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Innovation and the Customer Experience

09-11-2016    By  First Contact  

Innovation within concierge services can take many forms. Everything from a new app or piece of technology, to a process redesign can be seen as an innovation, but does it all equate to higher levels of service and engagement?

On its own, innovation is simply a means of trying something new, or doing something differently. In order for innovation to have a positive impact, it must be driven by one of three purposes – cutting costs, streamlining a process, or enhancing the customer experience. The more it achieves the better, but it should in no way negatively impact these.

In customer service-based industries, creating a positive customer experience is key – it’s the reason why the industry exists. If an innovation does not consider what the positive outcome of the change will be, it will likely be a futile exercise.

All innovation within our industry can generally fall within two main categories – technological innovation (new devices, programs etc) or service innovation (new engagement strategies, redefining processes and expectations etc). It is important that innovation has a clear value (i.e. formulated after a need, benefit, or outcome is established). Innovation can play an important role in the workplace, but unqualified, it is likely that innovation for the sake of innovation will have nothing more than a short-term ‘fad’ factor.

Technological innovation is not only the easiest to market, but also the easiest to succumb to this fad notion, especially when the customer experience outcome has not been evaluated thoroughly - take advances in airline check-in tools as an example. Most airlines now use technology that allows a boarding pass to be displayed on a smartphone. While the innovation here was likely designed to cut costs (Check-in staff required, hard-copy boarding pass printing costs) it ultimately slows down the process as scanners at check in gates more often than not cannot read the barcodes off screen, resulting in queue delays and frustrated passengers, which has a negative impact on the customer experience.

Service innovation is where new levels of customer engagement can be developed, and where clear value can be obtained, as it is all through human interaction and engaging with others. This can be anything from developing customised training programs for concierge staff within buildings, to finding new ways to engage with clients and tenants through lobby activations or partnerships with other service industries (accommodation, restaurants etc).

When creating service innovation, the question ‘How will this impact the customer experience?’ must be asked. Through our unparalleled systems, First Contact provide excellent assistance to building management organisations looking to provide premium service without resorting to gimmicks and fads that ultimately diminish the level of service.

A true corporate concierge will always look to push the envelope when it comes to service. Our staff are trained to become invested in the sites in which they work, and ultimately become the ‘eyes and ears’ of the building, assisting with everything from site audits and collecting invaluable building marketing intelligence. First Contact draw on a vast concierge network to provide tenants, clients and visitors with unique experiences only seen in premium hotels.

Instead of letting technology be the cornerstone of the experience, our concierge let their service shine first and foremost, but will also embrace digital installations introduced, to enhance, not overshadow, true customer service. Our combined experience and collaborative approach creates a service solution without boundaries.

While it is clear that innovation has been the catalyst for some of the great advances in society, in a workplace concierge platform, it needs to have a clear value of creating true engagement with customers – something which can only be achieved with a human element. At First Contact, people are the capstone to our success, and the reason why multiple global organisations insist on nothing less than a proven, people-first concierge service to provide lasting, innovative and memorable customer experiences.

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