As technology performs more complex tasks, hospitality can focus on customer service basics, such as making sure a meal gets delivered to the right person.
Dorothy Creamer, Editor-in-Chief
A friend of mine recently shared a negative foodservice experience. A third-party delivery service arrived, handed a bag full of food to my friend’s eight-year-old daughter, and — to hear the eight-year-old tell it — bolted down the walkway and drove off into the night. Full disclosure, I don’t consider this child a completely reliable witness, but regardless, I do think the slightest engagement from the driver would have quickly revealed that he had the wrong house.
That did not happen. What transpired was my friend trying to do her Good Samaritan duty and locate the proper recipient. Unfortunately, all she had to go on was the receipt that said “Mike P’s order.” A contact number for the third-party delivery service was not on the receipt, and a call to the restaurant didn’t help because the restaurant had the same data my friend had.
This was all a breakdown of service and experience that impacted more than hungry Mike P, who never got his order. Consider the restaurant and the third-party delivery service. Which one will take the blame? My friend, who spent 20 minutes trying to rectify the situation, finds blame with both, because she was unable to get any helpful information from either.
This incident was a reminder that in the rush to be innovators, it is most important to make sure that the services being used are implemented well and truly solve a problem. Findings from the 2019 Customer Engagement Technology Study reveal that consumers are increasingly comfortable with technology in service environments, but first and foremost they want convenience and the basics done well. As technology can perform more complex tasks, the benefit is that humans can turn their attention back to the basics — like making sure a room is clean or that a meal gets delivered to the right person.