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Lesson 13. Staying Focused Amidst Change > Using Human Help - Pg. 57

Staying Focused Amidst Change 57 At home, with the apparently increased demands on time, a computer can be a blessing. For those eager to learn computers, the advent of online payments of accounts, mortgages, and the like can save time and money. You can make payment on an account in a matter of seconds. Whereas writing a check, putting it in an envelope, and addressing and stamping it can be boring and labo- rious. There is a sense of satisfaction in having made the payment via computer and saving so much time. There are advantages to implementing computers and other high-tech applications in the workplace versus employing individuals: · · · · No compensation and benefits expenses will be incurred. You can simply contract out services when no one in-house is available or able to provide them. You pay less for office space and related utilities. A manager doesn't have to be as tactful and diplomatic when dealing with computers versus human beings. · You avoid human errors. · Computers can be as small as your laptop, and there is no added travel expense. On the other hand, there are advantages to using a human being in the workplace: · An employee is more flexible. The computer is often subject to reprogramming by a human being to adapt to change. · An employee can provide creativity, whereas the computer is limited by the software. · Very often, clients would much rather hear a human voice and see a human face than answer to a machine with automated voice recordings. It would be a serious error to decide in favor of a machine simply because there are more advantages listed for computers versus human beings. The decision is best made on the basis of the nature of your organization, financial constraints, and customers needs. Tip Periodic surveys by computer-related magazines have indicated that many customers pre- fer human interaction with customer service when resolving hardware and software prob- lems. Using Human Help A strong example of where computers can't supplant human beings is in the customer service area. Even on the Internet, consumers are not content with FAQ pages to solve problems with the instal- lation and use of software applications. For example, Internet service providers (ISPs) and Web hosting services are increasingly promoting the 24/7 concept of having real people, not computers, available to address customers' problems when accessing the Internet and e-mail, dealing with changes to the Web site, and other related issues. Plain English FAQ is short for frequently asked question. Most Web sites have FAQ pages to answer common questions in text form. A responsive and knowledgeable customer service department is key. Consumers are looking for value and strong relationships, and a company must be flexible to fit those needs.