It seems to me that we have mixed feelings about human interactions. For some simple processes, it's good to go digital and cut all the small talk and "have a nice day" time wasting. But there are still transactions where we cry out to speak to a "real human being."
You can buy Avon products online. You can even join over 16,000 people in following its Twitter account. But I think that the appeal of Avon ladies, or Mary Kay reps, is having a person who really knows the products offer what she wants to sell you -- er, I mean what you need. It gives one a personalized, customized experience combined with a bit of human interaction -- rather like what many enjoy from hair stylists.Personally, though, I'd prefer to look into the options -- in a store or onine-- and arriving at my own decision rather than feeling pressured into making a purchase.
I think your point about B2C sales is right. As we continue to morph into a society that prefers to have fewer and fewer interactions with actual human beings, online insurance agents/travel agents will gain more and more appeal.
I think B2C sales agents (insurance, travel, etc.) will suffer--and have already suffered--from ecommerce sites. The ones that will remain are those in industries that require a lot of human contact to make the sale. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I think them Avon Ladies still have a place in society.
I think I agree that none of these will be "eliminated" per se. Well, who really knows, but not in five years. (I may or may not be kicking myself a bit on using the word "eliminated" in this poll.) But anyway, the point is that I think at very least we'll see a lot less of these jobs being filled, and that -- as was said in an earlier comment -- many of these areas will become reliant on having both DIY and some actual service people.
The service sector will always be in need of human beings, so I don't really see any of these positions every being completely eliminated by the Internet. I don't think a computer would be able to facilitate a good experience in any of those areas whereas people can really make a difference in customer service. Good customer service is the mark of a good business and a computer just can't provide that the way a person can.
The ThinkerNet does not reflect the views of TechWeb. The ThinkerNet is an informal means of communication to members and visitors of the Internet Evolution site. Individual authors are chosen by Internet Evolution to blog. Neither Internet Evolution nor TechWeb assume responsibility for comments, claims, or opinions made by authors and ThinkerNet bloggers. They are no substitute for your own research and should not be relied upon for trading or any other purpose.
Bitcoin has become a new darling of the tech press, the subject of several weekly articles suggesting the virtual currency might soon transform Internet commerce and even the world itself. From my unique vantage, however, this euphoria seems largely contingent on a collective myopia thatís all too eerily familiar.
The flawed government contracting process for complex health IT projects -- dramatized by HealthCare.gov -- seriously needs to be reformed, said David Blumenthal, MD, president of the Commonwealth Fund, and former national coordinator of health IT. Blumenthal laid out his views in a post on The Health Care Blog (THCB) and an interview with InformationWeek Healthcare.
Over the past decade of measuring website traffic and customer preferences, both businesses and consumers have become more sophisticated. What mattered a few years ago is unimportant today. As a result, technology and marketing executives are grappling with how to revise their website metrics for today's market.
Retailers want to personalize shopping in brick-and-mortar locations that have essentially become showrooms for online retailers. Theyíre capitalizing on the smartphones customers own by looking at products that involve existing Bluetooth technology.
First, consumer brands used gamification to improve their connections with retail customers. Whole Foods, for example, ran a two-week game to educate and motivate customers to make healthy choices. Now enterprises are using it to engage employees.
You've heard the expression, "Out of the frying pan, into the fire?" Amazon lives in the fire. The e-tailer wins by keeping things hot for its competitors, employees, and itself, according to a new book.
Positec, a manufacturer of power tools for homes and commercial applications, achieves greater customer service flexibility and cuts hold times in half by using a cloud-based service to manage its call center.
Big-data and analytics tools enable marketers to understand customers as individuals, identifying unmet needs and addressing each customer as a "segment of one," says John Kennedy, VP corporate marketing, IBM.
Expert Integrated Systems: Changing the Experience & Economics of IT In this e-book, we take an in-depth look at these expert integrated systems -- what they are, how they work, and how they have the potential to help CIOs achieve dramatic savings while restoring IT's role as business innovator. READ THIS eBOOK
your weekly update of news, analysis, and
opinion from Internet Evolution - FREE! REGISTER HERE
Wanted! Site Moderators Internet Evolution is looking for a handful of readers to help moderate the message boards on our site as well as engaging in high-IQ conversation with the industry mavens on our thinkerNet blogosphere. The job comes with various perks, bags of kudos, and GIANT bragging rights. Interested?