I went to my local Border’s bookstore to find a book for my wife. I had the title on a piece of paper and as I walked into the store, I saw a computer I could use to find my book and see if it was in stock. As I walked toward the computer, a store employee approached me and asked what book I was looking for. She knew the book and then proceeded to walk me across the store and located the book on the shelf for me.
All of this was done in less time than it would have taken me to look up the book myself on the computer, orient myself to the store, and locate the book.
Automation vs. Manual
Your company probably has automated tools to help customers. Are they always the fastest way? Sometimes your employees, with their experience, are a better point of service than your computers.
I’m not suggesting you get rid of your computers or website. Just don’t use technology as a crutch to avoid direct contact with your customers.
Personal interactions with customers will enable you to build relationships with customers. When customers want convenience or you are busy serving other customers, computers or your website can step in to help with your customer service. But keep in mind that they can’t replace those personal customer interactions, which can be critical to a positive experience.