It is hardly a shock to suggest that stronger businesses are built through good relationships and trust; yet still so many businesses operate through calls centres and automated systems which leave customers confused and frustrated.
The reason? Of course, a mix of cost, systems and efficiencies. However, as the Disney Corporation has noted, it is important not to view customer service and experience as a cost but as an economic asset. However, it should not require one of the World’s leading companies to say the obvious. It is also a harder issue to unravel as, in truth, as the world has become increasingly competitive so margins have become tighter and every business strategy team look at how they can small percentage points of difference to maximise returns.
At the end of the day, it does come down to how important each business views possessing a personal relationship with their customers or clients. Great service is an expense which one needs to consider the return on investment and also how it does truly impact on developing customer loyalty and spend.
- How you do like automated services? Research has indicated that the majority are often left confused and frustrated.
- Should the use of technology replace the human touch and shouldn’t the first impression be personal rather than automated?
- In 2018, the Edelman Trust Barometer noted that: “The demise of confidence is driven primarily by a significant drop in trust in platforms, notably search engines and social media. Sixty-three percent of respondents say they do not know how to tell good journalism from rumour or falsehoods or if a piece of news was produced by a respected media organisation. This lack of faith has also led to an inability to identify the truth”
- In 2020, it noted that: “A majority of respondents in every developed market do not believe they will be better off in five years’ time, and more than half of respondents globally believe that capitalism in its current form is now doing more harm than good in the world.”
- Aviva the leading insurance company noted that automated systems do not generate trust. They noted: “ As innovation and automation increases, so does the debate around its trustworthiness. Would you go to a robot doctor? Would you entrust your child’s education to a Robo-teacher? Would you feel safe in a driverless car? Many wouldn’t”.
To be effective in building trust with a guest or customer, then service does matter. If lost trust is to be regained once again, then, of course, companies are going to have exceeded expectations; it will not just happen without more investment in creating either stronger personal connections or higher service levels, even through technology. The prevailing view is that the above has been a natural stage in evolution, discovering how technology can work effectively but the challenge is to find the right balance between technological advancement and higher service standards. There are many examples when personal service can be improved through technological advancement.
The real question at the heart is how do businesses build strong “fan” bases and trust with those they serve?