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Time self serve-tech Time self serve-tech Document Transcript

  • ElEctronically rEprintEd from march 24, 2008 10 Ideas That Are Changing The World# 2 The End of Customer Service.to seeself-serve technology, you’ll never haveBy BarBara kiviat With a clerk againthe people of memphis had never seen By summer, Alaska it hurts.anything like it. When Clarence Saunders Airlines will finish Increased efficiency and cost savingsopened his first Piggly Wiggly in 1916, a building its “Airport aren’t the only result. Slowly, we are sepa-grocery store was a place where you told the of the Future” in rating services from the places where weclerk behind the counter what you wanted Seattle. The ticket are used to receiving them. Continentaland he fetched it. In Saunders’ store, pa- counter has been Airlines is testing a program that wouldtrons roamed freely among shelves packed obliterated; only is- allow pda users to wirelessly check theirwith goods. They took what they wanted Whom to knoW lands of self-check- flight’s standby list. No need to talk to aand paid on the way out. The “self-serving Bill nuti in kiosks remain. In counter agent anymore, let alone be in thestore,” as Saunders called it in his patent the cEo of ncr, Britain, NCR, a com- same terminal. For supermarkets, Motoro-application, revolutionized retail, much which creates self- pany that sells self- la makes a handheld scanner that custom- service systems,as atms and pump-your-own gas later re- is influential in service systems, is ers carry around; it lets them ring up andengineered other industries. getting companies trying out machines bag groceries as they go. to adopt do-it- Yet it was all simply prelude. Only now yourself technology that let customers Of course, clerks aren’t completely go-are technology and public sentiment align- not only buy mer- ing away. You just don’t have to see them.ing to truly shift the responsibility of col- Projected chandise on their “We’ve all had the pushy salesperson,” sayslecting goods and services to the consumer. spending at self- own but also return NCR ceo Bill Nuti. “Business will get smart- service kiosksConsider the last time you rang up your $1.3 trillion it. In Malaysia, IBM er about when to serve you.”own purchase at Wal-Mart, checked into has outfitted a chain The less cheery way to look at it is thata hotel at a kiosk or bought a ticket from of sushi restau- we’re doing the work of employees withouta machine in the lobby of a movie theater. $438 million rants with ordering being paid. “The company is more produc-Companies love self-service for the money screens linked to the tive, but we’re shifting work to consumers.it saves, and with consumers finally play- kitchen; so much for So from a macro perspective, are we moreing along, the need to interact with human waitresses. And in productive or less?” asks Mary Jo Bitner ofbeings is quickly disappearing. ’06 ’07 ’08 ’09 ’10 ’11 Pennsylvania, Heri- the Center for Services Leadership at Ari- Now that companies have gotten you Source: IHL Group tage Valley Health zona State University. And by adding allused to the idea, they are poised to go all the System will soon these new tasks to our daily routine, are weway. The British retailer Tesco has opened join the ranks of hospitals using check-in overstressing ourselves and reducing ourdozens of its Fresh & Easy grocery stores kiosks for emergency-room visits. Simply quality of life? It’s an interesting debate. Justin the U.S.: all the lanes are self-checkout. touch the image of the human body where don’t expect to have it with a clerk. n1902 later, waiter 1916 a super market 1947 in the driver’s seat 1967 teller goodbye 1995 flying soloBased on a German idea, Piggly Wiggly, the first George Urich introduces Barclays bank installs one Alaska Airlines sells anHorn & Hardart’s Automat self-serve grocery store, self-pumped gas at his of the world’s first ATMs airplane ticket over thedebuts in Philadelphia opens in Memphis California service stations at a London branch Internet for the first time Posted through the courtesy of the Editors of Time Magazine © 2008 Time Inc. 45986
  • C A N A D I A N E D I T I O N / m O R Ch O O , 2 0 0 7 A NT 24 8Risky Business: Campaign Fact-Check: Nancy Gibbs onEliot Spitzer’s What Did Hillary Seven Deadly SinsSelf-Destruction Do as First Lady? For Our Times1Ideas that arechanging the worldrevolutions are happening all around us.here’s what you need to know about the future of: The environmenT  The economy  Technology  religionplus: common Wealth for acrowded Planet By Jeffrey d. sachs w w w.time.com