Automation often results in frustration


I’ve just spent 35 minutes trying to give a large finance house £2k of my ‘hard earned’, the most frustrating thing about it was that the process itself took about 5 minutes – that’s the total time I spent talking to an actual human being – ‘Laura’ was charming and helpful and efficient, but after spending 30 minutes battling through the Banque’s (yes it’s a French finance house) automatons and speech recognition system (always a problem for people with strong regional dialects like myself) my initial genial nature had changed into a frustrated negative grudging demeanour, resentful of the time and effort this was taking to perform a simple task that they wanted me to do.

Now what has this got to do with SLOW selling? Well it got me thinking that these systems are used more and more in the sales world as a way of speeding up the process, but how many CEOs or sales directors actually have to negotiate these systems or understand how it influences their customers prior to their interaction with the human part of the sales process?

They cannot possibly be aware of how hacked off their customers become when trapped inside this system and how negative and surly the resultant interface becomes. For all their high words about the customer being at the centre of their business, if the customers first interaction with the company is through an automated awkward system then no one is going to believe them.

I’m sorry if this sounds like a rant but I urge companies to look at these automated systems and SLOW down, replace them with a human who can quickly direct the call to the right department with a minimum of questions and a cheery demeanour and I’m sure that the organisation would benefit in many ways, not just sales.


For more information on ‘Slow Selling’ and how to improve systems within a company,please contact Brendan at

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