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The end of customer service

POS, credit card, payment, shopperANZ bank has a fun campaign to promote mobile pay and if you haven’t seen it, it is worth a 15 second viewing.

Is this where customer service is headed? If so, surely the customers are bringing it upon themselves.

While amusing, look at the frustration displayed by the young cashier. And how will he react to the next customer? Why bother to train staff in customer service?

The tragedy is that this kind of technology which we will all be forced to embrace, is at the very least dehumanising. In fact it is plain rude and it is bad manners. If we cannot take time out to acknowledge the person who is serving us, say a few words and thank them for their help, where are we heading as a species?

Clearly we are looking at the end of customer service and probably the end of many retail jobs.

This has been on the cards for some time with self service checkouts and more recently talk of robotic sales people. And of course on line ordering which I thought would never catch on for supermarket shopping, has taken off big time.

This is now the only way my wife and I shop. The items one has previously ordered are on the system and it takes only a few minutes to do your grocery shopping. Choose the delivery window and pay from as little as $4 and the goods will arrive and be unpacked onto your kitchen counter.

Compare this to getting in your car, paying the petrol, walking around for half an hour pushing a trolley that has a mind of its own and which is hell bent on moving in the opposite direction at great cost to your shoulder muscles. Then unpacking it at the checkout, placing the bags into the trolley, navigating the uncooperative vehicle to your car, unpacking the contents into your car boot, replacing the trolley into the prescribed bay, returning to your car, driving home and then unpacking your boot and carrying as many bags as you can into your kitchen usually meaning several trips.  Now all this for a few dollars which wouldn’t begin to cover your fuel costs.

In light of the above, is it any small wonder that we are witnessing the end of a retail era.

Stuart Bennie is a retail consultant at Impact Retailing and can be contacted at or 0414 631 702

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