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.
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