75 million to 375 million people globally may need to switch occupations by 2030 due to automation, according to a McKinsey report.
Is it time to ask ourselves, “Will robots take my job?” The answer may lie in rephrasing the question.
What’s to gain by losing jobs to automation?
“It’s inevitable that AI will and probably does replace some jobs,” says Nate Masterson, CXO of beauty product company Maple Holistics in an interview for this article. “But the amount of work it adds to the market far outweighs the amount of work lost.”
While automation may cause decline in some occupations, it will also create new occupations, as well as require adaptation of social and emotional skills, according to McKinsey. The report states that occupations that could likely see the highest job growth in the age of automation include healthcare providers, engineers, technology specialists, educators, managers, and executives.
Creativity = the new “job stability”
“People who deal in creativity have the least to worry about, as long as they can monetize,” explains Masterson. “We try to take advantage of all the new ways to get our customers’ attention, as well as find new ways to give our customers the experience they’re looking for.”
According to the World Economic Forum, by 2020, complex problem solving, critical thinking, and creativity will be the top three skills for future jobs, as creativity is a key component in harnessing emerging technologies. But there’s also a widening shortage of creativity as a skill.
“U.S. companies have reached a tipping point in their customer’s digital intensity and need to rebalance their digital and traditional customer services investments if they want to improve loyalty, differentiate themselves, and drive growth,” explains Kevin Quiring, Managing Director, Advanced Customer Strategy, North America Lead, Accenture Strategy. “Companies abandon the human connection at their own risk and are facing the need to rebuild it to deliver the varied and tailored outcomes that customers demand.”
Is Customer Experience safe?
As the value of customer experience as a business function rises, so does the importance of the job.
And while there’s clear opportunity to harness customer experience to increase brand loyalty — the estimated cost of customers leaving a business due to poor customer service is $1.6 trillion — is this a job that can be done by a robot? Should CX professionals be asking, “Will robots take my job?”
Investing in many aspects of business, including customer experience, means striking a balance between effectively utilizing new technologies and automation while recruiting for and developing skillsets such as creativity, empathy, clear communication, and the ability to adapt with new technologies.