March 3, 2009

Where technology fails to serve

For someone who has grown up with the computer age and fancied herself a real techie, this admission is a bit difficult to make.

Last week I was completely stumped by technology.

I signed in to post my blog and found that my password and secret question didn’t work. I didn’t have one of my usual backup of all account information and had somehow trusted my mother’s brain to retain all this information.

Big mistake. Note here: always have a back up you can access.

Even more critical was the lesson on customer service. Blogger and Google, take note.

Any attempt to reset my password or secret question required me to actually know my original password or secret question. I had only email and online assistance to turn to, with no options for real interactive communication.

All roads led to the password reset page, which of course, required my original password. Normally not prone to stress, my blood pressure started to rise as the doors kept closing.

When I called head office to speak to someone, I was directed to email customer support that lead me back online.

Salvation came in the form of a moment of clarity when I dropped my stress low enough to remember both password and secret answer. (note: stress channels all systems AWAY from the brain) Appropriate back up is now in place.

As technology makes it far easier and more profitable to replace human interaction, it is even more critical to remember that your company’s competitive edge lies first and foremost with your customer’s experience.

Human interaction, with all it’s quirks and pitfalls, allows us to regroup, respond and most importantly, to serve. Plus, you can never share a joke with a machine.

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