Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Our Computer Algorithm Appreciates Your Service

A man gets an email celebrating 15 years that he has worked with his company.  The text of the email praises his service to the organization and lets him know that the business appreciates all that he does.

The last line of the email reads:
"This email was computer generated; please do not reply"
What?  Ummm?  Huhhhh?  

Yep, thank you for your service.  We have created a computer algorithm that will send out this message to those who reach important milestones, but also to ensure that neither your supervisor nor anyone in human resources will not have to be bothered with acknowledging you on the anniversary of this important day.

The above quote is from a real email that was shared with me by a gentleman who received this message recently.  He understands that a company with 40,000 employees worldwide has some limitations on how personal they can be with each interaction, but the last line left him cold.

I agree.  We are all actively seeking ways to shortcut the human-to-human connections and streamline our business relationships... but you cannot outsource a meaningful interaction.  We do this too often within our  social media usage, believing that a "link", a "share", a "like" or a "follow" is equal to a friendship.  It isn't.

Think about this at home --- would you outsource bedtime stories for your children to a computer?  Imagine a 4-year-old girl going to her room and a monitor lights up with a narration of a fairy-tale followed by a message reminding the kid that the story was computer generated, and to go to sleep immediately without bothering a parent?  Sound pretty bad.  While I am not comparing business professionals to 4-year-olds, at any age we all still long for the personal touch.  Real connections sill matter.  

Saving time and automation are wonderful.  Yet, when it those on the receiving end realize there is no effort involved, it limits the effectiveness of the gesture.  

Have A Great Day.

thom singer

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