Consumer Behavior, Content, Digital, Education, Management, Marketing, Storytelling

Do you have an appointment?

Reflections on a marketing convention

During my years as a line producer doing live television, I learned that you need to be very specific in your rundowns and backup plans in order to be able to react to the unexpected and not create chaos.  I always believe that it’s smart to deconstruct a perfect structure, as a matter of fact, if you want to do great television you have to adjust and sometimes destroy your original plan and adjust to the unexpected.  Even chaos, needs to be part of the perfect plan.

When Evan Carroll, Customer Experience Keynote Speaker and Author, spoke at the Digital Branding Analytics Miami 2019 Conference #DBAmiami, I was nodding my head assenting to his explanation of the importance of human touch when it comes to customer relationships.

Evan talked about an experience he had at the Apple Store, where he had gone to look for help after spilling water in his computer.  After being offered an appointment to be seen at another date (a couple times), a third employee understood his emergency and took care of the matter.

Initially, I was taken aback, and somehow disappointed at the first two employees that did not understand Evan’s emergency.  My original reaction was to reject the rigidity of the customer service at an Apple Store, but then the concept of Customer Lifetime Value came back and I started ruminating on the idea of those customers that might want to jump protocol and end up costing companies more to retain.  

Maybe it was not a coincidence that it took Evan 3 customer service reps to break an apparent unbreakable protocol.  I do believe that whoever created the Apple Store protocol knew what was best for the company’s interest, and this modus operandi was designed to maintain an operation that is cost effective.  

Of course, not every day somebody shows up at the store with a water emergency, but if the unexpected happens you have to have a backup plan in order to react, still remain in control, and not create chaos.  Maybe the plan all along is to have the approval of three individuals before proceeding to help.

How many zeroes do you have to dial during a conversation with the automated response system when calling your bank in order to get a human being on the other side of the line?   

How do you control the price surge in Uber, when the demand is caused because people are trying to escape an area that had just suffered a terrorist attack?

Truth of the matter is that progress seems to be machines replacing humans’ capabilities, so when you meet a human that is trying to copy machine behavior, push harder, and you might decipher the secret password to access their human reaction and break protocol.

Press 1 if you have an appointment…

Post Status:

When it comes to building customer relationships… progress points to machines acting more like humans, not humans behaving like machines


Photo by Alex Iby on Unsplash

Evan Carroll on Connecting with Customers (Digital Branding Analytics Miami #DBAmiami


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