Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links
It is common in business these days to decry the impact of technology. We’re told that it takes away the personal touch, and that it is off-putting to customers who face an ever-decreasing chance to speak to “a real person”. There are, it’s true, plenty of ways in which an increasingly digital age can leave the customer feeling alienated – but if we look deeper, it’s not technology that’s at fault there; it’s got more to do with the cost-saving drive to automation meaning that workforces can be smaller and work more impersonal.
So, what if you are a business that wants to make the best use of technology and retain both the worker-centered ethos of its past as well as a customer-friendly face? Can you have the best of both worlds, embracing progress while staying true to traditional values? You can; but you need to ensure a balance by keeping the following in mind…
Technology can be molded to your needs
Anyone who has looked into the opportunities offered by automation and technology will know perfectly well exactly how much can be done by “machines”. They can make calls, take calls, write letters, reply to live chat messages, keep a count of stock, and much more besides. At some point in the future, it will be possible for every single thing in a business to be done by robots – but it won’t have to be, and that’s the key point. Use technology to make things easier, by all means – but just because a computer program can do something, that doesn’t mean it has to.
The “Goldilocks” principle
If everything in a business had to be done by hand, it would take forever and customers would end up getting frustrated. If everything was instead done by automated machines, that could still be frustrating for any customer who had the kind of specific enquiry that required outside-the-box thinking. Many businesses find that technology is best applied to the “big” stuff like monitoring sites, and you can click here to see how that works in oil fields as an example. This division of labour allows more people to be assigned to key customer-assisting duties, where a human brain is essential and where empathy can be a huge boon.
People can work without tech, not vice versa
A boss can easily be tempted to replace more jobs in their business with automatons; machines won’t query their orders, don’t need breaks and can’t turn up late. There is, however, a very clear failing that tech can’t escape. Let’s sum it up in this way: if a human worker is not performing, a machine can’t take a look at them and get them working better, like human IT staff can help with a failing machine. In other words, humans are essential to a business, so your working practices should always be designed with your human workers in mind. Remember, your customers are also human – your business should reflect that.
Tech will continue to be influential on business, and its hold is set to grow in times to come. That’s not a bad thing, as long as you recognize the importance of keeping the right balance between people and machines in your business.