In seventies we thought we were on the cutting edge of technology if we had a touch tone phone and an electric (no battery operated ones yet) calculator with a square root key.
In the eighties we were in tall cotton with a networked computer system running a point of sale program offered by Radio Shack, life couldn’t get better.
In the nineties we had cell phones as big as a brick, PC’s with color screens and not the monochrome green, automated reorder systems for parts, equipment service tracking, and some of us were dabbling in something called the world-wide web thinking it might actually be used someday by customers looking for us.
Entering the 21st century, everyone is carrying around laptops, I-pads, flip phones with built-in cameras and all are interconnected. Service techs and sales staff can access equipment, customer and part records with just a few mouse clicks. Trucks get tracked and dispatched with the use of global positioning, and the internet has become an integral part of our business and personal communications.
At dinner parties, when asked what I do for a living, a frequent riposte is ” so you work for an old school brick and mortar company” In actuality nothing can be further from the truth. I counter question them as to how high-tech is their customer service.
- Can their customers talk directly with technical staff by online chat, e-mail. phone, and FAX ? EXAIR customers can.
- Can their customers attain product information, prints, manuals, and pricing 24/7 ? EXAIR customers can. All this is posted on the internet.
- Does their company interact with their customers through social media? EXAIR interacts with customers through Facebook, Twitter, and Blogging.
By now the conversation has generated shuffling feet and lowered eyes because they have come to realize their company’s automated telephone system is akin to the “old school” electric calculator.