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The Best Service Humanly Possible


August 6, 2015 - 7 Comments

Sitting in traffic the other day, I tuned off my Peter Frampton Spotify channel and started to listen to New York area local AM radio. The president of a mortgage business came on in an advertisement. He ended his pitch with the tag line “I promise you the best service humanly possible”.

This caught my attention. At one time I would have viewed this as a very positive statement. But is this still the case?

Consumers consistently cite the “indifference of one person” as a key reason they leave a supplier relationship. (Source: TARP).

The contact center industry has long counted on non-human software applications to attempt to emulate human interaction. This could be as simple as “if-then” routing schemes to sophisticated avatars which emulate human engagement (just “Ask Jenn” at Alaska Airlines – http://www.alaskaair.com/content/about-us/site-info/ask-jenn.aspx)

Customer experience becomes an interesting proposition when we introduce the “Internet of Things”. This will involve connecting upward of 8 billion devices that become new potential points of service.

Perhaps the “best service possible” in the future will comprise less human involvement, as “things” replace “humans”. By knitting together these “things” with smart algorithms, service can become far more predictive than reactive.

We’re seeing the beginning of this trend now. Most human interaction into contact centers come after all other forms of service have been exhausted.

“The Best Service Possible Based on the Combined Capabilities of Our Software and Things You Bought From Us, and as a Last Resort, Our Human Staff”.  A mouthful, but perhaps coming to an interaction near you soon!

What do you think?

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7 Comments

  1. The best service is ultimately no service at all in a way that it happens without the request for the service. And this is the ultimate goal to know before our customers what they need.

  2. Agent assisted service is normally used to handle failure demand of self service. If you haven't been able to self-serve then you escalate to a human which normally results in low satisfaction and is costly to the organisation. Human service should be there for when you want it, say for complex or high value interactions, not when self serve fails. The future of service is predictive, you might want to call it "Show me the Way" service. - Steve

    • Steve - Great point and way to bring Mr. Frampton into the discussion. I guess “Something’s Happening” in the customer experience market!

  3. True, The Best Service Possible Based on the Combined Capabilities of Our Software and Things You Bought From Us, and as a Last Resort, Our Human Staff”. It will also reduce cost per seat for business.

  4. As self service becomes better with mobile apps and IoT, maybe contact center will move from human agents using apps to more apps using human agents when necessary (last resort). Exactly the thing we are trying to do with Remote Expert Mobile that allows to see live collab as integral function of the self service mobile app.

  5. Good point I want my service issue resolved faster then any human could resolve it.

  6. Like you I have spent my entire career attempting to be of service to people. As technology changes you see the ebb and flow the service oriented ethic. I am most interested to see how it morphs and changes with new technologies and yet stays fundamentally a proposition of how one person may work with and for another to accomplish a common objective. The tools change but the fundamentals, not so much.