by Alan Campbell, Featured Contributor
Smart Phone or Silent People
TECHNOLOGY has come a long way people, but at what cost? The hospitality industry is about to lose the most valuable commodity it owns. We have teched our customers in to silence, they don’t have to talk to us anymore they can do all that is necessary over a smart phone or tablet. Where does the personal touch come in? We design gadgets that allow the customer to bypass the most important aspect of our industry: the human contact, that face to face interaction that we the hoteliers are so desperately are trying to do away with. One reason perhaps is the fact that we won’t have to listen to complaints face to face.
Hoteliers, is great to have modern technology as a tool to help us with our customers, but not to replace them. That’s what it seems like does it not? We can now check in a guest without so much as stopping by a desk, or host to say “hello” This is a travesty, we are becoming tech smart, but we are also becoming people dumb. We are so busy looking down all of the time we are missing our future go by. Look around next time you are in a crowd, no look around at the people in an airport waiting for the next flight. They are all looking down at a phone or tablet, the terminal is silent, there is no conversation between passengers waiting to board. The silence is defining, you can actually hear the announcements that come over the address system.
We the new society of social and tech touch “things” have lost the idea that we can actually talk to each other. What a concept, we can talk instead of text. Now that’s a new way of doing things? Do you suppose it will reverse itself someday? I bring this up because on a recent trip to Austin TX I actually checked in to a hotel without having to have any human interaction. I felt that I was cheated, I know it’s the new wave of things to come, but I missed the guy that ask me how was my trip, and if I wanted a suite, or a better room. The human factor was gone, it was silenced by the tech we so much depend on. I actually had to go down to the lobby to find human interaction. There were people at a desk that could actually talk, imagine that. The next concierge will be a Tablet that you will ask questions to and it will answer you. “Scotty beam me up” If schools go the route of the tablet we will create a smart tablet, but dumb people. We better learn how to utilize both technologies, and remain people smart and tech savvy. The hospitality most important commodity it owns is people to people contact, and if we aren’t careful we will turn in to a tablet to tablet contact, and that would be a terrible loss.