Have you noticed that more of us are talking with inanimate objects lately?
When we ask Siri for directions on our smartphone, command Alexa to order more toilet paper, or tell Google Home to play Ed Sheeran’s latest album on repeat, we’re becoming part of a trend: engaging bots that seem almost-but-not-quite human.
We understand the attraction businesses have to bots. They are inexpensive, ubiquitous, and great for getting the weather in Phoenix or a link to a specific web page. But bots are increasingly making their way into more and more areas of our lives nowadays, including sales and customer service. For example, according to this article automated chatbots are the future of technical support, and nowadays there is even an entire magazine devoted to them.
This is where we draw the line, however. When you contact Service Objects, you will never deal with a disembodied piece of artificial intelligence. If you visit our website during business hours, for example, you will discover that you are greeted with a chat screen manned by a real, live human being.
Live technical support: Someone’s always home
Our highly-rated technical support is 100% live people too. Call us during regular business hours, and we’ll normally get someone on the line with you within 15 minutes – sooner if your issue is urgent. And when problems strike off-hours, production customers can reach a member of our Quick Response Team 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Why we like the human touch
Nothing against automation – that is our business, after all – but here is why we insist on using live people for our sales and support:
- First of all, we are not typical sales people. Sure, we enjoy people purchasing our products as much as anyone. But to us, you are not another data point in our sales funnel – we want to get to know you, learn about your specific needs and challenges, and brainstorm unique and cost-saving solutions. With no sales pressure whatsoever.
- Second, support is the lifeblood of what we do. Our products are classified as services, and we take seriously what that word means: being of service. A large part of our reputation revolves around providing industry-leading customer support for our products, and in our view this starts with having access to live, knowledgeable people.
- Third, bots are only human (pun intended). Stories about misinterpreted automated queries abound online, while Siri reportedly struggles with everything from decimal points to Texas accents. There is even a joke going around that when Amazon.com purchased the Whole Foods Market grocery chain, it was due to a misinterpreted Alexa command given by their CEO Jeff Bezos. Bot errors may be funny, but not when they happen to our customers.
Data quality and real people: A good combination
We’ll still keep using bots for things like talking to our GPS, or asking Siri when Harrison Ford was born. But when data quality is your business, and you are selling mission-critical products with a 99.999% uptime record, we believe that only real people will do. We personally feel the same way about sales and service as we do about food and recreation – we prefer natural to artificial. And if you work with us, we think you will too. We look forward to hearing from you, feel free to contact us or give us a call at 800.694.6269.