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Dear Annalisa, we discussed about your question during the first MOOC webinar of January 27th. The webinar recording will be available soon, but in the meantime here is a summary of what was said.
The point to think about is the actual level of acceptance of these technologies by the different demand targets.
The use of low-touch technologies allows the physical relationship between customer and front office staff to be minimized. This creates value for customers who are particularly sensitive to health security, but also for those, such as business travellers, who want to simplify different interaction situations with the company and/or have direct control over operations such as booking, check-in, check-out and payments to save time.
If these expectations were widespread and prevailing among the different types of customers, we could really end up with hotels with few or no contact personnel.
However, there may be other target groups, especially among leisure travellers, who value / appreciate other aspects as, for example, the quality of service but especially of the relational experience with the employees of the hospitality enterprises (they look for human warmth, empathy, reassurance, advice in organizing the stay experience, etc.).
Moreover, not all age profiles are comfortable with digitization. The self-service technology is easy to use for them who have the technical knowledge but it will be difficult for those who don’t master this technology.
The solution is to constantly investigate the profile of demand targets you want to attract and precisely assess / evaluate their attitude toward this type of technology.
The technology needs to adapt to the target audience.