• Matt Harlos

Technology: Not a Replacement for Empathy

Updated: Nov 22, 2019

(120 second read)

Today’s consumer demands convenience and premium service without exception. As a society, we expect ultimate convenience and a “VIP” experience for every single transaction, all while demanding “General Admission” prices. As businesses, it’s our role to meet the ever-increasing demands of the end-consumer by increasing operational efficiency through using new technology and changing the way we market our services. Sounds great, right?

Here’s the issue: Technology is not a replacement for empathy. Despite what many folks will have you believe, adding more technology isn’t a magical solution that fixes problems; it takes a partner that listens to provide the support needed to allow your business to focus on delivering premium service. Empathy is uniquely human.

At Gimme, we build software that improves the lives of Unattended Retail professionals, from owners of vending companies to route drivers. For those of you that don’t know, the job of a route driver is hard. Imagine this: The clock strikes 12:00AM. Your alarm rings. You quietly get out bed to avoid waking your sleeping family, get dressed in the dark, and venture out into the cold night to drive to the warehouse. You’ve got a 12+ hour day of lifting heavy pallets of drinks and handling customer complaints, all with a smile on your face. You finish the day, exhausted, just in time to pick up your kids from school and start over again. Some days, it can be a thankless job.

If you don’t understand the pains of your users, how can you build software that understands their needs? Answer: You can’t. It takes a culture of empathy and service to provide the quality of experience today's consumer demands.

When we hire a new team member at Gimme, no matter their job title, their first task is to complete what we call an “Intense On-boarding Experience”. Every Gimme team member spends their first week on a vending route with the earliest starting driver I can find. They internalize their pains, their struggles, their daily routines. It’s our way of staying connected to the needs of the hard-working people that use our products every day.

What are you doing in your business to develop a culture of empathy?

#PaulWoody #Vending #Technology #Empathy