Chatbots Are To Quantity What Humans Are To Quality
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Customer service and the values that underpin it are, in some ways, ageless. A company creates a product or provides a service, and customers have questions, concerns, or innovative ideas for how the product might be improved, which the company gets.
The capacity of a customer to contact a company is a Soft Trend that may be influenced by exponential digital technology; nevertheless, the presence of a customer reaction is a Hard Trend that will always occur.
Because exponential digital change and the disruptions that come with it are speeding up like never before, many companies and organizations are turning to Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) tools like ChatBots to help them deal with the flood of customer support demands.
Humans are the clients
While artificial intelligence (AI) applications offer a forward-thinking approach to handle customer demands, there is one missing skill that I've addressed in other industries: human competency, or the art of customer service.
I am an outspoken supporter of disruptive digital technology and its enormous potential to enhance and change our lives for the better; nevertheless, it is important to remember that the ultimate user of any product or service is always a human person.
As a result, it would be naive to believe that everyone is always fully pleased with their experience utilizing a ChatBot or other artificial intelligence (AI) tool for assistance with their iPhone, car insurance, or even their Wix website.
However, according to my Skip It Principle, which teaches business leaders to identify a real problem and skip what they think is a problem, the real issue with customer service A.I. applications isn't the application itself; it's the lack of critical thinking from the human counterparts who complete the transaction!
While conducting research for this blog, I recently talked with someone about their most unpleasant customer service encounter. They screamed, "Best Buy!" still enraged. Their customer service is atrocious from beginning to end, especially for a technological company."
To cut a long tale short, this person bought his wife a Spotify gift card from Best Buy, and when it didn't work with the Spotify account she had, he wanted to return it. The science was covered by the ChatBot online: this gentleman's return ticked all the criteria, and it simply advised him to return it to his local Best Buy, as long as it hadn't been used.
He did so, only to be greeted with blank looks from multiple workers at the customer care desk, who not only had no idea what kind of procedure to follow that the ChatBot had advised to this guy, but also informed him he couldn't return the gift card despite being assured he could.
This person eventually got his refund a month after his purchase, swearing never to buy at Best Buy again. His simple request to return this card evolved into a full-time job's worth of lost time, and it was all because to humans slacking on the art of their professions, thinking science would take care of everything.
Customer service's pre-mortems
Unexpected problems will always arise in any organization, regardless of industry, and they will almost always come via the customer service department.
However, a key skill of my Anticipatory Organization® Model is the capacity to pre-solve foreseeable issues, which is how you can improve your customer service and, in turn, go beyond success into importance with your company.
Instead of leading from behind, a company should perform a pre-mortem, which is how you use my Hard Trend Methodology to detect foreseeable issues with a product or service before they become a public problem.
Let's return to the Best Buy example, but this time consider how the business might respond to the customer service failure by doing a pre-mortem. This one is really pretty straightforward.
The customer support employees obviously had a legacy mentality and were caught off guard when they assumed gift cards could not be returned. In this instance, a pre-mortem might include utilizing the fact that they do accept gift card returns for marketing purposes, and ensuring that every customer care person at all of their locations is well-versed in how to return a gift card and when they may not be able to return one.
Use feedback in a public forum to your advantage
It is no secret that consumers on social media are outspoken and outspoken. Every little snafu they have at a company may be tattooed in the comment area of the company's social media pages for everyone to see.
Again, technology isn't the root of the issue. Sure, there were no receptacles where you could go to check how many people publicly hated a restaurant in the years before the exponential acceleration of internet connection; nevertheless, word-of-mouth marketing has simply become tangible.
The idea remains the same.
This has the advantage of allowing a customer support staff to make better use of technology. Respond to consumer concerns in public to see if you can restore the confidence that has been harmed, and make sure you do it responsibly.
In the same way that a robot is not a sentient creature and cannot sympathize with discontent like a human customer care agent, this is another example of the art side of customer service.
You must constantly remember that there is a human aspect to customer service in order to convert your customer service into one with an Anticipatory mentality and offer pleasure to those consumers who may reject the idea of ChatBot technology. Explore my Anticipatory Leader System to learn more about these and other concepts!