Design: This paper contributes to the discussion about the firms’ approach to artificial intelligence (AI) in frontline interactions under the conceptual umbrella provided by Knowledge Management studies (KM). Purpose: This paper recalls the attention on a key challenge for customer relationship management (CRM) related to the role of human agents in the management of the ‘switch point’ (SP) for ensuring the effectiveness and efficiency in a customer-machine conversation. Findings: This paper provides a theoretical model for clarifying the role of human intelligence (HI) in AI based frontline interactions by highlighting the relevance of the actors’ subjectivity in the dynamics and perceptions of customer-machine conversations. Originality: An AI-HI complementarity matrix is proposed in spite of the still dominant replacement view.
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