The grocery store chain Albertsons has responded to this feeling among consumers by announcing their intention to remove all of their “self-check” registers at their stores. Kroger is also going to take on a similar policy. Reactions are mixed; with some feeling like it will do wonders for customer service (as well as adding additional jobs) and others feel it takes the “choice” to interact with a human being away from the consumer.
This comes at the same time that Albertsons is also announcing a DMV Kiosk in Las Vegas.
The trend here, when you consider it, is pretty simple to see: People want great customer service, but they don’t want to deal with rude employees. If you’re planning on removing a “self-service” or “automated” system, here are some things that I think you need to be sure to do.
- Retrain front line employees in the art of customer service. You have to make customer representatives care about the interactions with their customers. It has to be a pleasing part of their day.
- Create a Twitter account and assign someone (not an intern) to the responsibility. There will be some people who will not be excited about the new approach to customer service, so you have to give options on how they can get in contact a member of your team.
- Trust employees to make the right decisions. You have to give people some room to maneuver to turn what could be a losing situation into a winning one. This comes down to educating phone operators and giving them some room to help.