Technology vs. Humanity — Your Next Job
May 16, 2017

Technology vs. Humanity — Your Next Job

by Brian de Haaff

My career will be defined by the prevalence of the internet. Yours likely will be too. And we are still experiencing an incredible acceleration of the use of technology. But one thing remains the same — we are human. We still crave personal connection, even when so many of our interactions are now made possible by technology.

You might think technology and humanity is an odd juxtaposition, especially coming from the founder and CEO of a software company.

So, let’s talk about companies like Aha! that have emerged based on the technology we offer. I believe that no matter what technology-based product or service you are selling, your number-one focus must always be the people you work with and serve.

In my bestselling new book Lovability, I offer insights about building products and companies that people will love. One of the goals for writing the book was to encourage more companies to embrace the time-tested ways our grandparents followed — getting to know customers, solving their problems, and building relationships.

Yes, technology can help us be more efficient. But we should not use it to eliminate human connections. Rather, we should adopt it to enhance our interactions with people.

At Aha!, we do not use technology to avoid our customers. We use it to engage with them. After speaking with thousands of customers, we have learned where and when they will need help and we put that data to work. We call this concept “intercept and engage.”

We use technology to query our customers, but then we bring in people to provide highly personalized help almost instantly.

Let me explain more. We intercept customers who might need assistance but are reluctant to ask for it. We send out a friendly automated message asking if they need help. As soon as they reply, we engage in a human-to-human conversation in which we quickly troubleshoot and solve their problem. In this way, technology helps us reach customers when they need help the most and serve them more efficiently.

Of course, there are plenty of companies who might consider using the “intercept and engage” model to push their aggressive sales tactics. But people can always tell when driving sales is the only goal behind your interactions with them. You must be authentic, offering real value and service, for customers to receive it with openness.

This is why there is never a sales pitch or an upsell in our interactions with customers at Aha! — in fact, we do not even have a sales team. When people realize this, they can relax and feel comfortable engaging with us, knowing there are no hidden agendas. Customers can get back to work quickly, happy that we helped them and confident we will serve them well in the future.

Technology offers us all new ways to serve our customers and provide an even better experience than before.

You will find it is possible to be technology-centered and human — if you stay focused on innovating to help solve customer problems and spark a dialogue with them.

How do you use technology to create meaningful human connections?

Brian de Haaff

Brian de Haaff

Brian seeks business and wilderness adventure. He is the co-founder and CEO of Aha! — the world’s #1 product development software — and the author of the bestseller Lovability and The Startup Adventure newsletter. Brian writes and speaks about product and company growth and the journey of pursuing a meaningful life.

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