Does Your Small Business Need A Tech Transformation To Improve The Customer Experience?

Traveling small business owners will have a much more automated experience when they visit the Hyatt Regency in Chicago. The hotel recently engaged in a complete tech transformation that allows guests to check-in using an iPad or one of the kiosks located throughout the lobby.

The Hyatt Regency automation is a sign of things to come in an electronic society. Businesses of all sizes must learn to make things easier for customers and clients…or lose those customers and clients to the competition. Thanks to the large number of customers who now walk around with mobile devices, small businesses can affordably deploy apps that automate the customer experience without having to buy hardware.

To learn from the Hyatt Regency technology overall, small businesses can evaluate these very targeted changes.

  • Add Wi-Fi. To encourage customers to keep coming back, businesses from hotels to fast food restaurants are adding free wireless Internet as a customer perk. The Hyatt Regency installed 800 access points around its property, keeping guests connected whether they are in their rooms or wandering around the hotel grounds.
  • Eliminate Lines. The Hyatt Regency acknowledged that guests dislike waiting in line to check in. The hotel addressed this by allowing guests to check in on kiosks or iPads. For retail stores and restaurants, those lines can be equally as daunting. In fact, research shows that waiting in long lines is the second-biggest complaint behind rude staff. By investigating alternatives like mobile checkout, small business owners can prevent walkouts and increase customer retention.
  • Be Creative. The Hyatt Regency installed plasma TVs in the lobby to display directions and provide information. The screens offer digital concierge service, directing guests to sites in town and services offered by the hotel. This helps reduce the need for paid staff on site to answer questions and provide directions, saving money.
  • Secure the Premises. The Hyatt’s state-of-the-art security system is a much larger example of what a small business can implement. A business doesn’t have to spend a fortune on special software that allows cameras to be viewed from selected mobile devices or a security room on site. Several solutions are on the market today for a fraction of the price. Consider a security solution that allows you to keep an eye on your shop while you’re on the road or at home. This monitoring may come in handy if your business ever has an issue that needs to be addressed.

Proving that aesthetics are still important, the Hyatt Regency also remodeled its lobby with state-of-the-art lighting and new finishes. The restaurant and bar have been updated and digital components have been installed throughout the hotel.

While your small business may not have the funds to do a major renovation, consider implementing small changes that can bring you up to date. Chances are, your competitors already have, putting you behind the crowd.

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Stephanie Faris

Stephanie is a freelance writer and young adult/middle grade novelist, who worked in information systems for more than a decade. Her first book, 30 Days of No Gossip, will be released by Simon and Schuster in spring 2014. She lives in Nashville with her husband.

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