In the Future, We Are All Robots

I was always upset that they never made a live-action The Jetsons film the way they did with The Flintstones (especially in the 90s, when I did, and still do, believe Tim Allen would have made a great George Jetson). I loved seeing how technology was making everyday tasks easier. George didn’t even have to do his morning routine! He literally stood on a conveyor belt that took him through his shower, clothed him, brushed his teeth, fed him breakfast and handed him his briefcase that would soon turn into his spaceship to get to work. I say this while the computer on my wrist monitors my heart rate, a camera on my doorbell sends live video to my portable telephone so I know who is at the door, a vacuum is moving around the floor with greater patience than I’ve ever had vacuuming, and a box in the corner just responded when I asked what the weather is tomorrow. Wait, do I need a live-action The Jetsons movie? Am I living in one?

Technology is impacting our lives in more ways than we can count, especially in our work. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not just a buzz word in tech businesses, and we have and will continue to see AI make an impact to our jobs in greater and more interesting ways than we could have ever imagined.

Where does this impact Customer Success?

Will we start to see Rosie the Robot calling clients to understand our customer’s long term goals and create a strategy to help them achieve success? In short: kind of…

That might sound scary, but as I mentioned earlier, we as human beings are already starting to integrate with technology. Maybe not in the same ways George did to get from bed to work (yet), but with wearable devices, in-home assistance, and many others. These robots help make tasks easier and even off of our plate. The result allows us to focus on more complex activities, usually ones that require the human component that technology has not mastered. While the doorbell can tell me who is at the door, it cannot determine the person who is on my doorsteps intent.

Customer Success is no different and technology will play a couple of key roles. First, it will continue to enhance the products our customers are investing in. I know very few Customer Success Managers who consult on the exact same product for more than a few years. That is not to say they are switching jobs, but that the products are going through different versions, requiring CSMs to consistently be learning to be the trusted advisor our clients expect us to be. This is good news for anyone considering starting a career in Customer Success, as you will always need individuals who can help others optimize products.

The second, and in my opinion, more exciting way it will impact Customer Success is we will see more enhancements with our internal products and strategies, taking away the easier or more mundane aspects of the job so we can focus on larger, more complex ones. We will start to see AI noticing trends for us, then give us potential strategies to bring to our clients. We will have to work with this technology because it does not have the ability to use the human element to determine the best method.

We sadly may never get The Jetsons live movie that shows us all the amazing enhancements technology we will get to enjoy in 2062. Mr. Spacely being played by Danny DeVito, a CGI Astro that becomes the next craze for kids, a la Minions, the condos in the sky (I’ve thought a lot about this). Luckily, we do get to work with technology, to elevate ourselves, our clients and the entire Customer Success function in a way not previously thought possible.

Colin Espinales is one of the co-founders of the Chicago Customer Success Podcast. He is currently a Customer Success Manager of Global Accounts at LinkedIn.


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