You Can't Be The Starting Point
I call crap.
With most companies, it's impossible to talk to a human without great effort. And the computer voice that feeds you the line about how important you are and apologizes for the wait? Well, if the call were important, a human would answer the phone.
I had to do business related to my cell phone. I like my cell phone service provider. They've been good to us over the years - and we've always had great service.
But it still takes a fair amount of effort to get to a human. I hate that. My daughter informed me that prolonged cursing at the automated robots will get you through faster. I've not tried that particular scheme. I can't lie, though. I've seriously considered it.
Here's where I am a conflicted human being.
I do want to deal with a real live person when it comes to my cell phone bill. But, when I want $20 from my bank account I go to an ATM. When I need some eggs, milk, and TP, I go through self-checkout at the grocery. When we lived overseas, it annoyed my American sensibilities that I wasn't allowed to pump my own gas.
But, when I want coffee, I refuse to use the drive-through. The barista and I are going to look one another in the eye and wish each other a nice day.
Convenient service is rarely synonymous with personal service. Personal service may not always be as convenient as we'd like.
The difference is thinking about personal and convenient from my customer's perspective, rather than what is personal and easy for me.
We are never the starting point.
Businesses who begin with themselves will never provide optimal customer experience.
Begin with the way you want customers to feel at the end of the process. Make your decisions based on that feeling.