Only Hamsters Like Hamster Wheels

By Bonnie Watts, CEM

Every day of our lives is filled with interactions with businesses and service providers. Technology has transformed the way and speed in which we obtain services or connect with businesses. However, after a recent experience I had with one of the largest social media platforms, I wonder if we’ve gone too far with automation.

If you’ve been on the planet very long, I’m sure you’ve experienced the frustration of being caught up in automated phone systems, simply trying to reach or connect with a live person. More and more businesses even have a link for CONTACT US or HELP on their websites. Because we are living in an immediate-gratification kind of world, businesses have learned to predict what our challenges might be and provide all possible solutions in an automated format. But what happens when they haven’t predicted every possible challenge and there is no clear way to connect with a live person to help point us in the right direction for a rapid solution?

Frustration. Customer dissatisfaction. Possible loss of loyalty.

Do you make it easy for your customers to effortlessly connect with you to discuss challenges and obtain a solution? Or do you make them get on the hamster wheel of automation? Have you ever put yourself in your customers’ shoes and tried to access your organization’s customer service? How easy or difficult is it? Automation can help our business run more efficiently, but has your organization over-automated?

Bonnie Watts, CEM, is IPMI’s vice president of sales.