“By far, the most requested improvement from customers was “Better Human Service” - “The Cost of Poor Customer Service” by Genesys Global Survey, 2009
Until machine learning and AI get good enough, nothing is more important than the quality of your people. Many business leaders overestimate the effect new tools and underestimate the value of those using the tools, leading to disappointment after the implementation of new systems. Give me the best baseball bat in the world and I still won’t be able to hit a real fastball. Having great service staff truly matters.
People want better human service because they want real service. They want to feel cared for and attended to. They want their problems solved. Self-service is great for common problems, temporary problems, and a lot of other things, but it can never replace a great service experience with a real person.
Here’s a common example from mobile gaming:
John has experienced a bug while playing your game and he chooses to do a search through your FAQ. He finds that the bug is common and that it will be fixed in a patch that will be “coming soon.” After reading it he closes the game. He might have his answer, but he most likely doesn’t feel good about it.
Jane has a similar experience, but instead of going to the FAQ, she decides to contact your service staff immediately. She reaches an agent through your service chat and after a polite and informative conversation, the agent offers to send her a small gift for the inconvenience. Jane accepts, logs back into the game, and finds the gift waiting for her. She feels great and decides to keep playing around the bug.
One experience builds positive associations and goodwill towards your brand, the other is neutral and potentially negative. The difference is the human element behind it, the technology is exactly the same. Putting the emphasis on the tech without the people to use it is a sure way to continue your service failures. Tech is important, but not as much as your team.