Spotting patterns, complex logic, common sense, will, curiosity all amazing traits of humans.
So why do we insist, particularly in the service industry and specifically in this example contact centres, on controlling each and every interaction tightly?
Managers will say it’s striving for high standards and consistency, I would say whilst that’s important each customer doesn’t always have a simple problem to help resolve.
A complex issue with your product or service, if met with scripted responses, will only antagonise your important customer.
I have recently had a few “dealings” with a large mobile telecoms company, a red one, and been the poorer for doing so both financially and in spirit.
I clearly have a bug in my account setup, it’s non standard as I have bolt ons and a joint account with shared allowances with inbuilt thresholds. That said every time I encounter issues with service or products I always get the same default responses.
It might be a systems limitation that mean the cases raised in the system of my previous interactions might not be visible to the agent or it might be that steps 1 to 173 on the script must always be followed and in order (i’d at the very least love a complex decision tree)
In this recent example I’m trying to continue my subscription with Spotify which is managed via the red mobile organisation.
I received an SMS a few days ago, which I’m now thinking was in error, offering me the opportunity to create the spotify subscription for my contract.
On logging into the site my current subscription has been flagged for cancellation.
So i reregistered, it failed, I say failed, it wasn’t successful, no error though. I contacted the contact centre 4 times and on each occasion settings were refreshed and things removed and added, no errors were seen but now cannot see any subscription. My spotify premium still works though, madness.
I think the thing that frustrates me most, given I’ve explained my recent interactions, is i’m forced to try the same things again. In this example, turn off and on again and wait [input random time here between 30mins and 24 hours] for things to refresh, never works and my time has been wasted.
Who knows if ill ever see a spotify subscription again all I do know is if people are forced to follow scripts i’s rather speak to the robot, AI with the ability to learn is far more preferable.
Herb Kelleher of southwest airlines fame focused on the satisfaction and autonomy of employees, if they were motivated and empowered and believed in the company then they would ensure customers had a great experience whatever steps were needed, this resulted in customers coming back and recommending them to friends and family.
The infamous Mark Ridley once said (yesterday in fact) “evolution gave you a brain, may as well use it”.
A recent report on the register (http://m.theregister.co.uk/2016/06/28/forrester_reports_ai_will_create_jobs/) whilst calming fears on all of humankind being replaced by robots, did once again confirm that this would be most desirable outcome in the customer service environment. It’s already happening with software creating automated but personalised responses based on customer input. In fact, maybe I’m already talking to robots. Just wish it wasn’t the off and on robot.
So, if you don’t want to be replaced by a robot stop acting like one….