We are in the age of automated service.
From our credit cards to our food delivery, many things that once required a person now are replaced with a computer. Yes, it is convenient that if I want to make a purchase online I don’t have to make phone calls, give my credit card to someone, or give them shipping information, but does it always work? No.
This system is great. No waiting. Fast Service. Emailed receipts and an electronic paper trail!
Yet, I myself (and many others) find themselves extremely annoyed at the system. There are just times when dealing with a human is just easier and straight to the point. Many websites have FAQ pages that will answer questions you may have, such as, “how can I make a return?” or “can I change my billing address?” While these are basic questions that can probably be changed with log in info and a confirmation email, they don’t answer the question, “what do I do since I accidentally charged my work credit card for a personal item and it hasn’t shipped yet, but I put the wrong address in and need to change it and charge it on a different credit card?”
There are people out there (like me) that make mistakes and need to talk to a person to fix it. There are some questions out there that just won’t suffice from a FAQ page.
Though this system is supposed to enhance our lives, has it hindered it in other ways? Some very rare companies have 24/7 help on the other line, but most limit themselves to weekdays, and have short hours. What’s the point of having someone there if I can’t even speak to them?
Some companies though have gotten with the times and now have live chats that can be accessed at any time. This replaces the need for someone to be on the phone. Though it is sometimes hard to type out full scenarios, it’s better than not having anyone to answer the phone at all.
Inevitability, people that are not tech-savvy (some that precede the millenial generation) may not understand this concept. In the 90′s, there were two options: call in or go in-person to talk to someone. Gosh forbid someone actually go in-store to get help.
I suppose there is a happy medium in figuring out what works best for each person. Just as the ever-changing technology landscape grows, companies need to find a way to accomodate the different types of guests that visit their sites.
Of course, it’s not all bad. Websites such as Seamless (getting big here in NYC), let you do all of your grocery shopping online and have it delivered to your door. You don’t even have to roam the tight rows of canned foods, unless of course you’re like me and enjoy getting lost in all of the options for two hours. The only interaction you have is when your delivery man comes to your door, and you hand him a friendly $5 for carrying your two week supply of chicken, whole wheat bread, and skim milk.
Is this way of life more efficient or more of a nuisance?
Hanging up in 3..2..,