It’s no secret that (despite always pushing for innovation in our marketing techniques), artificial intelligence and all things robotic absolutely terrify me. In my last blog, I discussed my relationship with AI and fully accepted how completely ridiculous my fears are, but what’s not ridiculous is how I feel about automation.
You may have spotted my slightly passive-aggressive comments about Facebook immediately following our recent rebrand, and believe me; they were well deserved! In rebranding, we also had to change our company name across all social networks from Arran Eleanor Creative Ltd. to WestCoastCo, and it was a very simple process until it came to our Facebook page. It took us three days, seven appeals and over thirty emails to change our name on here. Why?
Now, there are two very simple responses to this:
Personally, I’ve wavered between the two responses, however after receiving speedy customer service from a real human at Apple, I’m definitely siding more with response number two.
It took us so long to appeal our name change on Facebook because we were caught up in an infuriating automated loop. We answered exactly the same messages and sent the same documents over multiple times because there wasn’t a real person at the end to fix the problem. Facebook are pretty much big enough to do whatever they want, but we don’t want to see their bad practices influencing and negatively affecting small businesses.
I’m not against automation on the whole. We automate our invoicing, proposals, bookkeeping, newsletters and more, but I would never consider automating our relationships with our customers. You’re probably fed up of my favourite phrase by now, but people really do respond to people! One of the major benefits of working with a small businesses is the personal relationships that you are able to forge. You’d never give a personal recommendation for a faceless robot, but your friendly local printer, florist (or marketing agency!) you’d recommend any day.
I’m not suggesting that you should avoid automation altogether. We all know how overwhelming it can be to run a small business, but don’t forget the people who are making it possible for you to live your dream. Look after them, and they’ll look after you.
You all know by now that I believe robots will destroy us all… just don’t let them destroy your business.