In today’s hyper-connected world, where ever company has an online presence in addition to — or in place of — a brick-and-mortar business, many business owners struggle with how to connect with their customers.
Social media and mobile devices are often blamed for blocking meaningful, face-to-face human interaction. Technology, however, can often have the opposite effect and actually humanize the way businesses connect with their customers. At least that’s Twitter and Square founder Jack Dorsey’s take.
Speaking at a technology conference Thursday in San Francisco, Dorsey spoke about how, when done correctly, technologies that are often blamed for replacing human interaction with staring at screens can actually bring people together and help them interact meaningfully — and how this is all great for businesses, especially local businesses. It’s certainly an interesting take. At The SmartVan, we’ve covered the effect technology (whether social media, mobile devices or the applications that run on them), can have on businesses, from a purely technological perspective. ZDNet’s Rachel King writes:
Thus, with more and more people that can quickly start businesses, Dorsey posited that we have more potential for small and medium-sized businesses to thrive and grow into larger corporations.
King relates one of Dorsey’s examples from his own service, Square, already a useful mobile device tool for field service businesses. It’s called Card Case, and it basically allows customers to link their credit card to their phone and open electronic “tabs” and auto-pay when they walk into a shop. Merchants know their customers’ names, pictures and even the items they regularly purchase. King writes:
The benefit here is that a merchant can build a more friendly relationship and converse with customers as customers don’t have to fiddle around in bags, looking for their wallets and, at least eventually, smartphones.
Granted, it’s geared toward merchants such as coffee shops, but it will be interesting to see if businesses such as field service firms catch on. This consumerization effect is already happening with mobile devices.
Field technicians are often the only point of customer contact after a sale, and it’s true that new technologies — while some may be very far off — can bring a new element of human interaction, instead of stifling it. What field service business wouldn’t like that?