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What Not to Do with Technology and Customer Service, Part 2: Too Much Technology?

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a blog bemoaning my miserable customer service experience with United Airlines. It's basically a my mini guide for banks illustrating what they should not do when a customer has a problem that needs to be resolved. My United "incident" illustrated what a poor marriage of IT and people can do to a company's reputation in the eyes of the customer.

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a blog bemoaning my miserable customer service experience with United Airlines. It's basically a my mini guide for banks illustrating what they should not do when a customer has a problem that needs to be resolved. My United "incident" illustrated what a poor marriage of IT and people can do to a company's reputation in the eyes of the customer.But what if technology is too dominant at the bank? Could there ever be such a thing as too much technology? Sure.

Now I'd like to share with you what I think is an hysterical sketch from the U.K. TV program Little Britain. Little Britain is a sketch comedy show (I guess England's answer to Saturday Night Live). One of the recurring characters is Carol Beer, defined by wikipedia as a "listless bank worker (later a travel agent and then holiday rep) who processes customers' requests on her computer, usually responding with a flat and uninterested 'Computer says no ...,' and a discourteous cough at the customer."

Take a look at what happens to the hapless customer who has the misfortune of getting Carol as his rep as he seeks a loan.

Of course, this is an extremely exaggerated example. However, it's a fun way to drive home the message that technology is great, but it shouldn't drive everything at the bank. Although maybe saying "Computer says no" a bit might have saved some lenders from all those subprime risks that led to the credit crisis...

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