Social Distancing is often regarded as a negative development for customer experience. However, as travel and tourism begin to roar back, it is worthwhile to note that a host of future opportunities also come with the changes made to accommodate new rules.

In many ways, the social distancing era has accelerated technological trends that have been years in the making, increasing convenience and automation across many traditionally manual industries. You may recall that Amazon Go was released to great fanfare when it introduced no-checkout grocery services in 2018 – now virtually every business around the world has been forced to adopt contactless processes that seemed like “luxury tech” in a pre-COVID world.

Why has Amazon, the world’s most customer centric company, been investing in this technology for years? We believe there are areas of the contactless experience that meaningfully increase customer satisfaction and will remain for the long term.

Below is a list of the key products Tours and Attractions are using in the COVID-19 technological overhaul – and the key benefits they may offer going forward.

Digital Check-In

Tremendous opportunities arise from the trend that customers are more willing than ever to fulfill many routine business functions through self-serve tools. Re-imagining bookings and check-in experience in a socially distanced world illuminated that customers have always been happy to avoid lineups and tight, packed spaces.

Implementing booking software for your business allows you to capture value in new ways to maximize this opportunity. Digital booking makes it easier to forecast demand, fill in a cancelled ticket and track and communicate with customers in an automated way.

While many businesses provide a large value-add in personal experiences, it is worthwhile to examine if you could meaningfully improve your efficiency in these routine functions through automation.

Mobile Food and Beverage Ordering 

Food and beverage purchases are a big driver of revenue – and are traditionally a difficult area to manage customer experience. In the context of many Tours and Attractions, drinks and meals are gathered “on-the-go”, as opposed to a seated dining experience, which naturally lends itself to mobile ordering.

If you are looking for inspiration, take a lesson from Disney World. With a new mobile app, guests can choose their order, place it in the queue and pick it up at a time that is convenient for them. This is a tremendous value-add for guests that are trying to manage sightseeing with their kids and the inevitable time delays that come with it.

Key Benefits 

  • Accommodate more customers with less staff
  • Fill cancellations
  • Avoid customer discomfort in lineups
  • Lead capture and customer contact
  • Contactless Payment

Contactless Payment 

The financial technology space has been abuzz about RFID technology and how it improves customer ease and security in payments for years – and in 2020 it came front and center. From a customer perspective, the simple tap payment of cards is now accepted as the norm, and technology has reached a mature point where tools like Apple or Google Pay are becoming more widely used and trusted.

QR codes (otherwise known as quick response) are a simple way to engage customers with contactless tech – typically sending them to a promotion, landing page or location with a special offer. QR codes are highly customizable to your unique offer, making them effective in driving additional revenue from purchases.

From a business perspective, it is interesting to note that new payment tools tend to increase customer spending through ease of use. They also reduce all types of error, lineups and labour cost involved in managing payments at a traditional till. Many Tours and Attractions have been adopting RFID wristbands that can be loaded with funds or linked to a customer account for frictionless payment.

The magnitude and importance of the payments space ensures that payment providers will always be innovating new ways to make payments cheaper, faster and more secure. Staying on top of trends and applying creativity will present opportunities for your business going forward.

Key benefits 

  • Increased spending 
  • Better customer experience 
  • Reduced costs and bottlenecks from payments