In this post on Clickz we witness a new insight: self service technologies enable more effective human services or interactions in the in-between time of entering and leaving to add real value and to strengthen customer loyalty. A new example comes to my mind: imagine automated self service check-ins at clubs or dance events/festivals (including wardrobes?) and the service people involved focus on entertainment, security, fun and quick serving of drinks and food.
"Can customer loyalty based on human interaction coexist with the growing trend of self-service technologies that remove humans from the mix? Yes. The point is to decouple the idea of customer interaction from existing only during the established bottlenecks in each industry. Traditionally, hotels only interact with their guests during check-in and -out. Stores only interact with shoppers during checkout (and when the customer can't find something). Airlines focus interactions on check-in. Automating these processes certainly removes human interaction during those events.
But they aren't the only times loyalty is established... or broken. Removing the bottlenecks in these processes gives companies more time to interact with customers during other inflection points. These other inflection points include events that aren't as time sensitive. When I stay on the concierge level of my favorite hotel chain, the concierge makes a concerted effort to greet me during the floor's happy hour, thank me for staying with the hotel again, and offers any personal assistance I may need. That interaction happens on my own time, when I'm relaxed, and means much more than a similar conversation during a "rushed" time (such as check-in)."