What’s more important to customer experience (CX)? Your people or your automation?
Recent evidence from the fast food sector isn’t so good for the humans.
Andy Puzder, CEO of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., talked to Business Insider about his experience putting order kiosks in their restaurants to supplement human order takers. Puzder commented to Business Insider: “I’ve been inside restaurants where we’ve installed ordering kiosks … and I’ve actually seen young people waiting in line to use the kiosk where there’s a person standing behind the counter, waiting on nobody.”
Puzder is even considering opening a new restaurant that wouldn’t require human interaction, similar to Eatsa in San Francisco.
Such ideas are gaining traction across the industry. Not just because it could mean labor savings, but because there appears to be a customer base that prefers automation to human interactions.
And the reason seems to be … Millennials hate dealing with people.
That doesn’t just come from Puzder. Frischer restaurants in the Midwest U.S. did a study on their drive through traffic, and found that a third of 18 to 24 year-olds use the drive through because, “they don’t feel like dealing with people”
They prefer a process that, although not automated yet, is as close to automated as possible.
Human interaction isn’t helping the CX for them. Humans are ruining it.
So apply that finding beyond the fast food space. Where does that leave us?
For years we’ve been thinking good people are the key to good service. But what if the real key is automation?
After all, we already know customers don’t want a relationship with their cough medicine, they just want to stop coughing. If that’s the CX they want, why not let the robots do it?
I’ve long heard readers and contributors bemoan the loss of the human touch. … Maybe they only notice the lack of touch because they’re not getting good robots?
This isn’t just about machines replacing humans for productivity or financial reasons. It’s about an intuitive CX. If you know what your customers want, why do they need to ask a human for it? Why not just set it up automatically? Or on demand at the push of a button?
The Robot CX Uprising Has Already Begun
We can already see several very successful businesses that were built simply on improving CX by letting machines do what humans may not be very good at:
- Uber automated your taxi dispatch and hiring.
- GrubHub automated restaurant order taking and delivery.
- Facebook automated friendship.
- Amazon automated … well, everything about shopping.