Are self service machines eroding the benefits of social interaction?
I walked into my local bank. Instead of smiling faces, I saw machines which read - "Pay in". I looked around, there was no sign of human life. There was a table and chair with pay in slips in the corner ready for use by anyone who needed to pay in some money.
I must admit it felt strange. I walked up to one of the machines and the touch screen flashed a bright red with instructions on how to proceed.
Of course there were customer service personnel hidden from sight. They only came out if needs must. Otherwise it was a matter of doing business with the cash machines.
How do I have a quick chat with a machine? I thought, especially since I love to have a chat. How do I say have a nice day after a service has been rendered?
What is happening to the culture of customer service I wonder? Should we not call it Machine service instead?
Is the increased use of self service machines helping to integrate our already troubled society or is it creating boundaries between and alienating people?
In my bank everybody is greeted by an employee greeter and question person.
People stand in line and it is nice to be around people, but they don't talk to each other, so guess they are already alienated if indeed they were ever not.
Actualy in a way no!
Especially if it (The machine) keeps failing or is out of money.
Then you get a crowd of like "P...-Off" minds that would love spending social time togeather, beating the thing to pieces!
Knolyourself, if you experience human relations on the level of customer meet and greet at your branch, then I guess all is not lost. It would be nice though if there were an atmostphere of familiarity at your branch. Surely the branch is visited by probably largely the same people?
@Dutchman, point noted, however social interaction on a positive level would be welcoming not a situation where people go crazy over a machine that does not respond to human emotion :-)
I think it's worthwhile to say a pleasant word to as many people as you can every day. It doesn't cost a thing and you never know, it could even save a life.
Compliment a child, ask advice from an elderly person, praise the beauty of the day.
Never hurts to be pleasant.
AnnCee you've got it spot on. If the majority of people could read this, the world would definitely be a better place to live in.
"I think it's worthwhile to say a pleasant word to as many people as you can every day." I agree and I do every time I am out and about. It feels good to make people feel good.
My bank is really friendly and customers make small talk too. It happens a lot around here and it did in Utah too when I first lived there. But a machine would be better than a cashier or customer service employee who makes it clear that you're annoying her by making her work!
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