Almost every industry that services consumers whether it be retail, hospitality, healthcare, or banks, are being forced to re-examine and re-map their customer journey to eliminate or reduce physical touchpoints. Fortunately, much of the technology required to make businesses contactless exists already which has enabled a rapid transformation across industries. Let’s look at some of the upgrades that are making the biggest impact.
Cloud computing enabling remote work
One of the most obvious and immediate changes since the start of the pandemic was that workers needed to be able to do their jobs from home where possible. While some jobs by their nature could never be remote, the excuse that your on-premise business applications wouldn’t allow remote work became less of a valid excuse. Thus, businesses finally felt the urgency to move to cloud-based applications. IT leaders implementing cloud-based platforms want to make sure employees are able to perform at the same level without distractions such as worrying about how to configure their VPN. With Cisco Meraki cloud-management, IT managers are able to maintain visibility of employee networks, and monitor any interference to workforce productivity while at home. A major advantage of cloud based platforms is the quick set up and flexible structure that allows you to scale. The ability to extend the platform’s functionality is often provided through a marketplace such as Cisco Meraki’s that allows you to quickly plug into a number of other applications, like Local Measure.
Mobile apps for a better employee and customer experience
Business mobile applications can empower remote workers to connect whenever and wherever they are, while customer mobile apps can allow for contactless payment and ordering. Mobile apps are not just for large enterprises either, 32% of small businesses report having a mobile app primarily to improve the customer experience. Local Measure’s contactless customer feedback tool, Pulse, offers employees the ability to respond to customer feedback from anywhere – which is critical to maintaining fast customer response times.
QR codes for contactless transactions
QR codes are being used more than ever, due in part to developments in mobile devices (the ability to use your phone’s camera to scan a QR code) and more widespread acceptance amongst consumers. While popular in Asia for years, QR codes are now popping up worldwide on restaurant menus, on posters in hotel elevators, and doctor’s waiting rooms. QR codes can be used for contactless payments when implemented with a payment app like Paypal or Venmo. To make a purchase at CVS pharmacies, customers need only open their Paypal or Venmo app, then scan a product’s QR code. In Beijing, taxi riders scan a health pass QR code before they start their ride in order to curb transmission of COVID-19.
Voice technology finds new use cases
We’ve been writing about smart hotel rooms for years – rooms where you could say, “Alexa, dim the lights” and you would instantly have the right lighting without having to search for a switch. While ease and comfort might have been one of the initial use cases, hygiene is now a big reason why some hotels are finding ways to make more functions controllable through voice or through guests’ personal devices. Even as customers stay at home more, there are further use cases for voice technology such as chatbots that can use Artificial Intelligence for speech recognition.
From 2020 onward, cloud-based platforms and technologies that enable contactless interactions have moved from being nice-to-haves to essential. Is your infrastructure and tech stack ready for our new world? Speak to our team to see how Local Measure can help.