Artificial intelligence is a polarizing topic… One that can conjure images of a dark computer overlord, outsmarting inferior humans and taking over the world. But for most of us building, designing, and working with automation, I would venture to say that the elimination of human labor isn’t the goal… quite the opposite, actually. The truth is humans were made better by computers: smarter, faster, more efficient. The opposite is true, too. Humans are necessary for creating a seamless automated process and providing a contextual perspective. For example, take the tricky business of autonomous trucks. Self-driving truck fleets will overlap with some human jobs, yes- however, those can be narrowed down to the least desirable routes. Another plus side: humans are needed for jobs that use their driving skills in new ways: fleet management, truck maintenance, etc.
The same holds true at kea.: automation creates new and more exciting opportunities for people. Here’s a bit more on how we think of the “human meets computer” love story at kea.:
The software behind kea involves two aspects: the phone automation system that is activated at the restaurant level and the online dashboard that stores order data. The phone system answers calls from customers without interrupting the flow at the restaurant, where employees are often inundated with ringing, especially during peak hours. The system can take an order, list the specials, and pretty much take over the mundane aspects of taking a phone order. Computers can do a host of tedious tasks for humans, so they can focus on the more exciting tasks, for example, websites like Kayak come through millions of flights to find the most appropriate and best-priced deal. This leaves humans time to do the tasks they enjoy: perhaps researching destinations or picking the best sights and restaurants. Of course, if you find any of that boring, too, you can have a computer step in for as much or as little of the process as you would like. Some people, however, may not like the or trust the computer to tell them how to spend their time and would prefer to chat with fellow travelers or the hotel concierge at their destination. The same is true for kea: the customer who needs extra help can elect to speak to a human meaning those who like to kick it old school are covered too. Then there’s the dashboard. If the automated phone system is the cool, flashy technology behind kea, then the dashboard is the practical side of the software, keeping everything organized. The dashboard lets the restaurant owner and staff manage important information, like when an order was placed, the transcript of the order, any notes made by kea’s team, and more. This way if any questions come up, technology steps in and answers them right away.
Our team of customer service experts are able to handle every aspect of phone ordering that automation does not. When the customer forgets to mention a dressing for their salad or crust type for their pizza, our experts call back and provide the “human touch,” realizing that an order appears amiss and stepping in to ensure the customer gets exactly what they wanted. The human also makes the dashboard more robust by inputting any notes that might be useful for the restaurant on the back-end. For example, if a kea team member called a customer to get coupon information, that will be reflected in the dashboard- and even in the order notes or special instruction on the restaurant’s order ticket! There are a number of instances in which employing humans will make computers more effective, for example, therapist-bots. Though they provide the basics of the cognitive behavioral therapy experience, humans are also on staff to step in when the conversation becomes too sensitive, for example, when the user mentions hurting themselves or others. Providing exceptional support and service is made possible by the human.
Computer + Human
Do you feel the love yet? Our system is all about the ways that the human and computer support each other. Technology helps save hours of labor time at restaurants and allows employees to be specialists at in-store customer service, with automation handling the unfavorable aspects of their jobs. The software also keeps staff organized with helpful data on pending and past orders. In these ways technology is making the human better and work smarter. Meanwhile, the human fills in gaps in context, and in turn makes the software more useful. Plus, when the customer needs a little extra help, the kea support team is on it, making sure they are never alone. Without the human, the order flow would be impossible to perfect. And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen, a perfect match.