Are chatbots taking away jobs?

by Alycia Mellesmoen Alycia Mellesmoen | Feb 5, 2021 8:00:00 AM

What is a chatbot?

A bot is a computer program that automates certain tasks, typically by chatting with a user through a conversational interface. They are assuming roles traditionally performed by a human being that were positions of tier-1 support operatives and customer satisfaction reps. Many corporations have adapted to chat bots which will help customers request rides, purchase movie tickets, order food, schedule flights, and much more. Here are some corporations that are using chat bots today: Lyft, Fandango, WSJ, Whole Foods, MasterCard, and Staples. 

Photo by Alex Knight from Pexels

Are customer service agents scared of losing their job?

It is hard to tell if over the years if chatbots will be taking away more and more job opportunities. However, it is known that there is a concern of employees in customer service roles currently. A small sample of monthly search statistics from the UK emphasized the concerns of many people. There were 590 people that searched “Will robots take my job?” in a given month. This is a growing concern for many in a customer service roles in the world as technology is continuing to evolve at a rapid pace. In the UK, the Finnish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment concluded that 15% of today’s jobs would be replace by artificial intelligence.

Has Covid-19 impacted the use of chatbots?

There Covid19is no doubt that that current Covid-19 pandemic has put a lot of stress on many jobs in the U.S. As many companies have adopted a work from home environment, many call centers had to reduce its staff at their contact centers. In addition, many companies in the medical field have been getting an increase in inbound calls from customers seeking information about Covid-19. From the rise of call volume and limited customer service agents, many companies had to accelerate the process of adapting to a chatbot. For example, Brian Pokorny, an IT director from New York at Watson Assistance for Citizens, developed a chatbot within a few days to assist callers with common questions that included Covid-19 symptoms and where to get tested.




How are chatbots reducing costs at contact centers?

The goal of the chatbot is to help answer and resolve any inquiry that a customer may have. This is to help reduce the call volume in the contact centers and wait times due to limited staff. The chatbot is taking away more job opportunities because it is taking away the need to hire more expensive human agents. I work for OnStar in sales closely with our contact centers. I can conclude that hiring more agents to answers the calls is not always the answer. There are high-cost factors that include training and onboarding an agent, incentivizing the agent for sales, paying the supplier, paying agents overtime for periods of high call volume, and contests to motivate agents that may include gift cards or other prizes. Training the agent is the highest cost on the list, because many times we have to pull team leads and longer tenure agents off the floor to help train and coach the new agent.

Are chatbots really taking away jobs?

In conclusion, chatbots will be taking away customer service agent jobs as more companies are adapting to the technology. Chatbots are a powerful tool for companies to eliminate their cost and to create a better customer experience. Customers can now get answers in real time without the hassle of waiting on hold to speak to a customer service agent.


  1. Have Consumers Bought Into Bots? A Look At The Current State Of Chatbots, Chris Zilles, June 18, 2018,

  2. 10 of the Most Innovative Chatbots on the Web, Dan Shewan, January 26, 2021,

  3. 9 Great Examples of How Brands are Using Chatbots, Larry Kim, May 23, 2018,

  4. Lyft,

  5. The Wall Street Journal,

  6. Fandango Brand Guide,

  7. Spotify,

  8. Whole Foods hosting pop-up Italian dinners, Andy Nelson, February 12, 2020,

  9. The Story Behind Mastercard's New Logo, Steve Olenski, July 14, 2016,

  10. New Staples logo does what it says on the tin (sort of), Dom Carter, April 04, 2019,

  11. Will AI-powered chat or chatbots replace human jobs and how far should self-service go?, Niklas Vernersson,  April 15, 2020,

  12. The pandemic is emptying call centers. AI chatbots are swooping in, Covid-19 is accelerating job losses in an industry that was already automating work at a rapid pace, Karen Haoarchive, May 14, 2020,

  13. Orbita COVID-19 chatbot screenshot, Eric Hal Schwartz, March 18, 2020,

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