While reading an article earlier the other day about Amazon Go and the future of grocery stores and subscription services like MeUndies and Dollar Shave club, it got me thinking about Star Trek and what all this technology will mean for our labor pool in the future.  Maybe the writers of that show weren’t as far off as we thought when the show aired in 1966.

Customer Service is Dead

I propose instead of focusing on all the jobs these robots are taking from our labor pool that we look at our labor pool and inspire them, encourage them, to learn a skill that will be of value in our futuristic society.

In Star Trek everyone contributed in some way, no one had money, and no one did customer service. As much as we all complain about customer service being a top priority for businesses, the sad truth is it is merely a necessary evil to winning over our perceived competition (we think). With the invention of Amazon Go, 3D printers, and all other forms of subscription shopping, what is customer service anyway?

Isn’t it already a thing of the past?

Why is NY…scratch that, America thinking of rising minimum wage to $15 per hour for minimum customer service skills? Shouldn’t we give these people incentive to go to school and learn a hard science? What about health care?

It seems like all the advantages for work in the future will be for those who both know and understand technology and can use said technology to solve problems and create things. In the future that Star Trek shared with us there were no artists, landscapers, general contractors, or even mechanics as we know them today. All of these people did things related to technology in the show.

Do I think Star Trek is real? No but I certainly think that we are moving towards a society that doesn’t require money to survive… it requires skills. Without a way to contribute to the collective then you will be relegated too.

Technology, Job reform, Skills required, Future proofing

Technology and Small Business

Well if I am not going to beat my competitors at customer service, because that is a relic, how do I win?

All day every day I work with small business owners helping them to understand the difference between Red and Blue Oceans and how we can create new market space and compete on a wide variety of levels, not just service and price. Small businesses need to analyze costs, creatives, and product/service for competitive value. How are we solving a need in the market place that no one else is doing? That’s being innovative and focusing on ways to create jobs without focusing on customer service.

A great example, a local event planner was noticing that caterers, party planners, other event planners, and event hosts were looking for reliable help. The trouble, she noticed with staffing firms, is they pull any warm body in to handle any event. The problem is any warm body isn’t trained on how to act, what to say, how to set the table for the variety of events an event planner or caterer can have in a given month.

What to do? She started an event staffing firm that trains segments of the staff on specific events. Have a wedding coming up? Her wedding staff can be there to set, serve, and clean up post-wedding and they all know how to behave and dress specifically for wedding events. What about a bar mitzvah? Yup, she has people for that too! They are not the same people necessarily as the wedding staff as they are trained in bar mitzvah’s specifically.

Is she cheaper than a typical staffing firm? No! But she provides a service unlike all staffing firms in the triad. This makes her in a unique position of creating jobs in a nonexistent marketplace.

Let’s talk about subscriptions

Have you noticed lately that you can get just about anything delivered to your house on a regular basis? It’s easier than ever to be a recluse! I can order meals online and have them deliver for a monthly subscription. I can order toys for my dog online through a subscription. One I saw on Pandora earlier this week, underwear… yup that’s right they have a subscription for those of us who can’t seem to help but leave our undies places we shouldn’t, worry not the replacement is in the mail! LOL

All of these subscriptions are helping to make life easier, but they are also devoid of customer service. It truly has become a pay to play system.

Future, Skills based system, everyone wins

But what happens when the USA debt gets beyond the point of being able to pay back China for our nation wide bail outs?

Believe it or not, I think the monetary system is going away and we will revert back to a barter system. Does that mean tech goes away? No I think, like I mentioned earlier, we will fall into more of a Star Trekian society where we all work for the greater good and get paid through receiving all the things we need to live comfortably.

What do you think about all the technology and delivery services? How will this futuristic society effect your business? What are things you can start doing today to future protect your company?

Thanks for reading! May the force be with you….oh sorry wrong Star show…Live Long and Prosper!