How technology has changed the job market

Franco Miceli, Franchise Operations Director at HomeServe Alliance, looks at how technology is impacting the heating industry:
famil ipad webI often hear the generation before me complain about how technology has destroyed the job market, and how things were better before. Computers, mobile phones and the Internet are just a few of the technological wonders created over the last few decades, that have brought tremendous change into our lives. These and other new “consumer” technologies have unquestionably eased the lives of millions and have given them access to information, in an instant.
It’s also true that technology has taken over some of the tasks previously carried out by people. Nevertheless, it’s also introduced efficiency, effectiveness and precision to those tasks: secretarial services replaced by voicemail systems and online conference scheduling, faxing systems replaced by online software and postal service losses to online bill payments, and email. The list goes on… but at the same time, technology has also introduced new businesses like Amazon and eBay to the marketplace. These opportunities were only discovered because somebody embraced the change, early on in the process.
So, it’s not technology that’s the problem, its people, education and skills. As industry leaders, we have to prepare for change and develop new skills in order to adapt to technological advances. Even the most traditional of services are now accessible through a smart phone. You can order a take away online and get this delivered to your home, or stand in the middle of London and get a taxi to come to you, without speaking to anybody, using just your smartphone.
However if a customer’s boiler suffers a breakdown, the chances are they will need to pick up the telephone and call to request an engineer visit. Availability’s usually between Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm…. and guess what? That’s when most people are working too!
What instead, if a customer gets home after 6pm, finding a cold house, and instead of waiting until the next day, could access a trusted local gas central heating business, just like yours, using their smart phone, and get a confirmed appointment for 8am the next morning. This could all happen without your business being open, or you having to pay staff to answer the phone? That customer wouldn’t think twice about using your services! Understanding the need to put the consumer first, HomeServe Alliance is already doing this with businesses, just like yours, around the UK.
HomeServe Alliance is working with businesses nationwide to increase their revenue by 30% to 40%. New systems, proven marketing methods and buying power that only a big business can get, has transformed the way they are performing.
Customers can now book the appointments they want with an engineer online and track the progress and status of the job easily. Customers can get a boiler quote online, without the intrusion of a sales rep visiting your home, in just 4 simple clicks, or can simply buy a service maintenance plan online, pay and checkout – all without calling your business.
HomeServe Alliance will market your business using the very latest technologies and methods. Traditional marketing is still a very effective way to let customers know you are there, but it’s impossible to miss how many people have an internet-ready device with them 24 hours a day. This is your direct line to that customer. Today your business needs to be on the Internet. The gas central heating trade needs to change, to become more accessible to the consumer.
There will always be somebody who will focus on the negative influences that technology has introduced to the world, but it’s clear that technology has brought irreversible change to the world. This point was noted by Bill Gates a long time ago: “One thing is clear; we don’t have the option of turning away from the future. No one gets to vote on whether technology is going to change our lives”. Inevitably, if your business is not changing and moving forward, it’s going backwards.
Technology introduces new products that very quickly become redundant: videocassette recorders, flat-screen TVs, and tape recorders. Even a giant like Microsoft has needed to change its direction with the explosion and diversity in the use of the Internet. Change can be hard and expensive. HomeServe Alliance will help you to predict and manage that change.
HomeServe Alliance can help you improve your efficiency, assist you in lowering your operating costs, upgrade your systems, manage your SEO, design your leaflets and leverage many other benefits that are only available to the leading national installer.
If your business has four or more engineers, an office with three or more customer support staff, and an appetite to grow the domestic part of your business, contact HomeServe Alliance’s Operations Director, Franco Miceli.