Tech fans vs technophobes: the difference between winning and losing in business today

technophobe technofan

Meeting consumer expectations today, no matter what the industry is, means adopting new technologies – and stubborn businesses will be left behind

It is clear that across different industries, the appreciation, uptake and installation of new technologies vary dramatically. Some have welcomed new technology with open arms, pioneering new equipment and processes at the earliest possible opportunity, whereas a number of more traditional sectors have preferred to stick with tried-and-tested means of providing their services.

The ‘tech fan’ industries are at the forefront of technological evolution. They are keen to embrace development and adopt new ways of thinking to improve the ways in which their staff, clients and customers interact internally and externally with their organisation.

Tech fans feature in retail and transport, where a range of new technology is being utilised in a bid to improve company processes, improve the customer or passenger journey, and ultimately, generate increased profit.

For retailers, it’s clear that competition with online channels continues to increase, driving stores to incorporate new technologies that revolutionise the customer journey and enhance the shopper experience.

Many branches of shops have now installed single line queues and electronic call forwarding systems to improve efficiency, minimise ‘queue rage’ and reduce ‘sweethearting’.

Single line queues ensure that customers are served in the order they arrive by the first available till position, eliminating the possibility that one cashier is busier than others.

Similarly, the transport industry has also been leading the way in technological changes to improve customer experiences, particularly in the public transport sector.

Transport for London (TfL), for example, has now installed self-service machines in the majority of London Underground stations, freeing up staff to become more customer facing and improve customer service.

Additionally, a number of Tensator Virtual Assistants now appear at a number of UK rail stations, including Kings Cross, where one was installed to instruct passengers with heavy luggage to use the lift, rather than the escalator.

Since the install, the station has witnessed a 260% increase in passengers using the lift, a much safer alternative.

In contrast, it’s apparent that some industries appear to be stuck in their ways and are sceptical in welcoming new technologies. These technophobes are often found in more labour-intense businesses, where the focus isn’t to develop and grow but to simply perform the task at hand before moving onto the next one.

The construction industry is a prime example where traditional working practises still remain in place. For instance, Lean Construction, a concept developed to improve productivity in the car and building sectors 20 years ago, was picked up instantly by the automobile industry, yet is still to be fully enforced in construction.

And, whilst developments into new technology don’t necessarily need to focus on generating revenue, they can be focused on improving staff experience and safety.

It’s imperative that businesses remain up to date with the latest technology and avoid the signs of a technophobe. Many retail stores, including Woolworths, have gone into liquidation as a result of not adopting new techniques, opting to stick with traditional working practises, which, whilst popular in the mid-nineties, would not stick with today’s increasing consumer demands.

Technological progress will constantly shift and will likely dictate the way successful businesses operate. It is essential that whatever the sector, all businesses take note of the changes that will come to meet consumers’ needs and surpass expectations.

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