Travel Technology Europe – Round Up
We can’t believe it’s been two weeks since TTE 2020! We met lots of interesting people, made some great connections and enjoyed discovering more about all the latest innovations.
As part of the show our I lead the Tech Huddle “Is the Telephone Dead?”. Here industry leaders, innovators and travel companies discussed if the telephone still plays a role within the customer journey and what the future customer expects.
Here you can read my full interview from TTE and the findings from the Tech Huddle.
Q: What would you say is the biggest technology-related challenge currently facing the travel industry?
I think one of the biggest challenges is the value that people put on human interaction and how that fits with technology.
How do we strategically blend both technology and human interaction to provide the best service for our customers? When would they want to self-serve and when do they need a personal approach?
In today’s digital world people value personalised service more than ever. Fine tuning your customer experience and finding the perfect balance is not impossible, but it’s always going to be a challenge (saying that with all challenges you can easily flip this and make it an opportunity!)
In today’s digital world, people value personalised service more than ever.
Q: And what is the biggest opportunity?
Cloud Based Technology has been around for many years now, but as more and more business start to embrace aspects such as Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, the Cloud will become even more significant.
With Cloud based technology you can future proof your business, leapfrog your competitors and engage with a wider customer demographic quicker and easier without the need for huge investment in technology.
A lot of Cloud providers also allow you to pick and mix the technology to suit your customers, testing out different strategies to see what works best for you without the need for expensive infrastructure.
Another key aspect to Cloud Technology is the flexibility you can provide to your employees. Cloud based technology can be easily set up so you can increase your flexible work benefits – remote working, working from home, more flexible hours, all in all providing a better experience for one of your biggest assets, your staff.
Q: What is preventing the sector from taking advantage of these opportunities?
Change and risk. We all want to keep up with future demands and progress. But it’s about balancing the technology to ensure you are still looking after and serving your established clients while attracting and engaging new customers.
New technology can also mean that staff skills sets need to be addressed. Upskilling your employees to use new technology and adopting a skills-based customer service strategy that ensures customers engage with staff who are most proficient in the customer’s communication channel of choice.
We all want to keep up with future demands… but it’s about balancing technology…
Q: How can travel technology help in developing more sustainable travel options?
Cloud based technology can easily be set up remotely, allowing businesses to offer a more flexible and sustainable way of working. Several pieces of research over the past few years have established that businesses of all sizes can cut costs and reduce their carbon, energy, waste and water footprints by allowing their employees to work from home.
Q: What is the most ‘over-hyped’ technology at the moment and why?
AI is regarded as the latest and greatest thing and whilst it is important to use AI where appropriate, let’s not forget that people still often prefer a personalised, human connection.
The telephone is far from dead and still plays a vital role in customer communication. It’s still the tool the majority of customers prefer, especially in times of crisis or where reassurance is needed by the customer.
This is no more true than at the moment where we are seeing a significant increase in voice traffic with levels up 30% over the last few weeks, as people choose to call to get instant and accurate information.