I hear grandma say so many times, “kiddy, for us it’s all going too fast”, and she was right.

The last decade will go down in history as one of the fastest evolving periods in the field of technology. Scientists themselves wonder whether the speed at which we evolve is not higher than the speed at which we can adapt.

If we look at the impact on our economy, we notice that in many transactional sectors the speed of evolution is reflected in shorter product cycles, faster competition and increased ways of automation. And this is all logical, just think about it. Your nearest competitor launches a new offer, because of the speed in which we evolve, many other companies will also jump on the train so that very quickly “price” will become the differentiating factor in a similar offer.

The above in turn implies that cost structures of companies who want to be competitive in a rapidly evolving market must be able to provide for this. And what is the most cumbersome cost structure you can have as a company? Indeed, the costs of permanent staff. Alternative? Also right, automation!

But is automation bad?

To a certain extent, we are already seeing various ways of automation emerge today, but let us make an important distinction between internal and external ways of automation in a company. Take a look at it from the point of view of the customer, here are internal forms of automation processes with which you as a customer will never be directly confronted but which enable companies to do more work with less personnel, e.g. electronic invoicing, approval processes.

With external automation, the processes in which customers are directly involved are addressed, in other words, they have a direct impact on the customer relationship, e.g. interactive voice response menus on the phone that let the customer end up with a voice that gives tips & tricks so no need involve an employee.

The danger of automation is that customers very quickly start to feel impersonal and let customer experience be the big differentiator with which companies can distinguish themselves from their competitors in the future.