This is a New Year fun article to challenge you on what information you would like your computer to give you for 2012.
Let me start with Santa. At this great rate of technological change, for next Christmas I would like one personal website that can tell me:
What sort of Santa will turn up? And what decorations did we have up last year or have bought for this year (tag and bar reader to input info into our computer, like Qantas Qtags).
What presents I should give my children and grandchildren (after all we get a series of emails from children telling us what their offspring want) and the best place to buy them.
What parties I am booked in (taken from my smart phone that I keep with me all the time).
What the weather is scheduled to do.
What religious occasions I or our guests might want to visit (parsed from various websites).
Then let’s take our booking service. Now there are elements of items below that are on our booking site already but they are not real time or automatically linked to other databases that we hold or email that we get sent that have relevance to the guest in question. So what do you want to know about our new guest?
• Where from and with whom they booked (book and pay, wotif, quickbeds, duckofftravel, stayz, etc)
• Whether they have stayed before, what room, what food and drinks, what restaurants did we book them and when, language preference, any dietary requirements
• Warnings. We receive through our information centre group a regular stream of warnings from other accommodation houses around unruly, non paying or other undesirable folk
• As relevant where they are coming from, where going to, what time they are arriving, travel agent, contact details – this is importation for checking late plane, vessel arrivals, floods, closed roads, traffic jams. Again some of this information can be parsed from other websites
• What guests look like? We all like to be recognised and our correct names used.
Having fun with this idea? It’s all about business processes and real time information and management.
Wouldn’t it be good to be able get into our car, put in your destination and up will also come want to park at your destination? If you answer yes either by keying it into you onboard computer or just saying Yes to your phone system then up will come a parking app with vacancies, options etc. Of course all of this is done using the KISS (keep it simple system). When you arrive and have parked on or off street, you SMS your payment details or, if you are lucky, this is an optical sensor that data captures details of your car and like the road toll system automatically deducts the outstanding amount on your credit card. All possible and theoretically single.
Now when you travel and want to stay at a B&B or apartment (not always possible through travel agents) wouldn’t it be good to get on the actual accommodation website of the B&B or apartment. I was not impressed today taking to do this as I wanted to know not only whether there were vacancies and exactly the rooms/suites would I like but also whether they gave industry discounts. Simple? No. I was crowded out, in Vienna for example by booking.com, small boutique hotels, viennabookings etc. So not only could my travel agent not help but I had to go through TripAdvisor, then use phone or email. What happened to book and pay, an option we have here at our establishment?
Finally when travelling, just watch out for the inconvenience of bird strikes and the trash that has fallen on runways. Well some airports, such as Changi in Singapore and O’Hare in Chicago already sends sensors to track this in real time and send out warnings. Australian airports will no doubt also have this in place in future years. No one wants to be held up for hours when a bird or bat gets ingested into an engine.
And when I get to my B&B, can I have a visual presentation of everything I need to know on my TV screen? I have this on my new German car that takes my guests to restaurants and weddings.
The world is changing fast. Our new car has all sorts of press buttons and controls that even three years ago were only just coming on the market. What about your accommodation house, its processes and the information that you want now?