Throughout modern history, technological innovation has been a catalyst for change, as emergent technologies have transformed our day-to-day lives. Technology has dramatically reshaped modern society and paved the way for amazing tools, multi-functional devices like the smartwatch and the smartphone. Computers are increasingly faster, more portable, and higher-powered than ever before.
With all of these revolutions, technology has also made our lives easier, faster and granted access to any product or service – from shopping at your favourite retailer to booking a doctor’s appointment – technology has granted us boundless access to resources, putting information at our fingertips.
The modern consumer experience reflects this, as technology continues to alter how we use services and products on a regular basis. Technology now enables business and consumers to interact remotely – but what ensures that this occurs in an effective and efficient manner?
Technology increases transparency allowing consumers to properly evaluate the brands they do business with.
Consumers are increasingly concerned with the social purpose and ethics of brands, meaning that people want to know more about the companies that they’re choosing to economically transact with. With the help of modern technology, consumers are able to do more research than ever before choosing who they should be engaging with. The internet makes it so easy for consumers to find information that decades ago, might have been able to remain hidden.
Now businesses are put under the microscope, they’re expected to be responsible in all of their decision making and how they conduct their business, down to where they distribute and purchase their products as well as services from.
Businesses can make the most of this consumer trend, by increasing transparency through their website and social media channels. In fact, transparency has become so appealing to consumers that businesses large and small are using it now to market their products. Sole traders can build huge social media followings by demonstrating their ethical business processes as customers become invested in the brand, as a result. Large corporations can do the same, sharing information about their product sourcing, their investors and so on.
Tech enables businesses and employees to use their time more efficiently.
There’s a whole world of reasons that businesses and employees need, and are, incorporating remote work setups into their organisations: better work / life balance makes for a happier, more efficient workforce; families often need to manage care arrangements for children and older family members better; disabled employees may find it difficult and stress enduring to use public transport, particularly during peak times. This often helps to generate a more inclusive working environment, generating benefits for both employees and employers alike.
There is a much greater awareness of the importance of being green and clear recognition that adopting sustainability as a working practice by businesses is no longer optional. Technology is making travelling to the office everyday unnecessary, as internet access allows employees to work from wherever they are, at a time that suits them. This often leads to happier employees and increased output. For us, tech platforms like Slack are exceptionally useful as we have employees that reside in both Europe and North America where the time difference is around 8 hours. Slack lets companies like ContactLenses.co.uk to overcome geographic remoteness, allowing employees to be in constant communication more connected than ever before.
Technology enables consumers to access products at lightening pace.
As access to greater information grows, consumers are demanding from retailers. When consumers see a product they like from the other side of the world on social media, they can source it, and have it shipped to them in less than a few weeks. International Fashion Weeks are streamed live – there’s no more waiting for the September issue of Vogue to find out the trends – and within a matter of days, copycat items are available, especially when online sellers are using suppliers to DropShip orders from suppliers overseas. With regards to our priorities we place fast shipping high on the list as we use tech to us ensure our consumers receive their contact lenses as quick as possible.
Technology streamlines and facilitates round the clock customer service
With the rise of eCommerce, consumer expect a high level of convenience to come at all stages of the shopping process. When a customer has a problem with an order, or a question about a product, they’re less likely to pick up the phone today than they were in the past. Email support is generally great and allows customers to access help when they have time – as long as the business replies in good time. It was a great solution until chatbots came along – which made email look old-fashioned. Chatbots are simply programs that make customer service more efficient by asking a set of questions, before passing to a real-life person if necessary. Customers can converse with chatbots on company websites to get their answer quicker and are happy when their issue is resolved. Happy customers make for great reviews demonstrating better business practices. We love providing our users with an effective chatbot and we can honestly say our customers are a big fan of them too.
Technology has ushered in the dawn of the connected world, as people across the planet are able to network in ways thought unimaginable a hundred years ago. This remote connectivity has reshaped the relationship between businesses and consumers, triggering changes and generating brand new channels for interacts to occur within. It is easy to imagine that soon there will be a number of new concepts to add to the above list; the ways in which tech is enabling businesses and consumer to do things remotely are ever evolving.
John Dreyer, Optometric Consultant, Contactlenses