What is Technology Without Convenience


What is Technology Without Convenience
by Robert A. Kobek

I recently stayed at the Venetian Resort and Hotel in Las Vegas and was there for 5 days, which, for me is 2 days too many in Las Vegas. When I returned to my office the following week I was met with a request to take a survey about my guest experience.

First let me tell you that I am not particularly a fan of the Venetian. While it is beautiful and more service oriented than most, there is also many “ding you” moments. (For example, when I requested a late checkout, I was asked “do you want the $20 late check-out or the $50 late check- out?). And, heaven forbid, do not ask for a cup of coffee in the morning, that little request will really cost you.

So, imagine my glee when I was asked to take an online survey about my experience. Being a provider of such a service to the hospitality and contact center verticals I am very sensitive to need for feedback, and I will typically take the time to complete and submit my experience views. But, what came next was a real surprise.

As I was working diligently to complete the survey, it stopped working about three quarters of the way down. I closed out and reset and started again. And, yet even a third time. It had to be me or my machine or something on the user end. Upon the fourth attempt, I changed my answers to a slightly higher rating and behold, it went through. I will not believe, ever, that this system was rigged. What I will believe though is the inconvenience was counter to the desired results.

So, when the question is asked, “What technology is the most impactful for customer acquisition or retention”, and there are choices such as “social media, SMS”, or whatever, the real answer lies with a very simple premise, convenience. All technology exists to make our lives easier and simpler, but we have somehow managed to use it to complicate our lives. Technology has replaced conversation, and with it intimacy. We don’t tell jokes anymore; we read them and pass them on.

To everyone that has a thought on this, I encourage you to comment, but please, be convenient about it!

(I owe a shout out to Dr. Fred Kitchens of Ball State University to inspiring this thought).

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