Why @ Will Never Replace Personal Customer Service

We’ve heard it over and over – social media and the internet at large has changed the face of customer service and interaction irrevocably.  Technology can not only be used to find and communicate with your valuable customers, it can also replace actual human interaction whenever possible.

I find this almost daily.  I visit the grocery store and can scan my shopper’s card, ring in my items as I go and cash out at the register without ever speaking to an employee.  I can even fill my deli order on the automated touchscreen and pick it up in the refrigerated case next to the counter.  My accupuncturist has an online appointment setter, making it possible for me never to call or talk to him or his secretary before I enter the building for my session. 

But sometimes, the need for personal interaction is imperative to ensure customer satisfaction.  Over the weekend, my new 10-week old yellow lab Mila came down with what appeared to be a severe cough, causing her to make horrible, disturbing noises every few minutes.  Being a new caregiver and terrified of what Google was telling me was wrong with her (hint: do not use search engines to diagnose yourself, your kids, or your pets), I drove her to the 24-hour vet services in Rhode Island.  The staff was terrific and despite the high cost of the visit, I was extremely glad I had peace of mind that my puppy was going to be ok. 

The next day rolled around and I sat at home, dog asleep next to me, when my phone rang.  It was the doctor who had seen Mila the night before, an on-call ER vet who happened to be at home making follow-up calls (and isn’t even her regular vet), calling to check up on her.  She wanted to ensure the meds were helping and that there weren’t additional symptoms or complications.  “Ok,” she replied when I said Mila seemed to be doing better, “Please feel free to visit us again or give me a call if you have any questions.” 

I hung up the phone, realizing that no matter how easy and quick technology make customer service and running a business these days, it will never replace true human interaction.

Posted by: Ashley/ follow me on Twitter

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