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Five Reasons Virtual Support Will Supplant Human

by Mark Gaydos  |  
July 6, 2010

I can pretty much guarantee you that, soon enough, the folks you talk to online for sales or service are not going to be human. In fact, the people you interact with for online sales or service support aren't even going to be real—they will be virtual agents.

Why? The answer has a great deal to do with human nature, as well as with current budget constraints.

Are you old enough to remember when televisions had knobs? I am. I remember turning a mechanical knob to tune into one of 13 stations that my TV was capable of displaying. And if you remember knobs on TVs, then you probably also remember calling up companies that managed your money, such as banks, mutual funds, and brokerages, to ask simple questions: What's my balance? What's the current price of my fund? Has my check cleared?

The interesting thing about that process is that you called up and actually spoke to people to get those answers. Although usually friendly encounters on the phone, they were time-consuming and sometimes the person you spoke with didn't have the answer you were looking for.

The Human Touch Gives Way to Automated Responses

Then one day the financial institutions you relied on implemented an automated system that would get you answers on the phone without your having to talk to a human.

At first the experience seemed unusual, but soon enough you recognized the value of getting rapid answers to most of your questions 24/7. More complex requests, of course, had to be escalated to live human support.

You embraced your self-reliance while the companies you interacted with embraced their financial savings—the beginning of a win-win relationship.

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Mark Gaydos is the VP of worldwide marketing at VirtuOz (, a virtual-agent solution provider. He is also the author of Marketing in the Time of Cholera (

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