Press #1 for the robot in charge or #2 for the woman who knows how you feel

Last week I enjoyed a fantastic day of learning & insight & sharing thoughts & ideas about what makes for a remarkable customer experience, with other “OCD’ers” (customer experience extremists like me who are Obsessed with Customer Delight) at the Customer Experience Foundation (CXFO) first event of 2019. Huge thanks to Don Hales and team for organising such a great event with some awesome speakers and an equally awesome audience!

Much of the day was given over to the rapid development of technology in the Contact Centre arena and specifically the science behind conversational analysis or, in lay-man terms, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to emulate human telephone conversations.

Whilst the principles behind the tech were impressive it was so refreshing to have it proven that, as we’ve been saying for over 100 (collective) years between us all here at First Impression Training – it ain’t rocket science peeps! We humans are emotional beings (84% of the time in fact); we base our perceptions and decisions (in business and life) based on how we FEEL about our experience: we buy into and from people we FEEL as though we know, like and trust and the oldest adage of all – people ‘buy’ people FIRST!

Your choice of words, your vocal tone, your attitude & behaviour, your ability to build rapport & empathy and your listening skills all play their part in ensuring you create that feeling & ensure a PME for every person you engage with (a Positive Memorable Experience) whether that’s at work or at home – simple!

Now I’m blessed to be surrounded by a circle of equally passionate women business owners, movers and shakers and I was fascinated to read that womens superior social skills mean they have less to fear than men from the rise of robots in the workplace. How so?

Well, according to the USA Centre for Economic Policy Research it found that, in 1980, just over 66% of male graduates worked in high-paying “cognitive” jobs e.g. company managers, directors, doctors, accountants, software engineers and economists. By 2000 this number had dropped to 63%. At the same time the share of college-educated women in the same roles rose from 54% to almost 59%.

One of the conclusions from the study author, Nir Jaimovich, professor of economics at the University of Zurich said “In a world with accelerating automation, these results suggest the growing importance of the acquisition of social skills. In other words, as technology increasingly seems to replace non-social labour, perhaps what is left is more interpersonal work”

The report goes on to say that a rising demand for social skills such as “empathy, communication, emotion recognition and verbal expression…has increased the share of female employment in good jobs”

For fear of upsetting the digital experts, AI and Bot gurus, the professors, scientists, psychologists, therapists and “Woo-Woo’ers” (I’m 2 of these myself!) can we all please recognise, as we women already know, that the art of meaningful conversation, proper connection and emotional engagement with others (whatever or wherever the setting) is based around….
• Being present
• Being genuinely interested
• Proving you’re on GAS (Give A Sh*t)
• ..and ensuring EVERYONE you communicate with (whatever the medium) FEELS good to have done so!

Clearly the evidence from this psychological research indicates that women have a comparative advantage in such skills. Probably no major surprise there however I sense the brilliant FISH! philosophy could make a come-back seeing as its 4 guiding principles align very nicely with our topic of the day at the CXFO event – ENGAGE & INVEST of yourself in order to build positive emotional connections with others!

Really glad to have hung around with the CXFO crowd at the fabulous Pirate Castle in Camden Town – looking forward to the next one now!

Hello... I'm Marie Cross

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