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Technology And Humans Essay

1754 words - 8 pages

Technology: Self-checkout lanes hurting the economy and customer satisfaction
During the 1900’s America was recognized as a national powerhouse with a strong economy that offered citizens careers and economic stability. Today, we are fighting unemployment and recovering from an unstable stock market. Although many factors have impacted the economy since then, one factor that goes unnoticed is the growth in technological advancements and how it is directly affecting employment rates and customer satisfaction. Machines used to be basic, and controlled by people, but since technology has progressed machines are now capable of performing jobs solely on their own. Police officers are being ...view middle of the document...

The flaw is that it does not enhance the user’s experience; in fact it does the opposite. One of the amenities of going to the food store is having the cashier check your groceries and bag them, so why are managers and owners taking that away from a customer’s experience? According to British Broadcasting Corporation News, research suggests that 48% of Americans think self-service checkouts are a nightmare- neither quick nor convenient. The research also showed 46% of customer’s couldn’t scan their items correctly, 39% can’t use their own bags, 13% of the customers didn’t like that they were doing all the work, and 12% of customers felt they always needed to wait for assistance. This survey by BBC news should be a clear indicator for store managers that customers prefer the old-fashioned system.
When I am home I generally go to the food store once a week to either run errands for my parents or to pick up something for myself. Generally when walking towards checkout I look for the shortest line or customers with the least amount of groceries in their cart, but occasionally I’ll use the self-checkout lane. The first question it asked me was if I have a membership to the store, and of course my parents do, but I had forgotten to take their card. If I had seen a regular cashier he would have most likely just looked mine up or scanned his own, but because I was in the self-service lane I didn’t bother calling over a representative and paid full price instead. Halfway through my order I had to scan my bananas, which have to be looked up in the system’s directory, and as a first time user, of course it took me longer than it would have taken a cashier. I also had to listen to “Please scan your item and place it on bag area” fifty two times over. I have never warmed up to the whole self-checkout machines in the first place, but by the end of the process I found it to be more stressful and more time consuming than expected. When I do it myself five times out of ten the machines have an error and a supervisor has to come override the machine; a cashier is much more efficient than a machine, and better able to handle customer requests than a machine is. I am not the only generation affected by this movement in technology. Older people, who have been going to the food stores for years now, also feel the effects. Most of the elderly aren’t very experienced with newer technology and therefore prefer a cashier to a check-out machine. These machines are important because the food industry will always be there and is currently one of the largest in the world and will remain to be.
The reason I am targeting grocery stores and self-service checkout lanes is because they were ranked among the largest industries in 2008 by the United State Department of Labor and are consequentially affected by increased technology and its impact on customer satisfaction. Surveys show that in 2008, there were approximately 85,200 grocery stores throughout the...

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