It seems every time I read about how technology will remove humans from service jobs or how “artificial intelligence” will take over problem resolution, I find myself in a frustrating search for an actual human with which to speak.
I kidded a while back about the unbelievably difficult process of trying to contact Spotify when my wife’s account was hacked.
In the end, we sorta kinda got it resolved on our own… but not really.
She still has some dude from Germany’s music included in her library. So… shuffle play on her phone is a true world music experience.
This time around, I ordered an Uber ride while in California. I rarely rent cars in the cities I visit anymore. I rely on Uber.
The notification said my ride would be there in one minute. A few minutes later, the Uber app asked me to rate my driver.
Huh? Aren’t I supposed to actually get a ride first? I hadn’t cancelled the ride.
I then got an alert that I was charged $7.20 for a 6-second ride.
Maybe this was a new teleporting feature that I didn’t know about?
However, I was still standing at my hotel…so…no.
The quest to get that charge addressed has been comical…if you have a sick sense of humor. I got as far as finding a toll-free Uber number on my credit card’s website.
Their number had a recording (naturally) that told me they don’t take calls.
Instead, it gave an email address to send my inquiry.
I emailed that Uber email address and got the response, “You’ve contacted an address that does not accept incoming email. We’re not monitoring questions through this email address and this request has not been received by our support team.”
Well, at least they are crystal clear that they will not be helping me. I gotta give them that.
Hey, I get it. Their model apparently doesn’t work if they have live people available to help you when they hit you with a questionable charge.
They don’t mention that on the website. I’m just saying.
Are you and your team as easy to reach when customers are bringing you questions and issues as when they are bringing you business?
In an increasingly high-tech, low-touch world, the human element is increasingly meaningful.
How easy do you make it for customers to connect with you when they need help?
Those are the connections that most show what your priorities are.
I had the great opportunity of participating in the Kiran Analytics Summit in San Diego recently.
During one session, the CEO of BAI, Debbie Bianucci, shared results from recent bank surveys regarding engagement and talent management.
One of BAI’s insights was “By not focusing on existing employees’ engagement, HR is on a treadmill of hiring new employees (and are less likely to get quality employee referrals).”
Onboarding programs have gotten much well-deserved attention in recent years.
Helping new employees overcome initial hurdles and become productive in their jobs as quickly as possible is instrumental in reducing early attrition.
Too often, however, we assume that more-tenured team members are on solid ground.
Obviously, if they’ve been with us for some time, aren’t complaining, and are dependable employees, things must be fine.
Sure, they may be. However, as BAI’s surveys identifies, banks are realizing that they cannot take their most tenured and (often) most productive team members’ engagement for granted.
The evolution of banking business models makes employee engagement efforts more important than ever.
If our most productive employees feel that the industry is “moving away” from the models and practices they have found past success with, they can begin to question their futures.
If anything, the move of the banking industry toward “digital first” models makes the roles that our people play more central, not less.
The types of tasks our teams handle are becoming less transactional and more advisory.
This isn’t happening overnight, but it is undeniably happening.
I believe this is a good thing.
Rote transactions are not the types that tend to truly deepen relationships.
Problem resolution, complex transactions, and consultations do.
It is usually our tenured and more experienced team members who are most competent in these more robust roles.
They are also usually our most capable and valuable mentors.
Technology does not tilt the playing field. It levels it.
The last real differentiators we have will be the quality of our teams.
Strive to ensure that your experienced employees understand this.
More so, let them regularly see that you understand it, as well.