Online Newsletter for Call Center Personnel
Rosanne D'Ausilio, Ph.D. Editor and Publisher
Volume VIII, Issue 6

Date: June 1, 2007 - Customer Service is Declining Again

According to a new survey from *Hornstein Associates, customer service standards have hit an all time low in 2007.  Email response to customer queries declined 50% since 2002.  The report argues that a heavy reliance on technology—with little attention paid to best practices—is responsible for companies’ poor performance.

 I disagree with the reason they attribute it to—yes it’s about reliance on technology—but not because of little attention paid to best practices--but rather, little attention paid to the human aspect of customer service.

Twenty five years from now customers will not metamorphose into machines.  There will continue to be people who want and/or need to speak to—either in person, via phone, email, text chat, whatever touch point—a human being.  They people want to be touched.  Maybe that’s why they call them touch points?  There are also issues that cannot be handled with technology.  Therefore, the human touch will always be required in certain circumstances, and/or by certain people.

 This is not to say that technology doesn’t have its place.  I’m all for technology to make our lives easier.  I’ll even use it to report my power outages.  However, in a recent storm when I was the first to notify the electric company that we had no power, voice response didn’t do it for me.  I wanted to speak to a human and so I used the zero out option and got one.  And I reported it to her, asked a myriad of questions, and got my answers.

Having the choice is what makes the difference for me.  If I don’t have a choice or an option to speak to a human, and especially if I get caught in one of those loops in the VRU, I am going to go to the competition.  And I’m not different from any other customers.   Don't you agree?

Technology is there to support us, not replace us! 

Remember, people don’t care what you know until they know you care.

 * Customer Relationship Management, June 2007, pg. 16

2007 Human Technologies Global, Inc. All rights reserved.

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