The Participation Blog

Whistling Past the Graveyard of Customer Service

For the past several weeks, for a variety of reasons, I just happened to have had the personal opportunity to experience more than my fair share of customer service. I’ve been dealing with phone automation and front line script readers in utilities, health care, real estate, government and an assortment of other industries, all in the business of “better serving my needs.” It’s been interesting. Much like a daily proctology exam. The few remaining humans who tend humans tend to be exhausted. So, while I continue to listen carefully as our menu options have recently changed, I can’t help but wonder what effect this cost saving, soulless growing AI system is having on us. Meanwhile, we watch trust diminish, and people getting even more stressed, frustrated, angry and cold as we scratch our heads and wonder why. A better way forward starts here.

And that whole empathy thing needs to be wrapped in a cape of communication – sadly, that’s usually not government’s best talent. It’s almost impossible to overcommunicate and the burden for communication needs to rest with the sender not the receiver, so it’s up to you to find your audience and talk to them. It’s not their job to have to find you.