Created as a consequence of COVID-19, CONTACTLESS TECH is at the heart of the paradigm shift that most industries, especially those in Travel and Hospitality have had to lean on to ensure their survival and avert the spread of the virus. The Guest journey comprising numerous round and square pegs has had to be re-imagined and at the same time dynamically re-engineered to cope with the fluidity and complexity of requirements and compliance needs of the new now. Technology has inevitably had to undergo change constantly, and at lightning speed, and customer investments are sometimes forcibly made to enable this industry to ride the trend, and comply with safety and customer requirements as well as deal with staff scarcity and rising costs.
All of these have shrunk and recalibrated the guest experience to fit the palm-of-the-hand, with nearly all the once human-centric touchpoints, becoming touchless. Some may say this development has turned this once service-oriented business, into what many might consider soulless…
During this pandemic, face-to-face human contact has been one of the casualties of our existence. As we emerge and learn to co-exist with COVID, how will that impact the contactless journey going forward? Will we experience another change where contactless tech becomes hybrid - with a dash or more of humanity thrown into the mix?
Personally, I don't associate the contactless tech experience with COVID. I associate it with the rise of mobile technology in general and the intersection of customers of any industry wanting more control and the commercial opportunity of giving them control, thus offloading processes and effort.
For those reasons it will continue and increase as the digital customer increases their expectation for DIY tools and businesses take the opportunity to streamline product and service.
The delivery of reduced product and service in hospitality is something that COVID is directly responsible for. I'm interested to see how much industry motivation exists to return to previous service models, having had the opportunity to reduce the experience for more than a year.
Ultimately this type of technology is about providing the customer with choice. I also wonder at what point the customer will eventually return to the appreciation that what is special about hospitality is that people look after you and your needs. In the best circumstances they are anticipating these needs. It's included in the price so why not take advantage of it?