Artificial Systems’ Impersonal Effects on Customer Service – Cue Toddler Tantrum

Customer service is going the direction of automation, but in some instances – like workplace injury – human interaction is critical

By Paul Binsfeld, president of Company Nurse, LLC

“We know how it feels when you are not treated like a priority,” says this popular Nationwide® Insurance commercial.

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The toddler throwing a cell phone makes his debut in a comedic commercial – but this is no laughing matter. Who out there doesn’t get frustrated when sitting on hold for 20 minutes, or when phone-prompts do not lead to a real person in your time of need? In some instances, no technology can take the place of the human effect.

There are many exciting technological advances underway, affording us with more efficiencies, productivity, and conveniences. The possibilities are tremendous, but there can be huge misses too if we don’t put the same emphasis and investment in the value of human interaction. Technology – artificial systems specifically – have a purpose, but it can’t take the place of human compassion and empathetic understanding.

“Awesome-sauce!” In its funny twins commercial, Discover Card got it right: “We treat you like you treat you.”

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The commercial illustrates the importance that the person on the other end of the line needs to make in their personal connection – in a meaningful way.

In my line of business, for employers, one such instance is workplace injury. Immediate action at the time of an injury to triage an employee, and direct them to the most appropriate level of care is critical. Active listening and therapeutic communication from a medical professional at the onset is imperative. Organizations seem to be in agreement as one of the fastest growing trends in the workers’ compensation industry is 24/7 pre-claim telephonic nurse triage.

While customer service is going the direction of automation, in some instances – like workplace injury – human interaction can never be replaced.

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Paul Binsfeld is the founder and president of Company Nurse, LLC, a firm that specializes in medical triage and injury management for workers’ compensation. His career began as a workers’ compensation consultant with mid-size employers helping to streamline claims processes and improve outcomes for injured workers. By working with many different types of employers, he identified a common need for early intervention in the workers’ compensation claims and injury management process, and thus, Company Nurse was born in 1997. Binsfeld – one of the pioneers of the pre-claim nurse triage industry – has over 25 years of experience in workers’ compensation and is one of the most influential leaders in the market.