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From the coffee machine that’s programmed to brew when you wake in the morning, to the fridge that sends you a text when you’re running out of groceries, even to driverless cars – without doubt automated systems are getting smarter and smarter.
We come across automation every day, and while it can save us time and energy, it’s not always the best solution. Think about when you call your bank and have to sit and listen to nine different options that don’t really apply to you before you’re allowed to press zero and speak to a real person. Think about when you’re trying to speak to your satnav to get directions, but it doesn’t recognise your accent. Think about when you’re on the self-service checkout and you hear the dreaded robotic voice ‘unexpected item in bagging area’…need we say any more?
Not only can automation be hugely frustrating when it’s not effective, it’s also one of the biggest barriers to building meaningful relationships between company and customer. Often companies build automated systems to save money, but through this sacrifice their customer service.
Automation also removes all personal responsibility, which means that when faults do occur (computers can make errors too!), you don’t get the accountability you would from a human being. Removing automation from the equation puts the onus back on the employees to check, check and check again; using initiative to put problems right rather than relying on an inflexible computer system. With automation, it’s incredibly easy for anomalies to be missed.
For businesses that deal primarily with human beings, automation is hugely impersonal. As a company, we’ve found that our customers are reassured that they can pick up the phone and speak to their dedicated point of contact whenever they need to. All of our customers are given a personal payroll or credit controller, who becomes an expert on their business. An automated system simply cannot replace a human being with a bank of knowledge and a vested interest.
The bottom line is – computers do not care about your business. Whilst automation can be a savior to many organisations, it’s our accurate, reliable and above all personal service that we pride ourselves on.
Back Office Support Services promise never to lose the human touch. We strongly believe that good business is built on a foundation of good customer service – which is often the biggest downfall of automated systems.