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Is Service Dead?

Is Service Dead?

Is Service Dead?

Posted Tuesday December 03rd, 2013 by in Analysis + Strategy.

As we move into the holiday season, ‘shopping’ as an exercise in humanity is taking two very different roads; first, the online experience, and second, the tactile, physical experience. Notice which is number one.

The internet, and the technology that has come along with it (think smartphones), has divided the overall experience into these two categories of real-life and fake-real-life. Both philosophers and physicians have noted that sociability among our youth is waning; contact comfort is becoming a link between human and machine.

From a retail perspective, what does that mean for the idea of service? This weekend at The Shoe Market on the South Shore of Massachusetts, I was positively awestruck to be waited on foot and foot (shoe store, right?) by a well-educated man who had spent thirty years in the footwear business. There was a real sense of, dare I say it, expertise. There were thoughtful suggestions. My actual foot was taken into account when discussing different foot-beds and sole materials. Take that, internet!

Although my feet left happy, my mind departed that store in a different mood. Are we approaching the end of service as we know it? Have humans chosen low prices and human avoidance over expertise and pampering? Are Amazon’s drones the only future in sight? Is service dead??

The question has prompted us to reflect inwardly with each of our clients, to be sure. Traditionally, advertisers have been asking, “how do we use advertising to break through technology and reach human beings?” As we move into 2014, the question will be, “how do humans really want to be reached?”

Philosophically, I hope the apex is near; I’m ready to get back to human interaction.


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