Customer experience legends  Bill Price and David Jaffe, in their groundbreaking book The Best Service is No Service, laid out the importance of eliminating what they called "dumb contacts." (Without their subtlety, I call the same concept "stupid stuff.")

The best eliminator of dumb contacts, hands down, is Amazon.com.  As Price (an Amazon alumnus himself) explains, there was a time in the early moments of the Web when customers would contact Amazon with blindingly obvious questions-for example, "did you get my order?" In response, Amazon went on a relentless campaign, which continues to this day, to get customers answers to such questions without them needing to ask.  In the example of this particular question, they quickly implemented the auto-response emails that we've all grown-with Pavlovian intensity- to expect, designed to reassure us that, indeed our order has been received and is being processed for ultimate delivery.

Competitors who have emulated Amazon-on their own or in response to reading Price and Jaffee's book-have done their best as well to eliminate dumb contacts and save their customers, and customer support staff, a lot of pointless calls and emails.   But many, many companies still don't get it. And they're frustrating their customers and wasting resources as a result.

What about your company? Are you ready to please your customers and conserve resources via an "eliminate dumb contacts" internal campaign?  If so, here are three steps to take to get started.

1.   Review your FAQs. Are they really the questions your customers and prospects are looking to have answered, or are they just generic questions and answers that date back to when your website was first built?

2.   Start scanning and analyzing the customer inquiries that come in, and assign them to "buckets" (topics that they loosely fall into; in the above example, the specific inquiries might be "I'm afraid my wifi wasn't working so my order didn't go through" or "I'm afraid I forgot to hit 'send,'  but the overall bucket would be "did you get my order?")

3.   Now that you know what the buckets of contacts are, consider which ones can be eliminated, or at least reduced, via automated solutions, whether that means auto-emails, auto-texts, additional information on your website, or even the deployment of AI.