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Automation Can Kill Your Business

Stop dreaming of a business that makes money when you sleep, where you don’t have to do any work or be responsible to your customers…automation can and will kill your business if you’re not careful.

We’re in the middle of a big kitchen renovation here in Florida and we’ve ordered our new cabinets and appliances from Lowes.  Automation has been a complete nightmare that has created unnecessary aggravations that didn’t need to occur:

We ordered a dishwasher the day after Black Friday. After several weeks of not receiving any delivery notification, we started calling the store where the dishwasher was supposed to be coming from.  We called and called and called, and no one answered the phone. Finally, we went into another Lowes, near our home and they could see that our dishwasher was in stock, and so they scheduled it for delivery. The next day we received a robocall (one of those automated messages) from Lowes telling us that our dishwasher would be delivered between 4:00 and 7:00 pm the next day.

When the dishwasher hadn’t arrived by 8:00pm, we called customer service after trying to call the store several times.

Our complaint was escalated to management and we learned a few things:

1. They had a dishwasher in stock, but it was damaged and could not be shipped to us.Customer service call center operator concept. Friendly robot assistant with retro styled phone on yellow pink background. copy space photo
2. The person who processed the delivery request didn’t know that the appliance was damaged and thus there was no trigger to stop the automated phone call for us to receive it.
3. The company we ordered from discontinued the product and no one at the store called to let us know.
4. When we finally spoke to a human being from the store, we were informed that the reason we couldn’t get through when we called is their customer service phone doesn’t ring.  The only way someone knows if a customer calls is if they see a flashing light.
5. It wasn’t until we went to the store, spoke to someone named Zack that our problem was solved. He was able to price match a comparable dishwasher and solve our problem.

Their systems couldn’t do that.

While sitting outside on Christmas Day, I decided to book myself into the spa for a pedicure at the Woodhouse Day Spa. I went online and searched for a day when they had availability and filled out a very long form requesting all kinds of information, as well as all of my credit card details only to find that when I pressed submit, their system does not allow for out of country credit cards.  It was physically impossible for me to book an appointment and because it was Christmas Day, I couldn’t call them.

Don't let automation create unnecessary aggravations for your #customer. Click To Tweet

Once again, automation is failing, making it difficult for people to book an appointment and in the end, is only serving to create a negative experience for the customer.  Keep in mind, we are in Naples, Florida, a very busy tourist destination where many people from other countries own property.

Automation is only as good as the humans who are checking to ensure the system is working accurately. If you’re considering automating more this coming year, be sure there is a very smart human who follows up on all of these systems to ensure they are working the way they should be, otherwise, your automation might be creating negative customer service experiences that you don’t even know about.

People buy from people they know like and trust.

Relationships can repair mistakes but the last time I checked, it’s impossible for you to have a relationship with an automated replacement for a human being.

Leave me a comment and let me know how you monitor the automation in your business.


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