Pretty soon, computer dating will be two computers having coffee togother - minus the people. Who needs people? We've all fallen for this and pretty soon the machine will leave us all behind. Except: you need people to buy stuff.
Remember when... if you had a problem with a company's product or services you could pick up the phone and talk to a real live person? Remember Word Perfect in the 80's. (For those of you who don't: Word Perfect was processing software like Microsoft Word. The differnce was that you could call them if you needed to figure out how to mail merge or some of the other advanced things that you might now take for granted). Remember when there was even a cord attached to that phone. If you pulled hard enough on the cord, you could yank that person right into your existence, standing right next to you and empathizing with you and your problem. OK...you couldn't do that, but if felt like that person actually cared.
We now have wireless customer service. You can text for help. You can email for help. Or you can go through voice mail hell. The person on the other end is no longer connected to you, or to your problem. In fact, that person is not only disconnected from you, the client; That person is disconnected from reality. That person sometimes isn't even a real person. I'm fed up with it!!!
I have to admit, what prompted me to write this was a call to Apple. My iPhone keeps saying "Your Apple ID is invalid". After 3 hours of trying to fix this per the instructions online, I called Apple. You get the male version of SIRI talking back to you. Apparantly it's a big deal that a fake person on the other end of the phone can understand whole sentences because that's the first thing IT told me. After several attempts, I got to a real person. The first real person I connected with told me where I could go online to solve my problem! ...like I haven't already been there for the last three hours. Long story short and after several attempts, I finally got the right person who also sensed my frustration and walked me through the whole process to reset my ID and it took us 10 minutes. Needless to say, I'm not as enamoured with APPLE as I once was. And that's really too bad (for APPLE).
I'm not just picking on APPLE. Microsoft will charge you for the call especially if your software is out of warranty. How's that? You make a crappy product and your upgrade renders it useless and then you want me to call to fix the problem you created. YUP! Way to go Microsoft. Hope that's working out for you. Or...Try to call Google sometime with an issue. Just try. If you can even come up with a phone number, I'd be surprised. Google, here's a clue: if your knowledge base on one subject exceeds 50 pages - you might have a problem that is frustrating your customers.
It doesn't have to be this way. If I had to pick the company that will win the battle with the public among the big four (Google, Microsoft, Apple and Amazon), it will be the one that is directly accessible to the public without trying to profitize it's technical support department. I give big kudos to AMAZON. They are very accessible. Some other companies are good too. I call GoDaddy once a month. There's always someone there to help you fix the problem and discover other ways for you to use their services.
Pretty soon, computer dating will be two computers having coffee togother - minus the people. Who needs people. We've all fallen for this and pretty soon the machine will leave us all behind. Or will it. I meet once a month with all of my clients. It doesn't take long, maybe an hour. I get to hear their frustrations. I get to understand their company. I get to teach them about internet marketing. My company won't get huge if I continue down this road. But I'm happy. And so are my clients.