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Marks & Spencer replacing call centre staff with AI

Marks & Spencer is replacing switchboard staff with artificial intelligence to increase the speed it deals with customer complaints and queries.

The new technology will transfer customers to the correct department. Those making calls about the availability of products  will be transferred to a specialist team with business-wide stock availability and ordering capabilities.

Customers previously spoke to a human operator to redirect the calls.

No redundancies have been made as a result of the change, and 100 staff members will be reassigned to shop floor roles.

The new technology will be used in all 640 M&S UK stores by the end of September, as well as its 13 UK call centres. The system is able to handle more than 1 million customer calls every month.

An M&S spokeswoman said: “The transition of our store switchboards to a new technology system is part of our five-year transformation programme to create an agile, digital-first M&S that offers the best value and service for our customers. Investing in a technology that helps our customers get what they want faster and easier is that ambition in action.”

Readers' comments (1)

  • Good PR. Reality is that this is a cost cutting exercise. Automated switchboards are nothing new and many are still frustrating. Let’s hope for them AI makes a difference.

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