In my company the major use of technology was creating our proprietary software back in 2007 and then launching the OARS App in December, 2018. The App has provided a tool to discuss report results, commend frontline team members for their excellent service or review service opportunities while on the floor without taking the employee back to the office to review on their desktops. Our technology has given them the freedom of face to face connection with their frontline teams.
The one key factor we have to consider when it comes to technology, even though it results in consistency and efficiency, is that it can be at the cost of personalised service. We hear so much about the disconnection that people have with each other and the rise of loneliness, we all need to take the time to get up, meet and connect with each other. Emails and phone calls are great, but nothing will take the place of a face to face meeting where you can share a story, laugh, connect with their environment understand more about each other’s organisation and the people who bring it to life and their customers.
With the general decline in customer service, organisations who have focussed on this key area have actually created their own “service differentiation”, whereby customers feel valued by the use of their name, genuine greeting, providing options, making a real connection with them, making them feel “special”.
While technology is wonderful and it certainly has improved the process and delivery of products and service, we can never allow it to take over from the human connection.
Of course, there will always be those customers who prefer the “high tech” solution that creates a seamless transaction, as they maybe time sensitive compared to others who want the interaction – therefore organisations need to provide a service that meets and exceeds their customer’s expectations.
Just because efficiency may produce an increase in profits is that just a short-term gain to a long-term loss in customer retention, loyalty and advocacy!
Too often we see new managers entering an organisation and wanting to change “things” because it is going to be more profitable without first taking the time to connect with the leadership and frontline team and ask “why things are done that way and what will be the effect and outcome if they are changed”. By having an open discussion where all parts of the business, employee and customer aspects are assessed then a wholistic approach to technology and the overall customer service experience will be achieved.
Where has automation and technology changed the way you do things in your organisation?