While many people lament the ‘old days’ of good service given by a real person, especially when dealing with call centres, it’s good to know that quality service is back and is here to stay. It just looks a little different than it used to. Instead of service being replaced by digital functionality, the businesses that are getting it right are using a seamless blend of digital and human interactions.
Here’s just one example of how this approach is already working. A customer wanting to buy a new bed doesn’t start by trekking from store to store to try everything. Instead, they search online for bedding suppliers that service their area, browse through their catalogues to select the looks and specifications they like to create a short list. They could order straight from the site and return the product if it’s not right, however, most people still choose to physically go to one or two stores to see and feel the bed before they make a final decision.
While instore, they get advice from a salesperson who has an iPod in their hand to check things like price and availability. The salesperson processes the order via the iPad which automatically sends a confirmation to the customer’s phone or email. Customised delivery times are arranged through a courtesy call from the dispatch manager. The delivery truck is tracked in real time via a phone app and the driver calls when they are on the way, (so, no more waiting to see if and when they’ll turn up).
As digital technology advances, this type of service will only get better, faster, and cheaper – if it’s done right.
The organisations that are flexible enough to embrace change, and AI in particular, are those that will still be going 20 years from now. And, how they operate in the future will look completely different again. However, those that are not changing the way they do things now to integrate the best of the digital and physical worlds, probably won’t be around much longer.
Anders Sorman-Nilsson is a global futurist and innovation strategist who helps leaders decode trends, decipher what’s next, and turn provocative questions into proactive strategies. When Anders gave a presentation as part of Florence Guild’s speaker series, ‘The Antidisciplinary Future’, he outlined his thoughts on the future of work. Anders believes that although we are about to see a huge increase in the rate of exponential change and growth, many organisations are not prepared for it. He says, “The future is a blend of the virtual and the physical, the digital and the analogue”. Organisations need to understand this and model themselves accordingly.
‘The Antidisciplinary Future’ series narrative explores how we can look outside traditional disciplines to find better ways to live and work now and in the future. To hear more of Aaron’s insights on ‘Exponentiality and the seamlessness future of work’, tune in to episode 9 of our ‘antidisciplinary’ podcast series. You can also keep up to date with conversations with other thought leaders by subscribing to our podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio.