Customer Service Versus Technology.

Shawn Casemore • No Comment
Posted: January 13, 2012

During a recent visit with friends, I was surprised to learn of the new automated process required to report their son as arriving late for school. The concept behind the 15 step automated telephone process, although somewhat more burdensome then obtaining a doctor’s note, seems sound. In the event your child is reported as absent, both parents are notified immediately.

Having children myself, this sounds like the value outweighs the effort that is until I heard of the problems my friends have encountered. On two separate occasions during the past few months they had both been notified that there son was not at school. Having ensured he was dropped off earlier in the day, the news sent them both into panic, resulting in numerous calls to friends, relatives and the school directly. In both instances, the cause was found to be a teacher incorrectly marking their son as absent. An honest, yet frightening mistake.

How is technology helping or hindering your business? Automated answering services may allow for the redeployment of administrative staff, however can create significant burden for customers. Lack of personal attention; inefficient menu options; frustrating message loops will only lead to three possible outcomes:

1. Customer complaints.

2. System shortcuts.

3. Customer departure.

Have you called FedEx to obtain quick pricing or tracking information, only to be stuck in a seemingly endless loop of options? Have you experienced the friendly, yet extremely annoying services of “Emily, the automated attendant” at Bell?

Technology is meant to enhance business efficiency and improve the customer experience, the later taking precedence over the former. The next time you consider a technology change, be sure the customer’s experience will be enhanced, not impeded by the implementation.

© Shawn Casemore 2012. All rights reserved.

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