As the pace of technological innovation and mass-adoption accelerates, businesses are under increasing pressure to adapt to consumers’ rapidly shifting patterns of behaviour.
According to MIT Media Lab associate director Andrew Lippman, the rate of change in society is proportional to the age at which an individual is introduced to the dominant technology of the time. By this definition, Lippman suggests new technology generations are now being born every four years, with the current generation defined as living in the information age.
“Now the dominant technology is computing and communications,” explains Lippman. “It’s the phone in your pocket, and you are introduced to it at the age of four, and that means there is a new generation of people being born every four years, [because] technology is anything invented after you’re born.”
In fact, a recent study by the London School of Economics and political science found that a third of three to four year olds in the UK go online using a desktop PC, laptop or netbook, six per cent access the internet via a tablet and three per cent via a mobile phone. A second study by Ofcom similarly found that over ten per cent of children use their mobile phone to go online, with 38 per cent using instant messaging and 45 per cent using social networks.
This evidence on how younger people are quickly adopting new communications technology, like smartphones, has strong implications for businesses. While older customers may be slower to demand new ways of contacting brands that suit their digital requirements, young people expect businesses to react more rapidly to include new channels in their customer service offering. What’s more, as the pace of change of technological adoption is accelerating, this pressure is likely to be even greater in the future.
In today’s market, incorporating new customer service channels including mobile applications and social media represents the biggest challenge for brands, but in the future the number of communication channels is likely to proliferate further. To maintain service standards, it is vital that brands not only include innovative channels, but also ensure they are well-aligned to provide consistent, personal service no matter how a consumer gets in touch.
Contact numero for further advice on delivering effective service in a multi-channel era.