The ‘phy-gital’ revolution
Customer communication is vital to the success of any retailer. In a presentation on evolving the customer-first experience, HMSHost Senior Director, Business Relationship Management Joy Butler discussed the company’s flexible approach in embracing new technologies and solutions, with a focus on the importance of mobile payments.
She noted research that suggests 64% of consumers plan to use a mobile wallet in 2020, with a 39% rise in the user base in three years. The mobile payments market is expected to reach US$2.85 trillion by 2020, and restaurants are quickly adopting the technology. Some 56% of diners say the ability to pay by phone would actually influence their restaurant selection.
Session moderator Dermot Davitt discussed all things digital with HMSHost Senior Director, Business Relationship Management Joy Butler; QikServe Founder & President Daniel Rodgers; and HMSHost Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer Sarah Naqvi
“The payment journey can mean the difference between success and failure,” Butler said. “The market is a lot less forgiving, so you have to get payments right. At HMSHost, we aim to make it a friction-free and seamless experience, while making sure data is being protected.”
Putting the customer first means having the ability to offer many different types of payment to suit all types of consumers.
“There are so many different factors that go into a digital payment strategy, and it is important to have clarity on what we are trying to solve both today and in the future," she noted. "And then you need a committed team to bring this to life.”
Butler: Putting the customer first means providing different types of payment
“It is important to have clarity on what we are trying to solve both today and in the future. And then you need a committed team to bring this to life.” – Joy Butler
QikServe Founder & President Daniel Rodgers took up the theme in a discussion about how to get consumers onboard with digital technologies, and the ability to order and pay wherever they are. “Digital is an enabling force for an industry coming under immense transformational pressure,” he said.
But humans process change slowly, and an understanding of this process will determine whether that transformation is successful or not.
“The main driver of change is operators being proactive and committed to understanding consumer behaviour and desires,” Rodgers said. “Operators need to be up to the challenge and prepared to deal with the emotions involved. It requires organisational change.
“You as operators have to take customers there. The benefits are better sales, efficiency and happier guests.”
The phrase ‘build it and they will come’ does not apply to digital transformation, he added.
HMSHost Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer Sarah Naqvi joined Butler and Rodgers for a Q&A session. She noted that HMSHost is constantly studying consumer behaviour, with the insights and data gathered used to create or adjust strategy. Among these insights, she revealed that consumers are gravitating toward self-service kiosks in large numbers.
“The phrase ‘build it and they will come’ does not apply to digital transformation”
Rodgers: Operators need to better understand customer emotions
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