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  • Writer's pictureMuzammil Hussain

Dumb Automation gets Dumped!

My recent experience with one service request response led me to ponder upon the extent and effectiveness of automation. Here is a short read -


It feels cool to say that we have “Automated” a task, isn’t it? And it is justified to feel that way; after all in a heap of multiple mundane tasks, it is wise to automate some to unlock value through proper utilisation of available resources. But, at times, in this whole process of automation, we forget to add “Smartness” to it – which should be a concern not neglected. A recent incident prompted me to think about it and share.

My credit card had expired a year ago. Although I expected that the bank would send me a renewed card, it did not happen. Hence, I wrote to them regarding this. They responded by saying:

“We wish to inform that prior to expiry of your card, renewal card is generated by the Bank in order to facilitate continual usage and transactions on your card account. In view of the same, renewed cards will be despatched to your mailing address.

We observe that there is no recent update found about renewal towards your credit card account ending xxxx.”

Fair enough. Hence, in my next mail, I requested them to initiate the cad renewal and provided my address to dispatch the card to. And then I received a response which was ctrl+C and ctrl+V of the above response. I felt “wow”, what an awful response.

And this led me to think – should not be automation smart enough to identify when and what action to take, but more importantly when not to take action and raise an alert for human intervention. This is the point that needs careful consideration to derive true value from automation. Just because it is the talk of the town or it feels “good” to automate, not everything should be dumped into the same basket. Some tasks must be left for humans to perform – who can comprehend, think, and act naturally, and not through a set of rules.

In my credit card case, had there been a human being, the response would have been quite different, leading to customer satisfaction and retention; and of course saving me the time spent on this post.

Please Automate Smart; Dumb gets dumped.


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