Balancing Humanity with Technology in Customer Service

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Balancing Humanity with Technology in Customer Service

Rosie the RobotAs we move deeper into the year 2016 and the 21st Century at-large, many of us have begun to wonder if the entertainment industry and dreamers of yesteryear were wrong. We’re not all in flying cars, the kids aren’t (safely) using hover boards, and the average home is not equipped with an internal computer system that asks you how your day was. Films like Back to the Future and television shows such as The Jetsons seem to have missed the mark on what life in “the future” would look like.

Although the dates may be off, the implementation is inevitable. Advanced technology is being tested and rolled out via large private organizations around the world. The goal of incorporating technology into the customer service experience has gone beyond automated answering services and computerized help systems. What does that mean for your company’s customer service protocols? Will live personnel at hotels and restaurants go the way of automated customer service lines – all technology, no humanistic approach? Can our customers of the future expect to be met with automation, androids, and kiosks? Quite the opposite, it would seem.

In a recent article by Micah Solomon published to Forbes.com, we discover that several international brands have been quietly mixing technology and human touch. The preferences of regular clients have been identified and stored in a computer system accessible to every branch and location enabling the same personal experience no matter where the client is in the world. This personal touch effect is handled on-site by a live person and becomes reminiscent of the one-on-one, concierge service of times past. Companies such as LDV Hospitality, a leader in the Food & Beverage industry, take great care in keeping these systems out of view of their clients. Customers are not directly asked what they prefer or given any forms to fill out. Rather, staff are encouraged to be observant toward regular customers and add their preferences into the background system. In this manner, clients are pleasantly surprised when they arrive at an LDV location and are met with their regular drink request.

You don’t have to own a multi-million dollar company to begin using technology to the advantage of your customer service experience. Ritz-Carlton started its customer service system by tracking just five preferences per guest and setting a goal of meeting at least three of those preferences on every subsequent visit. It can be as simple as noting the time of day a customer calls in or requests a call back; monitoring a shopper’s preference for paper, plastic, or reusable bags; jotting down how formal or informal your client keeps the interactions. Based on your business, your level of interaction, and your desire for personal touch service, business owners can create their own cheat sheets while empowering employees to add relevant information.

For more on adding a personal touch to your business, contact At Your Service Consulting. Let us help your business Deliver Out of the Ordinary Results.