Technology has made our lives a great deal less labor intensive. There are a great deal of daily tasks and labor-intensive work that we just do not have to do, thanks to technology. Inventions like indoor plumbing, electrical lighting, modern residential furnace heating, telephones, automobiles, refrigerators, stoves, cell phones, … the list is massive. One would easily fall into the trap of believing that technology could be the answer to any problem.
The fact of the matter is that we are human. We are living and breathing creatures that require interaction with other creatures. If the problem is too many phone calls coming into your business, the answer might be to prompt callers to leave a voice mail so you can call them back. If the problem is too much wait time during steps of a widget-building project, you might be inclined to automate segments to free up your staff for other projects. Only one of these examples is the right way to use technology.
If your business has peak times when a lot of calls come in, a voice mail system might be good to handle the overflow. But if it’s an all day occurrence, will you ever really catch up on calling back your customers, without them believing that they are not important enough to return calls to? Here is an example of the human solution. It might be time to hire more staff, or designate time for your existing staff to make answering calls a priority.
If the steps of a widget-building project have necessary lag time built into them, and you don’t make use of those times being productive, that is wasting time and money. Spending the money to automate the widget process frees up your people to take on more work without reducing the human contact with the clients. Technology solution.
If you are having problems with traffic on your website, and it easily becomes overwhelmed, the problem might be that you are becoming successful, or it might be that you are being spammed as a target. Some automated programs can differentiate between them, but the best programs have user controls that can be adjusted to suit your needs and your experience. In this situation, a combination of technology and human touch would be the best solution. If you already have a program to handle this and it’s not working, a human solution can guide you in the right direction.
If your email is down, and you need to get vital details to a client, there are other modes of communication that will mean more to them that you reached out, than to leave a vast chasm of silence while they wait. An old-fashioned phone call will let your client know that you are working on their project, being attentive to their needs and communicate that information. Another automated system might be the long term solution, but to address the immediate problem, a simple phone call wins the day.