Tablets appeal to work/life balance, but customer service function is key

When tablet computers were first launched last year, their appeal seemed to be almost sensationalized.

When tablet computers were first launched last year, their appeal seemed to be almost sensationalized. Many questioned the practicality of the devices, while technology zealots waited in line for hours to pick up a first generation iPad.

Now, the devices are widely used and regarded as convenient resources for business, productivity and leisure purposes. According to a survey released this week by Staples, tablet computers are helping consumers establish a healthy work/life balance. In fact, 80 percent of tablet owners report having an improved balance because of the technology.

"Tablets offer fantastic convenience and a better work/life balance, making it easy for employees to keep information with them and utilize business apps, no matter where they go," said Ed Ludwigson, vice president and general manager for Staples Technology Solutions. "For employers, the benefit is having a more productive workforce that's always connected to what's happening at the office."

However, as popular as the devices are, smartphones continue to dominate the mobile market. Businesses may want to consider how these trends may affect their customer service standards, as an increasing number of retailers are relying on tablets to assist customers and even process transactions.