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With all the focus these days on automation of various tasks, it seems like a good time to reflect on when and why it’s a good idea to not forget the human element of good customer service.  Sure, automation of customer service functions can save companies money and resources, but there’s a point when the automation becomes too much, de-personalizing the customer service experience and possibly alienating customers.

It has been widely documented that when a customer has a good experience they will tell around 4 people about it.  Unfortunately for businesses, that number can double or triple when it comes to who they tell about a particularly bad experience.  And the worst part is that frequently customers won’t even tell you, the company—they’ll just go straight to complaining to their friends and family and you’ll be left in the dark as to why you are losing business.

So in a day and age where automation is king, how do businesses ensure they are still providing excellent customer service?  A human touch is the key.

While customer service automation is great to a point, make sure you have ways customers can escalate to a real human being when needed.  Sometimes people just want to make sure they are really being heard and not just getting canned messages from a robot.

So ensure that you have at least a couple ways people can connect to your customer service department when they are unhappy, such as a special email address, message board, or phone number that can be given out when regular customer service automation just isn’t cutting it for them.  They will be grateful for the human touch, and you will gain much-needed insight into customer frustrations.

Don’t forget that it takes much more time and resources to gain new customers than it does to maintain current customers, so it’s in the best interest of your business to make sure they are happy.

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