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ustomer service and how companies sell is changing. We all recognise that technol-

ogy is transforming how we buy. T e option to compare prices and products online has given the buyer so much data about their potential product that they are better placed now to get the right product at the right price. I do a lot of my purchasing

online and, as a wheelchair user, it has transformed my shopping experience. Before the option to buy with the click of a mouse, I used to travel to

– a real necessity when they bring your purchase into your kitchen and even help you stow it away for you. Trust has been developed and that is invaluable. T e other day, my delivery was

delayed and, when it arrived, the online manager who is based in the local store brought my shopping and explained about the delay. My original driver had arrived at another customer’s home earlier in the day. He wasn’t able to raise the elderly man inside and became concerned. T e police were called and the man had fallen the night before and had not been able to raise an alarm. T e customer was comforted by the

Trust has been developed and that is invaluable

my nearest town, struggle around supermarkets and then, on returning home, unpack and put away my purchases – an exhausting process. Although you would think that the

introduction of online supermarket shopping would remove the personal touch in customer service, for me and possibly other vulnerable customers, it has marked a new, more personal customer interaction – one that takes place inside the customer’s home. My online delivery men visit me on

average twice a week and I know many of them pretty well. T ey do an excellent job of making the customer feel at ease

4 | November 2016 |

driver as he knew him from previous visits. When the online manager was told of the predicament, he fi nished the driver’s deliveries so the driver could stay with the customer as long as he was needed – a particularly thoughtful and person-centric approach that I hadn’t expected from such a large supermarket. It would seem that an unintended

consequence of technology impacting on our shopping experience could be a move towards more personal customer interaction. Let’s hope we can continue to empower our customer- facing colleagues to do what they feel is right – and which is obviously absolutely right for customers.



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