There is an age-old saying that has accompanies the service and hospitality industries for many years: ‘the customer is always right’. While this may not always be true, particularly in the restaurant industry where employees are faced with customers who will demand refunds time and time again, it is certainly common knowledge that the customer’s experience is an instrumental factor behind whether or not a business will perform well or go bankrupt. This is particularly true in a world where consumers are faced with so many options. The sheer variety of services that customers are exposed to on a daily basis makes it very easy for them to turn one sour experience into a excuse to write a bad review or pursue their transactions elsewhere. Algo Communication Products Ltd. is very much aware of the sheer importance of providing clients with a streamlined and positive experience, and continues to observe how the hospitality business is adapting its services to suit new advances in technology.
Through our dedication to providing state-of-the-art communications services, we have determined that customers seek interactions with businesses that successfully balance technology with actual human interactions. Research has shown that guests at hotels desire a variety of options when it comes to having their needs addressed. While many respondents to a recent survey stated that they enjoyed services that were accessible through digital channels, an equal number iterated that they believe that interactions with live employees are an irreplaceable part of any hospitality business. Although many find it ideal to be able to order room service via an in-suite touchpad, others would simply prefer to be able to speak with a live representative via telephone.
There are a number of improvements that can be implemented in order to best address the diverging needs of customers. For instance, hotels that provide options for guests to book and check-in using mobile platforms have been proven to retain their client base, even when implementing price increases. These mobile options yield the best results when paired with ways for clients to connect with employees via voice, video, or chat sessions. Throughout 2017 over 40 percent of digital travel sales were initiated through mobile devices, a number that is only projected to increase. Trends like these only indicate that flexible, easy-to-use services that can be accessed on the go are becoming the new norm within the hospitality industry.
The need to balance self-service with live interactions can also be exemplified through the recent prevalence of video-enabled ATMs. Many bank branches are experiencing closures as a result of their services migrating into the digital realm. This lack of physical space has not affected people’s desire to deal with other human beings while engaging in bank transactions. Video-enabled ATMs capture a happy medium in this regard, as they provide their users with an option to chat with a bank employee via live video while also allowing them to perform transactions on their own. This mix of services succinctly appeals to both categories of consumer: those that value technology enabled self-service and those that benefit from interacting with others in a more traditional sense.
If anything can be garnered from this article it is this: what consumers ultimately desire is simplicity and flexibility. New technologies should provide them with the ability to be served in a quick and simple fashion. This service is best balanced with options that allow them to connect with employees, as these personal interactions are still as relevant today as they have been in the past. By addressing both of these needs, companies can be sure to provide their customers with an experience that has them coming back time and time again.