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Gustavo Moreno

April 9, 2021

Image by Alexander Andrews

If you want to talk about the future of service, type 1. If you want to talk about service automation, type 2. If you want to talk about how to innovate your service today, type 3. Now, if you want to know more about service data, it's 4. To find out how to spend as little as possible on automated service for your customer, press 5. For face-to-face service, it's 6; remote service, is the 7; inclusive care is 8; or to speak to one of our attendants, press 9 at any time.



Future of Service

You probably know the famous future where people who work in telemarketing lost their jobs to machines, right? Let's leave it aside for a moment when debating the future of care, shall we? I promise to come back to it then. 

That said, in order to provoke deeper (and controversial) reflections, I will allow myself to summarize here the future of care in the struggle for labor rights. And I tell you better why. If we understand technology as a means and value delivery as an end, we begin to understand the roles and responsibilities of agents that are part of the value chain - using this technology - and we also realize how these people are treated/paid/employed .




And, at this moment, the precariousness of certain activities is taking shape.

Evidently, there is a tendency for human participation to decrease in any type of work that can be automated.

But until this possible future — in which the constant development of automation, robotics, neural networks and so many other technologies has reached a level of artificial intelligence that is efficient and effective in following, say, my social networks, with my natural approval (save LGPD), and I can browse an environment, whether physical or virtual, customized to my profile, allowing me to consume an experience as good or even better than a human being serving me — let's agree that there are still a few years to go, Is not it?

Well, until this consumer utopia becomes (or not) popular, people involved in the services of companies of all sizes will fight for their right to be human, not machines. Because, I believe, this is the natural tendency to react to outsourcing, and, as a consequence, the precariousness of the workforce and the loss of appreciation of some types of services in the final delivery. For more information on this topic, I recommend the book: Uberização The New Wave of Precarious Work, written by Tom Slee and published by Editora Elefante . Super relevant theme, which is worth mentioning the recent episode that happened in Spain, which has just become the first country in the European Union to recognize application drivers as employees .  

I understand that application drivers are not strictly the same as telemarketers, but if we perceive these people as being the direct point of contact for a service or product delivery with the end customer, it is easier to find similarities.

Since we are back to talking directly about the situation of more traditional care professionals, I would like to revisit that future that I like to refer to as  Telemarketing dystopia. The same one we left out in the beginning. It's time to admit that from the point of the pre-internet past in call centers (before the 2000s) to the point in the future where machines have completely replaced humans in call centers, we're going to come a long way. Long, it is worth pointing out, from our point of view of who is living in this "technological limbo", so to speak. And to better explain this state we are in, let's talk about what we already have in terms of automation of care.

Service Automation

Currently, what we see are not machines taking away the work of telemarketing, but automation technologies dramatically accelerating the so-called productive capacity of a telemarketing professional. That between us, it is a profession that wears out the physical, emotional and mental .

Has it ever happened to you that you get a call from an unknown number, you go there and answer it, and nobody says anything on the other end of the line? Don't worry, it's not just you .



What is happening in these cases is precisely the use of robots that optimize the amount of possible calls per person.




It's about this midway that I wanted to draw our attention. The moment we are going through, in which robots are not taking telemarketing jobs directly by replacing them, but taking their jobs indirectly by contributing to the precariousness of this field of activity.  

How to innovate in your service

I find it curious how nowadays, in the middle of 2021, a differential of a certain company in its automated service is to imitate the noise of a human being pressing keys on a computer.

Think about it with me a little bit.




We already have access to several innovative and old technologies that you are familiar with within your context, so I'm not going to delve into the technologies themselves but into the possibilities that these technologies already allow us to do. Therefore, we can create various possibilities for innovations in how to serve a customer.

We could bring a curiosity to the waiting client, for example, such as: "Did you know that during this moment we have 6234 telemarketing professionals working in 6 different states of the country and you are one of the 5,000 people being served simultaneously by this channel?".




I don't know about you, but I'd find it much nicer to have access to some such "useless curiosity" than to fill my precious time with a cheap imitation of someone tapping a falsely analog key with their fingertips so that this gesture makes an artificial noise of tec tec with each key pressed. Honestly, I only see the irony here? Hope not.

Service Data

The attendance data are many and are on the radar of many people, as in our country there are approximately 1.5 million telemarketing professionals.

In addition to other even more extreme realities in the world, such as the case of the Philippines, world leader in the area, which has 9% of its GDP linked to call centers, resulting from the employment of 1.3 million people by companies outsourced in this country due to low salaries, cultural affinity with the US and broad fluency in English, having generated $26 billion in revenue in 2019.  




As an optimist from birth and a harbinger of the teachings of Carlota Perez (source) regarding the social and economic changes brought about by technological revolutions, I am less concerned about: if there will be jobs for all these people in the future, and I am more apprehensive about the working conditions that these people will have in their future (unimaginable) jobs.

Promotion of Service Automation

Moment I want the best and the best, paying the least or, preferably, nothing: to be more to the point, do your automation yourself. Enjoy this magical moment in which we live where access to certain technologies is reasonably easy. Whether using a basic automation such as automatic message in zap if you are a MEI, that is, creating a chatbot by Google and testing it in your organization's communication channels.

Personal assistance

To be able to carry out your face-to-face service, you can make your appointment through these digital channels or leave your place of origin, move to one of our physical spaces and hope that our face-to-face experience is good enough to be worth the cost of your parking . This is when it is safe to meet people in person, which is not the case today and, unfortunately, it will not be the case for many days to come.

Some call center giants have already realized the advantages of teleworking and are even going further by seeking partnerships with startups to improve the innovation and technological development of the remote service model.

Remote Service

Regarding remote service, we have seen a great effort by call center companies to obey legal orders and relocate their employees to the home office or telecommuting, but it is still rare to see a company that manages not only to do the minimum - from the point of view of the social role in the face of a pandemic - but it is also able to move to do more. More Innovation with what you have at hand. Because we know that the minimum of the not-so-distant future is to adapt to LGPD, for example. And in relation to the more distant future, the one that is difficult to predict, what will be the minimum, from a social, environmental and economic point of view, that a company will need to comply with in order to exist and prosper in the year 2042, for example?  

I hope the service, and the service or product experience as a whole, will be more inclusive until then.

Inclusive Service

The social inclusion agenda is already on the agenda and is not new, and we currently live in another limbo, this time not a "technological limbo", but a "cultural limbo". Topic very well approached by my partner here at Ensaio, Dani, in issue #4 of Passeio , in which she deals with the tendency of these brands to seek to be more human.  

We live today in a reality where companies have learned that positioning themselves as more human is good for business; imagine when they realize that acting in a more human way is also good for business?

Anyway, until that day comes, you can press 9 at any time to talk to me or someone else here at Rehearsal.  

Talk to one of our attendants

Just send a "hi, want tc?" on one of our social networks and we will continue, together and together, provoking reflections on technology, innovation and trends. :)  

Anything else I can help? Don't forget to stay until the end of the call to evaluate my service.


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