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Process Automation and Customers: Time to Cool Down?

Process Automation

Process Automation for Customer Relationships: How to Get There?

No matter the location. It can be any place in the world. A customer calls a company, usually from the financial segment (banks, credit cards), for consultation or support. He is asked for some kind of identification.  And from there, the ordeal. Layers and layers of options, all automatic. Maybe, at the end, with a lot of patience, it is possible to talk with a human being. Who may or may not solve the client’s query or problem. If the last-mentioned, he/she will probably put it back into the “system”. In other words, a new start. How far have we come with customer relationships process automation?

Artificial intelligence was one of the star technologies in the past decade. One of its distinctive parts is chatbots. Many of you may wonder what chatbots are. Well, a chatbot is nothing more than a computer program that simulates conversations via screen prints or voice. These programs “learn” from our answers to give more accurate responses in the future. The problem arises – and here we can also add automatic menus – when we don’t find the answers we are looking for. They probably refer us, in the case of a web page, to some kind of form, or to leave our phone number in the case of a call. We remain at the mercy of the company, which will decide when and how it will communicate with us. In other words, our problem or consultation, without a solution.

So Now, What Do We Do?

I’m not against technology at all. Quite the opposite. I believe it has improved and will continue to improve our quality of life. In particular by eliminating repetitive tasks, freeing up time and allowing us to do more challenging activities. This does not mean that, in the quest to save costs and improve processes, we dehumanize business relationships. Because it is not out of place to remember that, until this moment, business relationships are between people. So, without waiting for government regulations – which usually make the situation more difficult – isn’t it time to go back to the source, that is, to listen to the customer’s needs? From those of us who are in one way or another involved, it is time to think seriously.

 

Thanks to Shay Rowbottom and Majo (in Spanish) for the inspiration for this post.

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