Tuesday February 20, 2018
6:10 AM Pacific [ROSEVILLE]
A recent Harvard Business Review Article “The Parts of Customer Service That Should Never Be Automated” (Ryan W. Buell Feb 19, 2018) points to the few things that we should simply leave alone.
Today I’m just gonna give it to you straight…. the list of 4 things to automate and 2 things to simply leave along.
So, here goes:
Let’s face it, as a business owner, you don’t have time to do everything manually in your business. And, when you focus on manual labor, the only way to scale your business is to add more manual labor. But…
when the labor market get’s tight, you might have to move or open a new branch, just to get the critical assets you need to have your business thrive.
And… if you believe the Harvard Business Review (which I don’t normally), then here’s a quick list of those things that you can automate:
1. Transactional stuff – this makes it easier for customers to get the goods and services they need. In today’s society, we see this with self-checkout at the grocery stores, swipe your card for coffee and just put money in the till and grab your sandwich to go. This reduces friction and keeps your customers moving through the sales process. In fact, you can even use this tip with delivering information or having them sign up for your mailing list. Simple. Effective. (and one reason we’re in the Digital marketing business)
2. Non-Human Resources – that’s right… I said it. A lot of the human resource requests are actually requests for information, filing claims, signing up for this or that. These are non-human resources because they don’t actually require a human to provide the information. Automate this and you’ll have extra energy for the real “human resources”.
3. Giving Your Customers Transparency – Something special happened when Michael Dell moved out of his dorm room and into a factory to build computers…. he gave customers visibility into the process. He had a special system developed that took the anxiety out of ordering a computer because you could know exactly where it was in the process. And, taking it a step further, have you been in an Uber lately? It makes hiring a ride super easy…. tell us where to pick you up, we’ll ping you as the ride gets close, and then if you want to watch your ride go turn-by-turn… then you’ve got that too. By they way, you’ll know the name of your driver, what he/she looks like and the type and color of the car they are in. Now, that’s transparency!
4. Special Offers and Appreciation – While not every special offer or token of appreciation should be delivered electronically, it does provide a simple way to get the best offer into the hands of your best customers. It’s one of the reasons why I like sending you an email (almost daily). If I didn’t, I’d have only a few ways of telling you about the great things you can do to boost your bottom line in your business today. And, if the communication is too much for you… you have the option of opting out (it’s the unsubscribe link at the bottom).
** Now Onto The Things You Should NEVER Automate **
1. Getting wound up! Let’s face it… business can and should get emotional. It’s inherent in what we do. We get excited, scared, anxious, angry, etc. And, if we do our jobs right… we’re whipping up those emotions in our customers too! The best testimonials I get are from super-excited people like this:
“Wow! That’s an amazing comparison Bradley! Awesome Man! Thanks for posting!” Tim Verdouw, Re-Engager
So… when this happens, we need to interject ourselves and be geniune. If you see the thread this is in, you’d be going on and on about how I appreciate the shout out and the kudos. It’s very personal! So… of coarse, it’s not automated. Machines can’t express emotion (yet).
2. Riddle Me This Batman! Yep. Sometimes our customers actually need help solving a problem. Solving a problem with the product, with the service, or with something that’s not even related to either of those. There’s no way a computer can process the way a human can in these situations. And… it’s unreasonable to try to put together a phone tree or online maze of questions and answers to get them the help they need. It’s a human thing!
And while we’re at it… it wasn’t in the article, but we don’t automate our appreciation quotient. We simply use this…
PS: So, which 1 thing are you going to work on today? And, you might think email messages are “automated”, but they aren’t. I sit here every day so that I can talk directly to you. And, when I get replies back – I know it’s working. Have a great day!
6:32 AM Pacific