Creating Interactive and Personalized Customer Experiences
In ancient Greece, a stranger passing outside a house would be invited inside by the family. The host would wash the stranger's feet, offer him or her food and wine, and only after the guest was comfortable would the host ask their name. While today’s greeting practices have changed, this early relationship between host and guest is an example of the lengths we can go to in order to make one comfortable in an unfamiliar environment and deliver a personalized experience.
Today, a several billion dollar industry exists to provide comfort and personalized experiences to guests as they travel the world. Organizations in this industry provide services to guests and visitors of hotels, casinos, resorts, membership-based clubs, conventions, attractions, and a wide variety of special events.
Much like the reach of the ‘supply chain’ into and across all areas of global commerce, defining the hospitality market and identifying all of the areas that technologies like RFID can impact it can be a challenge. Many groups provide valuable services to the industry including facility maintenance, operations, management, marketing, and human resources, among others. Regardless of the segment of the hospitality industry one is in however, superior service and operational excellence are what drive success. It is no coincidence that these are two areas that are being revolutionized by RFID.
Over the past several years, RFID has found its way into existing operations within this market, offering a new level of automation. Today, RFID-enabled solutions are available to automate access control, track assets, and manage staff. The potential for RFID however, reaches far beyond these applications, enabling solutions where the technology is so integrated and transparent that it disappears into its environment. Emerging applications where users and consumers can naturally interact with RFID are allowing solution providers to the hospitality industry deliver guests and event attendees with customized, real-time, interactive, and experiences that are tailored to match their personal preferences.
ThingMagic is working with several partners in this space whose innovative solutions are designed to deliver personalized experiences. Following on the heels of the 2010 British Open, the oldest of the four major championships in professional golf, the examples below highlight how RFID is being used to create a VIP experience for participants at high-profile golf events.
Stratum Global, a Chicago-based software solutions company lives by the motto “Start Small, Think Big”. Stratum Global put this approach to work in their delivery of a solution for one of the nation’s premier country clubs located in the hills of beautiful Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Based on Stratum Global’s TagNet RFID suite, the solution was implemented to provide security at the two main gates to the facility as well as provide notification to Club staff when a Member has arrived on property. RFID tags were applied to each of the Member's vehicles and are read as the vehicle enters. Security gates are managed as well as Portal Event Viewers being strategically located throughout the property (Valet Parking, Golf Bag drop) to identify Members to staff.
What's next for TagNet at this Club? The Golf Bag Room, Catering & Event Management and tracking priceless assets around the facility. Each of these applications are designed to enhance member experience and automate processes in ways that could not be done economically or aesthetically without RFIDS.
NooliTIC is an information and communication technology engineering company based in France. NooliTIC solutions address many of the historical issues resulting from manual event management processes including long lines, frustrated customers, and gaps in security. By adding a passive RFID tag to each customer’s ID badge and strategically deploying RFID readers, restricted areas can be easily monitored without interrupting the flow of foot traffic. Data about event guest & VIP traffic is also gathered by the NooliTIC system, allowing event managers to determine how to improve future events by downsizing less crowded attractions and increasing staff availability for the more popular ones.
Please share your experiences with RFID-enabled hospitality solutions. What would you like these solutions to offer that they currently do not? What do you think the next innovation in RFID-based hospitality solutions will be?