the Industrial Revolution. But let’s take a leaf out of history. The Industrial Revolution eventually led to societal improvements and advancements, pushing the world forward in ways previously unimagined. AI, often hailed as the ‘fourth industrial revolution,’ has the potential to be as transformative, if not more.

But it’s not just about replacing humans with robots. AI needs humans to train it and get smarter. It also requires a seamless front-end and human experience for effective deployment. Thus, the reality of AI in customer support is not a replacement of human staff but a collaboration of humans and AI working together to deliver a superior customer experience.

AI in customer support

In fact, the advent of AI in customer support can be seen as an opportunity for humans to engage in more complex, higher-order tasks, leaving the mundane to AI. This allows businesses to keep their workforce engaged in more challenging, valuable tasks, while at the same time ensuring that customer queries are dealt with swiftly and efficiently by AI.

In conclusion, the recent move by the CEO might be considered audacious, but it’s perhaps more of a statement of the inevitable. AI is here, it’s changing how we do business, and it’s high time we embraced its potential. Let’s not view AI as a threat, but rather a partner, working hand in hand with human staff to deliver a superior customer service experience. It’s not about machines replacing humans, but about machines empowering humans to do what they do best: think, innovate, and create personalized experiences that machines cannot replicate.