How often do you look at your smartphones in a day? How often do you use it to do anything work-related? If you’re on vacation, do you still hold your smartphone? Technology transformed drastically in the age of the late 2000s. We are in an age where a simple pizza can be bought using your cellphone and paid using your credit card. And only in 20 minutes, the pizza might just be delivered at your doorstep. It’s simple and fast. But how is technology affecting our lives every day? You might have used your computer or ipad to order but who delivered the pizza who knocked and smiled at you when you opened the door? A human.
I remember when I was in first year college listening to my first Hospitality & Tourism Major subject, Hospitality and Tourism 101. Our instructor told us that in the near future, guests wouldn’t need Front Desk Agents or Housekeepers or Telephone Operators. Guest can check in and out using their phones and credit cards. I was thinking, “How can they do that? I barely even know what a smartphone is.” I only have my Motorola Razr which is totally awesome even without internet services, that was back in 2007. Guest may just press a button and the bathroom will be cleaned in a minute. Automated systems will do the wakeup call with a soft voice designed to wake you up to the sound of a human.
I didn’t want to believe it. I told myself that when I step in the hospitality industry when I graduate, I’ll make sure that robots will never replace that intangible product that humans can give to guests, service quality and care with a human touch. Robots will always be robots. They are the technology that helps us with our transactions but should never cross over to replacing our jobs or passion. My instructor told our class that one day, there might not even be a single person working in the hotel, just robots. It might sound like it will happen in the next ten years but should we really believe that it will or we humans will allow it to happen? Hotels have already started using the mobile check –in and check-out. Sooner or later, guests will use iPads ordering food in the restaurant. It saves time and effort but an iPad wouldn’t give you that smile while taking your order and that iPad wouldn’t ask you questions with regards to the smallest details of your favorite food. I don’t hate technologies, please don’t misunderstand me. But as I see now in our present day, technologies are taking over everything. They are convenient, fast, reliable, and controllable. There’s nothing wrong with them, we just need to control them properly and use them efficiently. Never let them get in the way of fulfilling our passion to provide excellent, unique and personalized service.
Writing inspired from Technology Base Self Service vs. Traditional Human Touch Service
Wan Chi Chen from the University of Nevada Las Vegas says “Since it is hard for Technology Base Self Service to express empathy in today’s technology, consumers would still prefer to complain to an employee than a machine. Human employees can have a better understanding on another’s feeling, such as anger frustration, sadness, happiness, excitement, etc.” Building and maintaining a solid relationship with frequent transient and business guests could quite possibly be a factor that contributes to them choosing one hotel over others in the area. That is why human interaction is an important piece of the overall hotel experience. However, the simple truth is, you can’t please everyone. You are going to attract some while repelling others according to their interests and what they are looking for in a hotel stay.