I was doing something decidedly none business yesterday (replacing my dead dryer) and the sales representative that was helping me was glued to his IPAD. Now I applaud the store for the use of technology to create a more accurate account of inventory, but to run a business you actually have to talk to your customers! The sales representative was great; he was friendly and knowledgeable and did everything he could do to help us try to find an appliance in stock to take home that day. What wasn’t great? He did all this barely looking up from his IPAD. So technology is great until it isn’t, here are some things to keep in mind while empowering the younger generation of workers with technology:
Technology should assist, not complete the sell
I know that the younger generation prefers electronic communication to actual social interaction, but customers actually want you to look at them when you help them. I applaud the use of the IPAD. It’s a great use for supply chain management, but I ‘m here in front of you waiting to buy something. Look at me.
Customers buy based on relationship, not price
This was the first time I bought an appliance from this store and unfortunately it didn’t leave a great impression. I tend to buy from people I like and so do most customers. You will have customers that will buy using the ‘price is king’ method, but they don’t form any loyalty to your store. In business the ideal customer is one who buys based on value, not price. Put down your IPAD and start building that relationship.
Customers that don’t want to talk to people buy on-line
There are a couple of reasons I don’t purchase appliances on-line: I want to see and inspect what I am buying, I want more information than appears on the FAQ’s page and I want to know who I can go to if something goes wrong. For all these reasons, I want to talk to a person. I don’t want you to read me information off of the website, I can do that. I don’t want you to refer me to the website; I want to get the answers from you. I want to know who fixes the problems, who okays the deal and who delivers. So let’s have a conversation, not a chat session.
The bottom line is that technology should assist the sale, not create it. Your customers are your life blood and for that they deserve your attention. This isn’t old fashioned and outdated; it’s building relationships which is the foundation of business.