Do 'High Tech' and Hospitality Belong in the Same Sentence?
By Rob Rush CEO, LRA Worldwide | January 27, 2012
Twenty years after hanging out our shingle, my partner and I have built a business that has grown from its roots providing quality assurance audit programs to the hotel industry, to a consultancy supporting a variety of industries in a niche that we have helped define - Customer Experience Management, or CEM.
One of the foremost elements of our point of view on the customer experience is that in any organization, people, process and technology must be aligned around a shared vision and delivery of the optimal customer experience. With this message as a linchpin, we've secured clients in financial services, healthcare, manufacturing and a number of other different industries where the proper way of making the "Heavenly Bed" is hardly relevant.
Why the appeal of our "customer experience" message? Those deeply-anchored roots in the hospitality industry. Our prospective clients recognize that while everyone else was hung-up on TQM, JIT or the latest management fad, the hospitality industry was mindful of "customer experience" long before it became a fashionable acronym. While other industries go to great lengths to apply the lessons learned from the hospitality industry to their own businesses, it seems that those of us in hospitality may be going too far down the road the other way, integrating people, process and technology to the point where the "technology" has, in some instances, usurped the "people."
Do "High Tech" and "High Touch" even belong in the same sentence, let alone the same hotel lobby? By definition, can customer-facing technology actually provide "hospitality," as we understand the term? Hmmm... let's check.
hos.pi.tal.i.ty - noun
the friendly reception and treatment of guests or strangers.