When Automation Fails…

My recent experience with two well-known companies and their customer service paints a very telling and familiar picture about the role of automation. One was much more personal in its approach, while the other relied too much on AI. The former nailed responsiveness and got the sale, while the latter has left me feeling drained.

The truth is, the more personal company, the one that makes its buyers feel heard and valued, will win every time. This is a story, that in so many words, every buyer has told at one point or another.

The truth is, the more personal company, the one that makes its buyers feel heard and valued, will win every time. Read more: Click To Tweet

Make it Easy for Your Customers to Buy

This week, I needed to order internet service for a house my husband and I recently bought. I went to the Shaw website and launched their chat function to see if they provided high-speed internet at our new address.

The automated chat attendant confirmed what I needed in a few simple keystrokes and immediately handed my chat over to a live attendant. The live attendant answered all of my questions, confirmed they could help me, and then sent me secure forms via chat to fill out the details of my order request.

He then worked with me to accommodate shipping a modem directly to us so we have it prior to our closing date and don’t have to have an on-site technician visit.

He made everything easy for me. I didn’t have to pick up the phone, click through a bunch of IVR (or Interactive Voice Response) options and then wait on hold while someone did their work. Instead, I was able to eat my lunch, respond to a few emails and converse with him through chat.

When you make it easy for people to buy, they buy.

When a business makes it easy for people to buy, they buy. Read more: Click To Tweet

Contrast that to one of the most successful companies in the world: Facebook.

Have you ever tried to speak to a live person when their AI flags one of your posts as not being factual, or better yet when they mistake a water spray bottle for indoor plants as a bong and decline your ability to run an ad?

What about when you’re certain you typed in the right password but Facebook is adamant you’re wrong and now you’re locked out of your account? Or, you accidentally create a new one because the steps they provided were not clear?

Better yet, how about when they remove your Facebook business page with no explanation and shut down your ad account where you’ve previously spent thousands of dollars?

Have you ever been able to get help? Has it ever been easy?Facebook security issues. Silhouette of a hand holding a padlock infront of the facebook logo

Facebook recently held their F8 Conference for developers and the theme was rather ironic… They want to help small businesses do a better job at customer service!

Perhaps they should start by making it easier for their own customers to buy, and for their users to get support on their own platform.

And, maybe Facebook should spend some time doing business with Shaw’s online team—they might learn a thing or two.

Tell me about a time when a large company’s automation failed you (and them). 


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Lisa Larter Bio Image of Lisa x400

Lisa Larter

Founder and CEO of the Lisa Larter Group, master strategist, author, speaker, podcast host, social media expert, consultant, and business coach. Lisa inspires entrepreneurs and business owners to see the possibilities for their organizations when it comes to strategy. She uncomplicates modern marketing and creates (and implements) strategies for businesses that are guaranteed to increase visibility, inbound leads, and revenue.

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