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  • Writer's pictureWan Qing

4 Questions To Ask When Moving On From Irrelevant Technology

Bemused. My exact feelings as I was paying for my food. Why exactly?

As we all know, the pandemic has transformed our lives by greatly accelerating our lifestyle into one with increased penetration of technology. From mobile ordering to contactless payments, the pandemic was the single greatest catalyst to push many countries into adopting technology to automate certain aspects of our lifestyle. Technology is supposed to reduce unnecessary human interaction and promote social distancing right? Not in my case.

Let’s walk you through the process of my ordering experience in this particular restaurant. As I settled down, I saw a QR code on the table which allowed me to browse the menu after scanning it. The UX/UI wasn’t the best but it will make do. After choosing my dishes, I was directed to pay at the counter. Sure, I mean I have frequented places that allowed me to scan another QR code at the counter to pay for my food. There were also restaurants which I could just pay through my phone and there was no need to leave my seat (the more favourable option).

So imagine my horror, when I went to the counter and the cashier asked if I could pass her my phone so she can key in the order. I passed her my phone reluctantly and all this while I was thinking, “What’s the point of providing a digital menu if I still had to walk over and repeat my order?! And now I have to give a stranger my phone?” I may be overreacting and maybe this would not have been a problem pre-pandemic, but the truth is we’re living in the midst of a pandemic. Instances like this should not be happening! The restaurant’s name only made it worse, it was a name that insinuated clicking and ordering food using technology.

Takeaways from the Anecdote

We see authorities encouraging the hospitality sector to take up technology at an unprecedented rate. The pandemic has exposed an apparent need to do so, but most of these businesses have zero to little knowledge of how to leverage on technology. In other words, they were just going with the flow, ultimately still unconvinced of technology’s abilities to boost businesses. Here, it boils down to a simple reason

Irrelevant Technology

I am not surprised if this will eventually lead to businesses losing faith in technology. Right now, technology plays a symbolic role in keeping businesses afloat. It is as if businesses are deploying the first technology provider they hear of without truly understanding what technology can do for them. Ultimately, businesses will fall back to their conventional way of operating, because they do not see the need nor the benefits of technology, as exemplified in my anecdote above.

The use of irrelevant technology can expose some stubborn habits too. It is when businesses fail to recognise that the technology that they have adopted is not the most suitable fueled by the inability to admit and switch to a different technology provider. While getting the hospitality businesses to adopt technology was the most pressing problem then, now, 1 year into the pandemic, it is high time for businesses to start reviewing their digital solutions.

There are some questions hospitality businesses can ask themselves when preparing to choose a technology solution long-term.

1. User Adoption Rate

Does your choice of technology provider have a higher user adoption rate? Let’s face it. Technology is everywhere and so is irrelevant technology. User Adoption Rate is the first step to filtering relevant and irrelevant technology. If no one uses it, it’s probably not what you are looking for. We previously addressed this in this article, where apps, though convenient, have one of the lowest rates of usage in the hospitality industry.

2. Is your choice of technology provider guest-centric or business-centric?

We cannot emphasise this enough, technology in the hospitality sector can NEVER replace the human touch. Technology can, however, enhance your guest experience by empowering communication or improve staff productivity so they can focus on your guests.

3. Does your choice of technology provider emphasise data privacy?

Photo by Jason Dent on Unsplash

If you employ hospitality technology, one factor to take into account is data privacy. How are you using that data and protecting your guests’ privacy? Data Privacy is an extremely sensitive topic these days and it is something that guests care deeply about. It is paramount that you assure your guests that you value their privacy.

4. Does your choice of technology provider allow for Guest Personalisation?

Personalisation should be a given by today’s hospitality standards hence it’s a no-brainer when choosing a technology provider, choose one that can equip your hotel with personalisation services for your guests.

There is a silver lining in the pandemic, however, there is no doubt a stronger presence of technology in the industry. Previously, the question around technology revolves around if it is a dependable solution. But now, it has evolved to what kind of technology is most suitable. Speak with us today and learn more about a suitable technology provider for your businesses. Change is now.


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