Thursday, 15 December 2011

Communicating with quality?

We are all familiar with machines that call us or that receive our call. They are there to perform a service and they do so up to a point.
Often you have to listen to the whole menu of options they have before making the choice of button to press. At times it is a guess for your query might not be exactly portrait within the menu. On other occasions you have finish your business but the machine keeps on going with options that you need to listen to in order to finish the call successfully.

When people have been asked, the vast majority (98%) said they rather talk to a person. Most of us prefer human contact and rightly believe that our query or business would be better taken care of if we talk to a fellow man/woman.
It has not only to do with the warmth of the connection and the flexibility of the human caller versus the machine's options. You also feel and rightly so, that there is a responsibility when a person is at the other end of the line, an experience that can not be provided by a machine.

If people prefer the human voice and touch to that of the machine, why are so many business and government dependencies changing to the machine operated system? If “the customer is always right” slogan is to be true, then they should be doing exactly the opposite and getting people to answer their phones? Well, simply because the machine system is cheaper to run and that has an impact in the accounts and profits. It is profits that make up for the decision and not service, or the customer's feelings, or any thing else.

Yes, a call centre, having people doing the job could be more complicated to manage and more expensive to run, but is is well worth it from the customer's point of view. Certainly governments need to make changes to foster employment and there is room for improvement in many areas, this could be one of them. Businesses and government dependencies could also invest more in human operated systems that lead to a better quality service, more jobs, and a better social environment. But the aim is different; save, cut, make profits.

It is interesting to take this example as to learn what are the real goals that we as individuals or as business, governments, or as a society pursue and value. It is often quantity that rules out quality. It is often short term visions that rules out a warmer and higher quality social environment. The personal good (individual, business or government dependency) is set above the common collective good.
As a simple exercise, try to communicate with people in a more personal, human way and try to see how many times we deal with fellow men/women as if we were machines just dealing with a chore and nothing more.
Is it individual goals or collective goals that guide our actions? Is there warmth and quality in our communication or are they just kept within a pre-established menu of options that we have design as to avoid contact and responsibility. At least lets become aware of the choices we make.

Right human relationships start with the individual, and we often only have control or can make a change in a personal level and trust that the ripple effect will make the rest. It is our choice if we live with a finer sensitivity or if we want to operate in a mechanical machine like way. The out comes will differ, but it is our choice to make.

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1 comment:

  1. MD,

    If governments want to employ, you have a great idea to get more people back into the workforce as well as make things work better and friendlier.



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