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Technology fails to substitute for customer service

From Tribune News Service
Source: Tribune News Service

Technology is fantastic. We can use our phones to hop online, phone a friend and send a text—often simultaneously. Our computers come equipped with programs to make our lives smoother. However, there’s one place that would be better off without technology—customer service.

Many companies remain oblivious to this fact and continue to allow technology take the place of an actual person. Automation increases efficiency, but it also makes interactions impersonal. Naturally, the decision to make machines assume responsibilities comes down to money.

Companies are constantly concerned about their bottom line. They want to keep costs in line with what they’re bringing in on a monthly basis. This is called “staying in the black.”

Simply walking up to a machine and completing a transaction can be fast and convenient. In a fast-paced society, this has become ideal. Our current culture has created an atmosphere where we’re all impatient. We want to cut minutes from our daily routine to create additional leisure time, becoming as mechanical and impersonal as the machines themselves.

We have to find a way to allow technology and humanity to coexist peacefully, which is definitely easier said than done. As technology evolves, it should continue to make people’s lives easier without losing the level of attention that a person can provide.

Customers want the companies they’ve grown to trust to stay true to themselves. They expect that their favorite companies will continue to do business the same way they always have. This can be hard for some companies to do as technology and demands change.

When these businesses change their operations, customers can become disenchanted with everything and begin to look for somewhere else to do business. Larger companies may put less time into customer service because they know that if one customer leaves, more customers will take their place.

Companies are not going to change their ways unless their customers rise up and demand change. A single customer is not going to do the job. This customer can make as much noise as they want, but if it doesn’t make a dent in a company’s bottom line, their words fall on deaf ears.

It shouldn’t have to be this way. If the old adage “the customer is always right” is true, more companies need to take it to heart. Rather than coming up with ways to hide their poorly managed customer service protocols, they should operate in a way that keeps the customer in mind. They should listen to the feedback their customers give them and be willing to change their business accordingly.

The fact that businesses openly defy their customers’ reasonable recommendations is mind boggling. A small business would never conduct themselves in such a way because they realize that without their customers they are nothing. Smaller businesses answer complaints in a timely manner and adjust accordingly to avoid future complaints.

What happens to companies who lose sight of the importance of making customers happy? One might assume that the impersonal approach many companies take comes as a result of their tremendous growth. No company should become so large that they lack the ability to take care of their customers. Companies need to maintain a steady growth pattern that allows them to change their protocols to account for their new business.

Time does crazy things to every segment of our society. Regardless of how much time has passed, we must never lose sight of things that have worked in every era. We have to stay true to the values that used to give us joy in our daily lives. We must understand the leverage we have in the business world. Without our money, companies would never get off the ground.

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