Your Customers, Technology and the Camping Ground

Posted: February 13, 2008 in Business Advice, customers, Marketing, Technology

Its summer here in New Zealand and this item draws on this – its still relevant for you Northern Hemisphere dwellers though – just substitute skiing and mountians for swimming and beaches!

Many space-age innovations have made their way into the camping arena – space blankets, cooking aids and the like. These all make the effort all the more rewarding, yet most people don’t think of these items when technology is mentioned – most cast their minds toward computers and cell phones.

Once upon a time camping was in the rough and ‘to get away from it all’.

Its now a case of what technology you can and can’t do without…

Look around in any camp ground these days and you will see a proliferation of tv’s and even a few satellite dishes. Boats are laden with the latest GPS and fish-finding gear, while off-road vehicles probably have microelectronic engine management systems that NASA would have drooled over 20 years ago.

Here in New Zealand both Telecom and Vodafone place temporary cell-sites at all the popular ‘out-of-the-way’ locations so nobody needs to be out of touch with the office and teenagers can text their friends.

At least one camping ground I know of is offering free WiFi coverage for internet addicts! Over the top? Possibly, but the modern camping ground simply could not operate without any technology – its there somewhere in even the most basic grounds – lurking in quiet corners…

Lets face it – we are in love with technology and what it can do for our lives – provided it knows its place – and that is the key. When technology does its assigned task and is unobtrusive about it – we like it – and customer service is no different.

RULE: “Thou shalt not let technology get between you and your customer.”

Use technology carefully to support and assist – but never control. For example: many call centres fortify themselves in with their predictive dialers, IVRs and other gadgets and make it difficult to deal with a real person – and when you do get to one – they are often not able or empowered to act for you – “Sorry I cant access that system for you – you have to ring our accounts department……”

So when you are laying on the beach this month – think about the technology that is making your holiday possible – and see how you can apply the same principle to your customer relationships when you get back to the office. And if you are still having trouble – call me in for a coffee!

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