When I go to the bank these days, I almost always use the ATM. It’s just easier and faster. The other day, though, I did not have a pen so I went through the drive-thru so I could use one of their pens to do everything I needed to do. The customer service was among the worst I’ve received in a long time.
Technology and machines are great and they do make our lives easier, but they also make some people lazy. I got to thinking about my past visits to the bank and there is always a line at the ATM and rarely anyone in line for the drive-thru.
It appears to me that the employees in the bank have gotten so used to customers going to the ATM that it is foreign to them when they have to actually help someone. In some ways, I felt as if I was interrupting them. It took over 10 minutes to complete a task that I could have completed at the ATM in less than two minutes.
This is only one specific example of what is going on too often these days. People in all fields are relying too much on technology to do their jobs, and are not doing the little things.
Sales are built on the idea of relationships and you can’t build relationships if your customers are talking to computers. When used the right way, technology can be and should be a great asset. However, it cannot replace non-business conversations, business conversations and so on. Those are the things that build long-term relationships that lead to repeat customers.
An example of how technology can help a salesperson may go something like this. A customer goes online to browse engagement rings before coming into the store, and they get an idea of what they want. The customer then comes into the store, and talks to you about what they want and what they learned online.
Technology got the process started but the customer is ultimately going to make a decision to buy or not buy based on their interaction with you. They can get an idea of what they want off of a computer, but it is up to the salesperson to make sure their customer gets exactly what they want.
There is no substitute for quality customer service, not even the most advanced technology.