Do you remember the old Miller High Life beer commercials? People are sitting around and the mellow voice comes on “here’s to good friends, tonight is something special…” Well, for many businesses it is now “Corona time.” Businesses that use to pride themselves on personal service are now rushing to provide Internet services. For example, I received emails from several medical providers proudly announcing that they are doing “tele-med” health consultations. In essence, they are trying to convince me that I can see a physician in their office remotely and that is just as good as being in person, and, of course just as expensive.
Bookkeeping and accounting services are rushing to have their clients can scan documents and remotely handle matters such as bill paying, entering transactions into QuickBooks and financial organization. Colleges and universities are eliminating in-person to classes, of course, to protect students from the Coronarius, and having online courses.
There is nothing wrong with doing things remotely. Most of my clients send me documents by email or upload them to a secure server, correspond with me by email and have telephone calls. I have clients from around the world, some of whom I have never physically met. That works for my law practice which deals primarily with tax and business matters.
Nevertheless, do I really want to pay large dollar expenses for my son to simply have an online course that is equivalent to an online course that is available for 1/5 the price? Does it really matter whether my physician is across the street or across the country if it is going to simply be a video-conference? Maybe it would not matter if they were somewhere else in the world? Why would I want remote bookkeeping services that are local when everything is being done remotely? Why could not I just find the cheapest source, no matter what the location or country?
In order for professionals and small businesses to maintain their real competitive advantage, individualized, personal services required. If not, who knows what will happen!