Technology is great, we all use it in one form or another to make our lives easier. We pay bills online, we text everyone, we do most of our shopping online and so many other things. No one is going to argue that technology, overall, is a bad thing.
However, the advent of technology has also decayed other aspects of our society. Some would argue that we don’t talk to each other as much and the human connection is suffering. As someone who has been in sales his whole life, I would argue that technology has been good and bad.
The good is obvious. Invoices are easier to fill out, delivery times are quicker, inventories are able to be seen online and hundreds of other benefits. Customer service, though, has taken a huge hit and a lot of it has to do with the technology era that we live in today.
Let’s start with a simple example. A lot of fast-food restaurants are starting to go to computers for customers to order from. Basically it’s a touch screen that you place your order on, scan your card and pick up your food at the end of a counter. I’m not going to lie, in that case I probably prefer that – but it’s a slippery slope.
Successful salespeople are built on two things, referrals and repeat customers. If a customer is buying an engagement ring on a computer, why would they come back? There’s no reason for them to be loyal to a computer. Let’s take the engagement ring example further.
The computer is just going to show you rings based on what you input. A salesperson is going to have a conversation with you, they are going to get to know you and your perspective fiancé. They are going to want to hear the story of how you met, and based on all of that information, that salesperson is going to do everything they can to help you find the perfect ring.
The thing that brings people back is the personal touch, the relationships that customers build with salespeople. There’s no doubt that technology can be used as an asset for salespeople, but there’s no program that can do that.
No one is ever going to argue that technology is a bad thing because it’s not, but it can never replace quality customer service.