We know it’s 2018 and automation is upon us.  How much can it possibly take over our lives?  Can we automate our coffee pots to put a smile on our faces?  Probably.  Can we take an infuriated customer and solve their problem fully through automation?  Let’s find out.  

Don’t get us wrong, we know Automation is important! Design News writes, ‘these tools will drive both continuous improvement and more fully optimized business operations. But where do the people fit in?’ 

Humans can make you smile, Automation can’t have emotional responses

Customer service is not always going to be the most positive experience for everyone.  In fact, 90% of the time you contact customer service due to a problem that is occurring.  Half of the world want to solve the problem and the other half want someone else to solve the problem.   

When we reach out to customer service, we expect them to be sincere when they say, ‘have a nice day’.  An automated system may direct you to where you need to go, however, can it make a joke, crack a smile or make you laugh when you are deeply frustrated about your problem?   

Where is the line between having a robot direct you to answers and having a human change how you feel about your problem?  

National Business Research Institute states,  



Humans still desire human interactions, Automation is a part of the social isolation 

Even though we complain that we have to actually pick up the phone and speak to another human, we secretly crave the interaction.  Our problem is more than just a few clicks through an automated system only to not find the answer.  We want to hear someone on the end who wants to help us.   

Humans want to know that there are people out there who are caring about our problem, no matter how big or how small.  It’s innate in nature for a human to want human interaction, no matter how much technology isolates us.  It’s basic science in nature.   Automation will bring us to another screen that brings us to another screen that brings us to frustration.   

Automation reduces work for the Human but also turns off the Customer 

What we found is automation takes a win here as it does provide the legwork for the customer service representative.  Having an automated service that allows us to dial through where we need to be, reduces the amount of work needed to do for the representative.  This does not mean, however, that it doesn’t turn off your customer.   

Larry Alton writes it’s estimated that 29 percent of customer service positions could be automated with chatbots and other technology, saving businesses $23 billion.  

Humans breathe a sigh of relief when they call a customer service number and the first thing they hear is a human voice.  That can’t be said for the automated lines where the first thing they here is a Siri like voice asking if you would like Option 1 or 2.

Have you ever screamed into the phone “SPEAK TO A REPRESENTATIVE” so fiercely that you cursed all automated systems?  We have all been there, don’t feel bad.  And then you try your best to be nice to the customer service agent because it’s not their fault their system has been redirecting you for the last half hour.  

Automation needs to know when to stop and let the Human take over 

 The fine line between having automation field the inquiries and humans interacting is just that.  It’s very fine.  As a large company with high volume, you want to be considerate of everyone’s time.  The customer, the company, the customer service representative all play a huge roll in this.   

Automation is healthy when it is done properly.  Harvard Business Review shares The Parts of Customer Service That Should Never Be Automated.  

If you think on the simplest of terms, we need to do just that, keep it simple.  An automated system will politely welcome their customer, field 1-2 questions and then introduce them immediately to their agent.  


Humans don’t like to wait, Automation takes some time to direct 

One of the biggest thing about automation is that it is quick!  On the flip side, it is a hurry-up-and-wait scenario.  Say we get the phone answered faster, but then we have to wait to get through all of the prompts.  Is there a benefit of having a faster system that actually has the customer waiting longer?   

Impatience a big factor in customer service.  Customer service representatives understand that by the time they actually speak to the customer, they may be impatient, to say the least.  Is it more beneficial to just help them through the fielding process individually so you can help them be patient with the situation?  

Humans like to know they are taken care of, Automation can’t go above and beyond 

The bottom line in all customer service problems is that they want to know at the end of the conversation that they were cared for.   VIPdesk Connect has learned that it’s not about the problem, it’s about the person. No matter how big the problem, the customer is always right.  Right?  That means that if automation is set up, there is no way that the problem will be served with an above and beyond attitude.   

Going above and beyond could mean the difference between having a customer and keeping a customer.  Customers are not only right, they are entitled to their opinion, they will share socially to the world and they will scream and rage if they want to.  To go above and beyond is every single company’s mission and automation simply can’t do that.  




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