Scaling up without selling your soul – Part 8


This may seem nitpicky, but how many of you love talking to a robot? After being on the phone with a robot and starting over the fifth time, I can’t help but wonder if it wouldn’t be more efficient to just hire an incentivized neighbor to answer the phone and deal efficiently with the transaction. I’m convinced that if businesses put their money in people instead of the latest techno-gadget, maybe they wouldn’t have to advertise. To be clear, I’m not talking about voice mail; I’m talking about robots.

I answered the phone the other day and a lady on the other end stuttered: “Oh, is this a real person? I didn’t expect to talk to a real person.” If I were king for a day, I would outlaw all robot phone machines. Be honest. Does anyone here enjoy hearing: “Press 1, press, 2, press 3?” We all hate it, and yet we succumb to some sales pitch and the seeming efficiency and buy into anti-human treatment. And most of us are in business to deal with humans.

If westerners are starved for appreciation, they are also starved for human contact. While I may be a farmer and technically in the food business, really I’m in the relationship business—and so is everyone in this room. Shame on me if I shortcut this human touch and force my patrons to talk to a robot.

A well trained, pleasant-voiced, empowered person can handle my frequent flyer miles redemption ten times faster than the robot. If the airlines would offer a human transaction instead of a robot, I’d gladly give an extra 5,000 miles a transaction for the efficiency and warm fuzzy. At Polyface, we’re committed to never having a robot answer the phone.
To be continued…
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About Sheri Salatin

Sheri is married to Daniel Salatin. She is the marketing director at Polyface Farm and stay-at-home mom of three children. Sheri is passionate about clean food and is enjoying working the land along side her husband. When not farming, Sheri can be found reading, writing, sewing, baking and serving in her church family.

One Response to Scaling up without selling your soul – Part 8

  1. Roger Priddle says:

    I first encountered Polyface in “Omnivore’s Dilemma”. I love what you’re doing and have some neighbours who are “growing earthworms” in a similar manner.

    And, although I understand why you don’t like emails, I wish there were some easy way for you answer specific technical questions (i.e. “strawberry foot” and calving in winter). When you’re stuck with dial-up access, it’s just not possible to be a Twit or a “Friend”, or to “Follow”.

    Nonetheless, I greatly admire what you’ve done and are doing. Congratulations.