Machines Can't Replace The Human Touch - Literally By Robert Bacal
Machines Can't Replace The Human Touch - Literally
In "Has Technology 'Hit The Wall' In Improving Customer Experience and Customer Service?" we examined the hypothesis that technology has hit a wall in terms of improving customer service.
While companies continue to rely on machines to cut human costs, that has rarely resulted in better service. In fact, we cited evidence that customer perceive service as worsening.
Now let's look at some "hard caps" to why machines cannot replace humans in customer interactions with the outcome of a better customer experience.
Humans - A Face To Face Species
The evolutionary process (survival of the fittest and modifications of genetic endowment) resulted in a SOCIAL species where those that could use language to communicate with each other would win the evolutionary game and pass on their genes to offspring.
- touch sensitive
- smell sensitive
- have the ability to discern meaning from physical cues
- have the ability to read micro-muscle and large muscle body language
- Display an virtually infinite number of facial expressions
These are all aspects of live face to face interactions, and our ability to read each other is extraordinary.
While we may not be hard wired with a set of instructions on how to communicate, we are hard wired to learn those instructions, and in fact, in many ways humans require these kinds of stimulation to be healthy, and to feel connected to each other in a social group.
For example, we know that infants who do not experience adequate touching and cuddling fail to thrive, and suffer various developmental difficulties.
Touch and smell, two elements of communication between people, are essential to create a sense of wellbeing and are involved in the mating process.
And, if we look at what happens when all social contact is removed, as might be the case in solitary confinement, we find that few people can stay mentally healthy without human contact.
The Bottom Line: The Personal Touch
The bottom line is that we are hard wired to work best when we can use all our senses and abilities to communicate in social face to face situations that will develop positive emotional feelings, a sense of connection to others, mating and parental bonding, and so on.
No one sense, or skill set operates independently of other senses and communication sk