The Human Touch: Avoiding Employee Alienation with Personal Support
By Hobie Thompson – The personal touch in customer support has gone the way of the Tinder-less blind date.
Automation has increasingly become a favored labor-saving device for tech support departments. True, tools like tickets and chatbots free support workers from repetitive tasks and drudgework, but they also alienate support staff from the people they’re tasked to help – and vice-versa.
Over-dependence on automation can cause problems in a different direction: the loss of the personal, human connection that subsequently undermines morale and workplace camaraderie.
Preference for Personal Care
There’s evidence to suggest that maintaining a personal connection results in better outcomes for everyone – and removing that option can create negative outcomes that outweigh the cost savings.
Case in point: when Kaiser Permanente set up an automated patient portal, they found that African-American and Latino patients were less likely to use it. Respondents cited fears of “[diminishing] the patients’ personal relationships with their healthcare provider” and “a preference for in-person communication”.