Going on offense

In the website industry we’ve always had a pretty poor reputation for customer service. Many of us entered this field because of a passion for technology, not necessarily for human connection or business acumen.

And because of the demand for our services, that’s been good enough. We didn’t have to have the social or customer relationship skills, because our technical skills were out of reach for most people.

But as AI creeps into every corner, we’re faced with a new reality. Automated systems can now replicate and even surpass most of our technical skills — and they’re only getting better.

So, you’ve probably gone on defense and been asking yourself “How do I compete?

When this question hits right, it’s kind of intimidating. How do we compete with something that can spit out in seconds what it took us years to master?

Businesses are handing over their customer service to machines to maximize efficiency in the name of “convenience”. But, let’s be honest — as a consumer, how often do these interactions leave us satisfied and feeling genuinely heard?

Over the past few weeks I’ve had to deal with a half-a-dozen service providers, and the one that answered the phone, showed up on time, answered my questions, and delivered what he said he would stood out like a peacock in a group of pigeons.

In honesty, what he did has been considered the bare minimum for businesses for decades — but as automation has taken over, what’s old is new again.

And it was genuinely refreshing.

We’re never going to out-computer the computer, so I think the answer lies in embracing our humanity…

Our inherent qualities like emotion, empathy, creativity, intuition, ethics, adaptability, humor, self-awareness, and social intelligence are often taken for granted — but are noticeably lacking from our increasingly automated world.

We have the opportunity to go on offense here… How can we infuse human qualities into every aspect of our business? It’s likely that these could be the cornerstone of our competitive advantage going forward.

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