Changing customer service with technology

Technologies are changing fast and we are experiencing waves of disruption today that are faster than ever. Let me illustrate with a brief history lesson…

Computing used to be highly centralised. Companies and organisations such as universities would have a single enormous mainframe system. People would access the computing power of this single device, often by submitting their computing requests into a queue, which the system would eventually return – often the next day.

The PC revolution of the eighties and nineties changed all of that, placing individual computers on every desk and sparking a software revolution – tools such as spreadsheet and word processing software proliferated.

More recently the focus of computing power has gone personal. We all carry a device in our pocket – whether a tablet computer or a phone – that probably has more power than those central systems that used to provide the computing power of an entire organisation.

This is most easily demonstrated when looking back at the computer used to put a man on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission – with a 4096 byte memory, the Apple logo that appears when you turn on an iPhone almost certainly uses more memory than this.

Computing is now individual and personal. Technology such as landline telephones now seem archaic – who calls a building rather than a person? But how does this also change our approach to customer service? If people have changed the way they use the telephone itself, does that shift their perception or what it means to call a helpline?

I believe that customer service will become more important and more personal because of this paradigm shift in technology use, but what’s your view?

Apollo 11 Liftoff (NASA, Moon, 6/18/09)


Photo by NASA licensed under Creative Commons

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