I just read a post in which an author and speaker that I respect quite a bit poses a question about Self Service. I will expand his Information Technology-centric question to include all Customer Service. At what point can we, the service provider / company owner or manager, proclaim to know what is best for the customer?
As I wrote in an earlier post, Self Service quickly and easily becomes Customer Dis-Service. I love Heather Armstrong’s phrase – Outsourced Caring – for when we deign to know what is best and force the customer to use a process that saves us money and time, but offers no visible value to them.
Returining to the self service kiosk example in the Supermarket…just today I went shopping for food and as luck would have it, I had too many items for the Express Lane and yet, significantly less than most of the other shoppers. The self service kiosks were practically empty and yet I went to stand in line to have someone check my groceries.
Why? Because I do not see why I should have to do the work for them. Now, if they offered a savings, then, I would be more than happy to do so. I know that grocery stores operate on a very tiny margin, however, they must do something in order to entice me to check and bag my own groceries. If not a percentage off my total (1, 2 or even 5% off), then would not a coupon for next time work?
If we are going to ask the customer to do our work, we have to offer them something for it. What are you offering?
Thanks for reading,