The crux of customer service

Yesterday I’ve been reminded that there are selling-buying relationships that benefit, even require, to go beyond a mere transaction. What had happened?

A monthly parking card, at the Zagreb trade fair premises, got swallowed by the apparatus which is supposed to give the card back before one is leaving the parking lot. It has worked properly in numerouses instances before, not yesterday, though. Two days later, when I came back to park at the same place, I enquired as to what could be done. A friendly clerk gave me some valuable advice and directed me to an office named “Office for security”.

After a “This is Yugoslavia” public company office reality type of throwback moment, the two clerks in the office were smoking (it must be decades since I last experienced such a scene here in Zagreb), I got brushed off by saying “There’s nothing we can do. You should notice that on the apparatus that swallowed your ticket there is a button. You need to press that button and someone will help you.” The problem was nobody had responded to that button but they wouldn’t have any of that. 0 empathy, 0 care. 

An opportunity passed to prove customer satisfaction matters, to be seen and lend a helping hand, turn a negative into a positive experience. Granted, it’s nothing major but the obvious neglect was disappointing. I wonder how AI will impact customer service. Will it become better or worse? Will we loose opportunities for human connection?