The Time Tested Power of Human Touch When Automations Go Wrong

When Automations Go WrongI opened my email to see a pitch to be on my podcast, not out of the ordinary, I can get 50-100 a month, quite a few are really good.

“I don’t think this is a fit, but I appreciate you reaching out. if you have any clients that may be a fit, I’m glad to take a look,” I responded.

A few days later, a got the exact same pitch from the exact same person, not like it was a reply to my last email, but like it was sent for the first time. Hey I understand, these things happen, things go to spam, never wanting to make someone else wrong. I replied, “Hey there, not sure if you didn’t see my last email, but please see my previous response.” 

I then copied and pasted what I wrote last time, put quotation marks around it and italicized it; I assumed it was over.

Another week passed, in came the same email, from the same person, once again like I never responded. Now, I was a bit agitated. I responded: “Hi, are you receiving my emails?”

What do you know, a week later, the exact same email, same person and same time, just as if I never responded.


The Boomerang Tunnel of Doom

When Automations Go WrongAfter the above happened, all on the same time of the day and the same day each week, I realized what was happening. The user, in their ultimate laziness, had setup a boomerang or similar application to just bombard my email and was not even monitoring the email for results.

Tools such as these often send emails at appointed times, usually on an individual basis. I’ve used them to try different subject lines and see if people are opening my emails or If I have reminder emails that need to go out at specific times that I won’t be at my computer.

However, when abused, it can be like being stuck on an email list you cannot unsubscribe from.

Automation is good, but when you abuse it, not only does it not help, but it using agitates the person on the other end.


“For a Human, Hang Up and Hope”

When Automations Go WrongIf my internet ever goes down, calling my provider can be a nightmare. Want to get a human? Keep hitting “0” for operator and it will keep sending you to the main menu.

However finding customer service on their menu is nothing less than a miracle. There’s endless options, pick the wrong one, and believe it or not, the phone will actually say “Good Bye,” and hang up on you. If you ever do get through, good luck in finding a wait time short than FDR’s presidency.

The last time I called, I learned my current hack that has worked each time I’ve tried it: dial whatever option gets you to the sales department, a cheery voice will pick up after one ring.

This one works each time, and if I give a good enough story actually gets me to someone that can help me

Companies need to learn that customer acquisition is important, it’s your lifeblood, but if you don’t find a better way to service your existing customers, then a competitor will.


What is the Solution to Automation?

When Automations Go WrongYes, automation saves time and is often a very necessary thing. As founders, we are all trying to scale and save time, after all, our time is valuable. Here’ s the thing to remember: not only is our time valuable but so is the time of our customers and potential customers.

Call my company and you’ll find automation: a dial by number directory, but that directory will get you a human after one dial and if you leave a message we will actually call back. Its important to keep the human touch even as you scale.

We do a fair amount of pitching podcasts and media at our company. To that effect, pitches can start with a template, but customized to the person receiving it. However, its sent by a human, in real time every time. We will never stop doing business that way, because I’ve been the angry person on the other side of the email.

We’ve gotten those “take me off your list” emails but by responding: “Hi, apologies, you’re not on a list, I’m actually a human on the other side of this email and I’m here to help. What would your best fit look like?” We’ve won a fair number of cool placements for clients and made some really cool friends in media along the way.

The solution is finding a balance of staying human why not letting automation or SkyNet to take over, building a customer centered business is the only way companies will survive.


Jeremy Ryan Slate

CEO, Co-Founder, Command Your Brand Media

When Automations Go WrongJeremy Ryan Slate is the founder of the Create Your Own Life Podcast, to create life on their own terms. He studied literature at Oxford University, and is a former champion powerlifter turned new media entrepreneur. Specializes in using podcasting and new media to create celebrity and was ranked #1 in iTunes New and Noteworthy and #26 in the business category.

Jeremy was named one of the top 26 podcast for entrepreneurs to listen to in 2017 by CIO Magazine and Millennial Influencer to follow in 2018 by Buzzfeed. The Create Your Own Life Podcast has been downloaded almost a quarter of a million times. He’s also a featured writer for Influencive and After his success in podcasting, Jeremy Slate and his wife, Brielle Slate, found Command Your Brand to help entrepreneurs get their message out by appearing as guests on podcasts.


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