‘Concierges’ being replaced with smartphone apps: Report

Washington, Feb 20: Face-to-face interactions with front desk clerks and concierges are not essential for personalized service, and increasingly these encounters are being substituted with Smartphone apps and other automated service systems, a new study has said.

The study in the current edition of the Journal of Service Research said that business travelers who frequent the same hotels time and again may develop personal relationships with certain concierges over time, but a ‘smart digital assistant’ app can provide consistent personalized recommendations for every customer, every time, no matter where they are.

Professor Robert J. Glushko of the University of California, Berkeley, a co-author of the new study, said that recognizing that person-to-person interactions and information systems are substitutes for each other helps managers and service designers make better decisions about the investments needed to collect, store, and process information about customers and interactions.

According to the report, service providers can collect information about customer preferences through methods such as customer satisfaction forms and tracking “likes” on Facebook or other social media.

But automated service systems and applications can capture both explicit and implicit feedback, and do it in the most complete and effective way possible.

Already, service systems can record customers’ choices, track navigation or record web browsing behavior, the report said.

Almost instantaneously, these systems can exploit that information to personalize future recommendations, it added.

Co-authors Glushko and Karen Joy Nomorosa, a senior semantic analyst at Rearden Commerce, Inc., envision an app that personalizes customer experiences by developing personalized systems that integrate across all service platforms, from hotels, to dining, to booking flights. (ANI)