Today's consumers can access the world like never before. We can plan our trips through other traveller’s social media posts, and interact with companies around the clock.
Still, it seems what we really crave is experiences we can connect with on a human level. Maybe this is an effect of companies misinterpreting the latest technological shift to mean “technology first.”
We now live in a world where most things can be delivered to your door within 24 hours, where the same device can be used to call your mom, give you access to all of the knowledge of history and help you find new friends on the other side of the world. This global interconnectedness has led to great societal progress, and to global trends covering not only macro aspects like economy but also minor things like gaming apps. This reality has opened many doors for companies but has also created entirely new consumer expectations.
Luxury is becoming more about unique personal experiences
What is luxury to you
As a result, luxury is no longer only about 5-star hotels and Michelin restaurants. Instead, it’s becoming more and more about unique personal experiences ― even at the 5-star hotel. These experiences may change with each individual's interests at the time, as well as evolution through life. But personal experiences are not about seeing the same sights as thousands of other tourists or being shuttled around in a bus with other people from your home country; instead, it is about connecting to a place and to find new perspectives. Accenture calls it tourismphobia and anti-mainstream.
But let’s face it, the point of travel has always been to have new and unique experiences, it’s just harder to have new experiences in a world that is connected in the way we are now. So in a new world ― with technology enabling anything from personalised offers to augmented reality ― what most travellers actually crave, are genuine experiences and human connections.
Delivering on genuine experiences can either be done on a small scale ― most of us appreciate visiting small-scale businesses like farmers and artisans ― or it can be done by identifying the customers wants, needs and wishes and delivering on those. That’s where our interconnectedness can really shine. Generally, customers are happy to share their data, if and when it is of benefit to them. Connecting that data with a system that enables the human connection ensures not only the end of aimless data-hoarding but a time of actual customer centricity.
We believe tech should enable human connections
Technology in the background
Technology becomes truly valuable when it is invisible, supporting the human experience, rather than demanding the split-focus we experience with today’s digitised world. We’ve managed to get there with electricity and radio waves, but have somehow got stuck in the bad habit of believing that now, additional screens will make our customers happy. It’s okay for Samsung and Apple to believe that - it’s not okay for the biggest hotel chains, airlines, food stores, and retailers.
In a globalised world where customers search for unique experiences and human connections, a mom-and-pop shop connected to technology support systems not only has a greater chance of survival but also of actually competing with global conglomerates, as long as big business is stuck in a tech-first view of the world.
PRE:MIND enables human-first service
At PRE:MIND we believe tech should enable human connections and aid the global mobility of humankind. And we believe in working with partners, to create a network of services allowing for the best customer experience regardless of where in the world they happen to be at the time.
Partnering with South African online travel agency (OTA) & payment startup Kamooni is one way of doing this. Kamooni enables easier mobile payments for travellers and small business owners to support the local economy. The service is open to businesses of all sizes and aimed at helping travellers connect to truly local experiences, by removing the inconvenience around cash payments.
For everyone in the travel industry, working with the right partners ensures the best experience for the customer. The combination of Kamoonis hassle-free payment system and PRE:MIND's location-based customer recognition software sets a new standard for a personalised hospitality industry.
It's easy to discuss whether we should be for or against using facial recognition as a widespread technology. There are benefits on a large scale, as well as definite downsides. At PRE:MIND we see one obvious issue: facial recognition is not within the individual's choice and as such the human loses all control of their own privacy.Read "Facial Recognition and Privacy Concerns"
In the quest for delivering on experiential retail, stores have morphed into things resembling anything from amusement parks to living rooms. And while there is nothing wrong with that – it hasn't done much to personalise the experience.Read "Customer identification key to experience shopping"
During most of the 19th and 20th century, the upper class was a homogeneous group—they came from the same residential areas, attended the same schools, lived in one place their entire life, handed their businesses and wealth over to their sons and daughters.Read "Social progress calls for personalised experience"
In 2018 most average retailers will use location technology to map customer movements in their stores, place items where they're most likely to be seen and send offers, surveys, and ads at the right time. But that's far from enough.Read "Making your store a VIP destination"