Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto

March 30, 2008

While reading this post by Seth Godin, I started to think about his last line in the post.

Do you know what most people want? They want you to care.

And also about a line he used in the middle of his post

Humans like humans.

And it inspired me to right this rant/post of my own. One thing I noticed changing at an increasing rate much the same rate as technology is the lack of interactions in business that are person to person. I know there is something to be said about the convenience of dealing with a computer, where the only mistakes made are generally your own, a computer won’t mistakenly lose your order, or give you green when you asked for red, but mistakes will happen, or we as the customer will come to a point where we need assistance. In general “Frequently Asked Questions” can solve about 50% of the problems we will encounter on websites or electronic devices but, for that other 50% when we have to call in, I don’t know about everyone else but I’d really like to talk to a person over a machine. I can deal with a few touch tone questions but when I’m yelling at a computer to tell it what my problem is and then it spits out some automated answer, then it gets a little annoying. I can’t think of any examples off hand, but they have been more frequent as of late.

Companies have to realize that as things become more and more digital that they will lose touch with their customers, and with that it will appear that customers are treated more and more like numbers than people who the company cares about. The majority of interactions with customers can be done by computer, such as buying, selling, advertising, and feedback, but where customers have questions or concerns they should be met with open ears and knowledgeable minds, not a mic and a database.

I’ve found myself lately dealing with smaller companies just because I get treated more like a person. Sometimes I like to be Thomas Godfrey, the guy who is buying parts for his 1995 Honda Civic, instead of Order number 568375 buying part number 3954. There are sometimes I don’t mind being the number and buying a common part that I know will work and that I will be happy with, but if it’s a special part or order I want to have some interaction. In saying that I will also say that I don’t like dealing with companies where there is person to person interaction only. I find a few sites are still order by phone only, which is fine as long as you are available when they are available. So I feel that companies need to find the balance between technology and personal interaction. I dont’ know if everyone feels the same way, but I’m a picky person and that is how I see it.

So Thank You Very Much Mr. Roboto but I’ll take the next available operator with a heart beat.



One Response to “Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto”

  1. mellaz Says:

    More organizations should look for ways to reach their customer “Humans like humans”. I rarely call a 1 800 because my fellow friend “Robot” and 1st thing comes to my mind when I dial customer service “0” for a live representative without listening to any options. It is frustrating when a machine try to solve issue of its creator “humans”. If organizations care about their customer they need to replace the “Robot”.

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