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Human Tech Support Still Has a Future Tech will empower, not replace, human beings.

By Chris Porteous

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Adam Kuylenstierna | EyeEm | Getty Images

The brisk pace at which the digital era has redefined contemporary life has many people asking whether their jobs are secure in the future. A rapidly forthcoming tide of robots and automating software, we're often told, is just around the corner from stealing our livelihoods and rendering most human employees obsolete. Is there any truth to these predictions of doom and gloom, especially when it comes to the IT sector?

Despite the hubbub being raised over automation and the ongoing IT boom right now, it's a simple matter of fact that humans will always be involved in tech support. Here are some of the ways that tech support is changing, but why it will always need human technicians no matter what the future holds.

Related: AI Won't Replace Us Until It Becomes Much More Like Us

People don't trust robots.

The most important fact that needs to be established upfront is a relatively simple one -- people don't trust robots and would much prefer that another flesh-and-blood-being handle their problems than a piece of cold, calculating hardware powered by a computer-brain. Despite the fact that many proponents of automation and the ongoing digital revolution claim that software can offer a better experience than human technicians, many people will feel uncomfortable relying on a machine for everything when it comes to their tech support.

Recent surveys have driven this point home time and time again; the rise of AI-powered chatbots has been discussed endlessly, for instance, but surveys routinely find that many customers rate their chatbot experiences poorly and would prefer a human face when interacting with a company. This trend isn't going away anytime soon, especially as today's scary media images of robots as calculating killers coming to take our jobs expands as time goes on.

When it comes to tech support in particular, many customers will simply demand a human presence. While much of today's tech support is becoming more digitized and remote, many customers -- particularly older ones -- want technicians to come to their homes and help them with their problems in a hands-on fashion, for which everyday human workers are essential. Making ethical decisions in the tech support industry, too, is something that simply can't be outsourced to emotionless machines that lack the moral compass of astute human employees.

Related: Don't Get Beaten by a Robot: 3 Ways to Ensure Your Job Survives Automation

Customers will also want a human nearby so that they have a real person to take their anger out on. As pessimistic a prediction as it may be, it's unlikely that the current trend of customers who are angry at robots taking their fury out on real life people will end anytime soon. When machines and software inevitably fail, as all things do, then a person will need to be nearby, not only to fix the issue, but to take the brunt of the blame from a furious customer who needs to express their frustration.

Tech will empower, not replace, human beings.

As is true in virtually every economic sector, the tech support industry will see rapid digital innovations largely empower its workforce rather than replace it. Exciting technologies like artificial intelligence and virtual reality, already used in automated backlinks, are packed with potential, but are also confusing and generate a mess of challenging questions. The role of human beings in solving these questions can't be understated. When things go wrong, human creativity will be needed to make them right again.

It can be easy to give in to the paranoia and insist that the robots will have all of our jobs sooner rather than later. The doomsday predictions that are so rife in today's market are largely overblown, however, most often produced simply to generate clicks. Despite the rising digital tide, human workers will always find that companies value their presence and need their expertise if they want to cater to the largest audience of consumers as possible. Elsewhere, companies will also soon discover that human employees are simply reliable in the way that many machines aren't.

Related: Artificial Intelligence Will Be the Greatest Jobs Engine the World Has Ever Seen

To be a human tech support worker in the digital era is no easy task, but it's certainly not an impossible role. Human tech support professionals will oftentimes find themselves called upon to be the face of their company when it needs to interact with angry customers. Furthermore, they'll find themselves to be the only professionals with the needed-knowhow to fix machines and re-code software programs when they inevitably break down or become compromised, thanks to outside attacks.

You can thus be reasonably assured that while AI-powered, automated customer service is likely to increase in the next few years, humans will always be around. Software can be compromised, and cold machines simply aren't friendly enough to satisfy customers who demand a human touch when soliciting IT help. Above all else, however, the creativity of everyday human workers and the resiliency of employees who will doubtlessly find new ways to make themselves useful guarantees that human tech support still has a future.

Chris Porteous

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

High Performance Growth Marketer

Chris Porteous is CEO of SearchEye, which offers unbundled digital marketing projects for clients and agencies across the globe.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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