“Please listen carefully to this menu as the menu has changed”. “Your call is important to us but please leave a voice message”. “If you need more information go to www – dot – whatever dot com…”
Customer engagement automation is the first impression when engaging with a business. The rest is history. The intentions were good – yet the results are telling us we made huge mistakes. Automation on the business relationship side didn’t really bring any progress in our business – but alienated our business from our most important asset: our customer base.
I’m not talking about automation on the production side of the world – I’m talking about automation on the business side, the relationship side, the interaction side. Businesses are spending more time, resources and money automating whatever a team is doing then ever before. All done with the intention to be more effective – yet the ‘effect‘ is that we are loosing customers – not winning them.
Billions get invested every year in:
Sales force automation
Low touch sales model
Automated Phone Systems
Business process automation
Anonymous market surveys
Market research to find what our customers want
… and on and on
In the end much more money is invested in automation than in smart and human customer experience models.
If you stop automating your engagement processes – you force yourself to create real relationships. And as you “re-invent” relationships it may lead you to new ways to engage, it may lead to better an deeper relationships and it may lead to a level of advocacy that you never experienced before. Automating garbage collection is one way – reducing the volume of garbage is a smarter way.
Automating customer engagement may had been a legitimate experiment in business improvement – but it failed. Focusing on relationships and customer experience shows much more success.
Just give it a shot!