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Has digitisation killed customer service?

I recently telephoned my bank with a query. Well let’s be clear, an automated customer self-service machine. I was connected to someone (a real person) in a call centre who asked me a series of verification questions before transferring me back into a call queue. Repeat of the same and 30 minutes pass without having the opportunity to speak to a qualified staff member. At the end of the call I am asked to complete (you guessed it) an automated survey rating their service.

Personally, I’d much rather talk to someone face to face (and I don’t mean face-time), but who has the time to stand in a bank queue these days? In an era where we live and breathe all things digital, and human contact has perceivably reduced due to the evolution of technology, can we go as far as saying: digitisation has killed customer service?

This got me thinking about the new generation of jobseekers’ experience: You may be happily browsing your favourite news website (the marketers have already identified you as a passive candidate) and a well-targeted online ad appears for your ideal job. You view the information about the job, google the company, read its website and view its staff LinkedIn profiles. You could apply for the job online, receive automatic acknowledgement and communication updates by email. You may then be fortunate enough to be booked into a one-way video interview and presented to a client electronically. Well done!

What’s missing in this amazingly efficient process is we’ve streamlined customer service (as we once knew it) out; the candidate may be devoid of any personal contact at this stage and could be unsuccessful without ever having any.

Put into context with today’s accepted business communication models and our broader communication style outside of work, we’ve become accustomed to email, text messages, LinkedIn, Facebook chats, Skype and a myriad of social networking apps… anything it seems but picking up the phone or actually seeing the person in the flesh.

With the continuing growth of digital, is it possible to create meaningful customer service experiences that are absent of human interaction?

In the contemporary business world, there is increasing pressure to differentiate from competition, but one way to distinguish yourself is to focus on improving all models of customer service.

At Slade Group we take great pride in ensuring open communication with our candidates. Whilst we adopt and embrace new technology to enable more efficient processes, care is taken to continue servicing our candidates and clients, the old-fashioned way.

What’s your Point of View?

Posted in Professional Support, The world @work