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Dubai: How Gitex staff prove robots still can’t beat humans in customer service – News

If you have a question and need an immediate answer, will you ask a robot or a human?

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Published: Tue Oct 17, 2023, 12:46 pm

Last update: Tue Oct 17, 2023, 12:48 pm

They wear T-shirts emblazoned with the words: “Ask me” and “How can I help?” They carry poles and give directions. They distribute brochures, lanyards and help print IDs. They even carry a bouquet of flowers on their heads to attract the attention of visitors.

They are the staff and volunteers of the current Gitex Global, considered the world’s largest technology and startup exhibition, which opened on Monday.

At an international event where robots, technology and AI (artificial intelligence) are the highlights, the human touch reigns supreme. It is still the human staff and volunteers who understand the needs of the thousands of visitors and can instantly connect with them, whether by providing directions or answering any questions in real time.

Kenneth, a Nigerian expat who has been freelancing at Gitex for the past six years, says he enjoys his job. “It’s very hectic but also very satisfying, especially when you help people find the stands or the pavilion they would like to visit,” he said. Khaleej Times.

For Kenneth, his presence at Gitex ensures that everything runs smoothly. There are more than 6,000 exhibitors from around the world and it is a challenge to navigate around 2.7 million square feet of exhibition space.

“When people get confused by instructions, it’s always good to have a friendly conversation with a real person,” Kenneth said.

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‘Always with a smile’

Understanding the nuances of social interactions can still only be done by humans. “And we always have to do this at any big event, like Gitex, with a big smile,” added Mary, from Ukraine, who has been present at the Dubai World Trade Center (DWTC) every year since 2018.

“It is also fun and benefits us to work at Gitex because we get to socialize with a lot of people who come from diverse cultural backgrounds around the world,” he added.

Mary noted that there is no strict requirement to work any event, but anyone interested should have strong communication and customer service skills to respond to visitor queries and even complaints that may arise at any time.

“Patience is also a strong virtue that we must have,” he added.

‘Always alert’

“Another important quality is to remain alert and ready to act on anything that may happen,” said Filipino expatriate Brian Francisco, who works as a supervisor of a group of ushers at Gitex.

“As part of my job, I also inform my team about safety rules and regulations so that in case of emergencies, they do not panic and can take visitors to a safe place. We also alert the medical team if anyone needs help,” she added.

“But most of the time we are kept with questions like ‘where is the location of the toilets’, ‘where can we buy food and drinks’, ‘where is the subway station’, ‘how can I find a taxi’, ‘where is the it’s this stand,’ and more,” Brian added.

“And at the end of the day, we are happy to make sure visitors are safe, happy and comfortable during their visit.”

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