The Internet of Things Demands That Customer Service Catch Up

first_img 5 min read With the speed of innovation today, technology becomes obsolete practically the minute it’s available. And now with two always online smartphones in use for every nine people on the planet, according to Business Insider, there appears to be no satisfying the information consumption of hyperconnected users. We are past the age of “smart” and moving into the age of “smarter.”This deluge of always-on technology has also created a wave of disruptive applications that are empowering today’s consumers as never before. But customer service has been left huffing, puffing and lagging behind. With 26 billion devices projected to be connected via the Internet of Things by 2020, a blender might issue an alert before it’s going to break or a furnace may dispatch an email indicating it needs servicing before the owner knows it does. But what’s yet to be figured out is how to use that information to provide a seamless and exceptional experience that satisfies consumers before they express a desire to be satisfied.People want to engage with the companies they do business with on their terms. But most companies have been slow to respond to this fundamental shift in the customer-company relationship. Because of this, only the companies that make customer experiences as smart as the products and services they support will hold an advantage over their more reactionary competitors. And while there is no simple app for smart customer service, here some things enterprises should know:Related: Will Your Company Be a Leader of the Customer-Service Revolution?1. Care across channels can take continuity to a smarter level.When consumers use smart devices, their expectation is clear: engagement with a company on all channels (voice, text, instant message chat) with a continuity and consistency of care between them all. Companies must drive a smarter experience by correlating one interaction to the next regardless of how each contact was started and where it finishes. Similar to smart products, these channels should be able to share information like an “Internet of Channels” so the customer-service dots are connected to provide a seamless and consistent experience.This is a critical piece of the puzzle for the future of customer engagement. Consumers will no longer tolerate having to repeat themselves or go through multiple steps every time they contact customer service. Pet insurance company Trupanion does this: Its customers can move from an email, to chat and then to a voice session without interruption and without starting over. This smart experience is one of the reasons why the company has such a fiercely loyal and growing customer base.Related: 8 Ways the ‘Internet of Things’ Will Impact Your Everyday Life2. Harness the interconnectedness of smart data.Smart devices have expanded how much and how often consumers are pushing out information about themselves and their habits. This presents enormous opportunity for companies. Through software-driven analysis of customer interactions, companies can now predict in real time what will happen next before an upselling opportunity is lost or a frustrated client decides to cancel his or her service. One way it can do this is by flagging potential telltale terms that a customer might provide. This way the service representative will be able to change the course of the customer experience from poor to better.Look at service pain points. Data on customer-purchase history, interactions and previous complaints need to be at the agent’s fingertips, instantly accessible on every channel, including those for in-person interactions. The faster that data is made available to front-line representatives, the more likely they’ll be able to act on the opportunities the information reveals.Related: 10 Stories of Unforgettable Customer Service3. Smart predictions could keep pace with fast reactions.Research shows that consumers are willing to divulge personal information if it improves their experience or service with a company.Take, for example, the upscale eatery Eleven Madison Park in New York City. The restaurant’s staff googles its guests before they arrive to see where they are from or what they might like to drink so as to deliver a highly customized dining experience. This idea is the essence behind the smarter experience: proactive and predictive engagement. The result is that customers feel like the brand “knows” them.According to RnRMarketResearch, location-based service marketing is predicted to grow 25 percent a year over the next five years. Armed with data from Foursquare check-ins, interaction history, a company now has the ability to proactively serve a gamer who just recently had trouble updating his console by recognizing that he is in the area and dropping him a store credit for the season’s hottest new game.Or a company can predict that a customer might need allergy medication based on the local pollen count and the number of days since the person’s last refill, then send that individual a reminder when close to the pharmacy. It’s like “nesting” the customer: the gathering data through all points of engagement that the individual has with a company so as to anticipate his or her needs and create smarter experiences.The future of customer care will be a completely synchronous response, able to call upon any resource, any individual and any piece of data to deliver an experience that meets that consumer expectation. By creating a seamless relationship between omni-channel communication, analytics and predictive, proactive communications, companies can create the smarter experiences consumers, and their smart products, demand.Related: Why the Future of Retail Will Blow Your Mind Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. July 24, 2014 Register Now »last_img read more

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Margaritaville Beach Resort Grand Cayman now accepting reservations

first_img Travelweek Group Share Thursday, January 19, 2017 Posted by Margaritaville Beach Resort Grand Cayman now accepting reservations << Previous PostNext Post >> GRAND CAYMAN – Reservations are now open for Margaritaville Beach Resort Grand Cayman, the multi-million-dollar renovation project situated on Grand Cayman’s famous Seven Mile Beach.Nightly rates start at US$229, depending on room type, for stays beginning after Feb. 4. Each of the 285 rooms will feature a work desk, walk-in shower or tub, 55-inch LCD television, high-speed Wi-Fi, Keurig coffeemaker and more.Other hotel amenities include the 5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar & Grill, now open during the resort’s soft opening phase. Following shortly thereafter will be License to Chill Bar and Margaritaville Coffee Shop. A complete soft opening will also include 109 guestrooms, the resort’s main pool and a signature steakhouse called YARA.Once complete, Margaritaville Beach Resort Grand Cayman will feature an activity pool with a waterslide, a large pool with swim-up bar, a zero-entry kiddie pool area, an adult-friendly pool, live entertainment, retail shops, complimentary kids club, 24-hour fitness centre, flexible meeting and event space, an on-site Red Sail Sports Desk, and six food and beverage venues.More news:  Flight Centre Travel Group takes full ownership of Quebec-based agency“We have worked tirelessly over the past 18 months to create an incredible, one-of-a-kind island getaway and we are thrilled to celebrate this milestone, opening reservations,” said Michael Evans, executive vice president of HHG Holdings, the ownership group for Margaritaville Beach Resort Grand Cayman. “We look forward to welcoming guests for what we know will be an unforgettable Caribbean escape featuring warm, authentic Caymanian hospitality and of course, the Margaritaville lifestyle!”For more information go to MargaritavilleResortGrandCayman.com.last_img read more

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Playacar Palace shows off its complete transformation

first_img Monday, February 12, 2018 Share Posted by Playacar Palace shows off its complete transformation MIAMI — Palace Resorts’ Playacar Palace, the brand’s luxury retreat in Playa del Carmen, has reopened following an extensive US$14 million multi-phase renovation.The latest refurbishment marks the hotel’s second phase of renovations since it opened its doors in December 2005.Photo courtesy of Palace ResortsThe transformation “was designed to elevate the resort to the highest possible luxury standards”, says Palace Resorts.Renovation details include upgrades to guest rooms, lobby, front desk, restaurants, and lounge areas.Each of the 201 rooms boasts new décor, installation of modern furnishings, enhanced showers and vanity areas, top-of-the-line Lavazza coffee makers and advanced jets added to the in-room double whirlpool tubs.The property’s existing ‘Walk Out’ suites now feature a private terrace which adds to the romantic ambiance.Suite access is now available via wearable tech wristbands, allowing guests to open the door to their suites with a wave of the hand.Photo courtesy of Palace ResortsKeeping the keyless addition consistent, by downloading the Palace Resorts app via their mobile phone (available in the App Store and Google Play), guests can also open their room doors with their phones.More news:  Marriott Int’l announces 5 new all-inclusive resorts in D.R. & MexicoTechnological upgrades were also made to the property’s AC systems, featuring new hydraulic systems to ensure the resort meets eco-friendly standards.“As a brand, we are always looking to reinvent ourselves and elevate each part of any guests experience. It’s not only about being better but also about offering our guests a completely unique experience, while offering the highest quality of standards,” said Gibran Chapur, Executive Vice President of Palace Resorts.“The renovations to Playacar Palace are only one of the many ways, our brand continues to evolve and stay ahead of the most demanded trendy in the luxury all-inclusive We are proud to open our doors to the newly-revamped Playacar Palace.”Photo courtesy of Palace ResortsThe property’s main restaurant, Café del Mar, now has new furniture and reupholstery. The venue now features a cold show cooking area where guests can see chefs artistic plating-style each dish as it receives its final touches before making its way to the table.The Italian cuisine restaurant formerly known as Terraza has reopened as Bocelli, sporting a new style and menu, that’s in line with the brand’s look and feel. The newly released menu features some premium quality Certified Angus Beef cuts in tasteful signature dishes such as Controfilleto e Formaggio, Ribeye con Grani di Pepe and the ever-popular Petit Filet. To accompany these flavorful dishes will be the brand’s own pasta which is created by an expert team of chefs in-house. Antonio Bachour’s decadent desserts are also now part of the offerings at Bocelli.Photo courtesy of Palace ResortsLast but not least, Momo, known for its traditional oriental cuisine, features a new menu built to create a culinary sharing experience for the whole dining party. Featuring items such as Maki sushi, Nigiri, Special Sushi Cakes, Temaki and more. Antonio Bachour’s new desserts will be included throughout the property’s new culinary upgrades at each restaurant.More news:  Flights cancelled as British Airways hit by computer problemGuests who book a stay of five nights or more are privy to what Palace Resorts says is the most valuable vacation promotion on record – $1,500 resort credit – which can be used on spa and beauty salon treatments, golf outings, romantic dinners, wedding packages, and off-site excursions and tours.Photo courtesy of Palace Resortscenter_img Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Palace Resortslast_img read more

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Sunwing launches Let It Snow sale celebrates first OttawaMiami flight

first_imgSunwing launches Let It Snow sale, celebrates first Ottawa-Miami flight Travelweek Group Posted by Share Monday, December 17, 2018 center_img TORONTO — Sunwing says clients can trade in the bitter cold and snow for sun and sand with its annual Let it Snow sale, offering savings worth up to $2,000 per couple off all-inclusive winter vacation packages to top-rated resorts across Mexico, Central American and the Caribbean booked by Dec. 21.Vacationers can also get perks including Kids Stay, Play and Eat FREE deals, unlimited specialty dining, discounted spa treatments and more, depending on their selected resort.One resort taking part in the sale, the five-star Grand Sunset Princess All Suites and Spa Resort in Riviera Maya, offers spacious suites with swim-out options, 12 pools and spa facilities featuring traditional Mayan Baths. There’s also the popular Riu Bambu in Punta Cana, with five specialty restaurants, exclusive complimentary access to Splash Water Park, regular pool parties, complimentary kids clubs and more.Perennial family-favourite Royalton White Sands in Montego Bay also has an on-site water park that includes a pirate-themed splash park. There’s also daily land and water sports program, nightly entertainment and a supervised kids’ club.Meanwhile Sunwing is also celebrating its inaugural flight to Miami from Ottawa, which took off Dec. 15. The flight marks the first of this season’s new weekly direct flights from Ottawa to Miami, departing every Saturday until March 30, 2019, inclusive. Sunwing is anticipated to be the only leisure carrier to offer direct flights from the Canadian capital to Miami this winter.“We’re excited to be offering our customers in Ottawa even more options for their winter escape this year with the addition of Miami as a new flight route,” says Reg Mendes, Vice President of USA and Cruises for Sunwing. “This new direct flight service will offer Ottawa travellers more ways to Vacation Better in Florida both on land and at sea with Sunwing vacation and cruise packages and convenient transfers to PortMiami from Miami International Airport.” The city is the perfect base from which to explore Southern Florida or embark on a cruise, he adds.Sunwing offers Caribbean cruise packages with NCL and MSC Cruises sailing from Miami (including transfers from the airport to nearby PortMiami). Two of the most popular cruise ships are MSC Seaside and the new Norwegian Bliss. Customers can also opt for a Cruise & Stay package and get a vacation in Miami or Fort Lauderdale before or after they sail. << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Miami, New Routes, Savings, Sunwinglast_img read more

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These are the most outrageous Star Warsthemed rooms in Kissimmee for diehard

first_img KISSIMMEE — Kissimmee, Florida can never be considered a land that’s far, far away from Canada, but to a die-hard Star Wars fan it comes pretty darn close.Ahead of the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World Resort on Aug. 29, Kissimmee – known as the Vacation Capital of the World – has rounded up the top 5 galaxy-themed rooms that channels ‘The Force’ in every way. Not only are they located just minutes from Galaxy’s Edge, they’re also all commissionable for travel agents.1. Battle Pod Bunk Beds. Spanning 3,374 square feet, this out-of-this-world villa boasts five bedrooms, private pool, spillover spa, custom theatre with 120-inch projection screen and, oh yes, a Star Wars Battle Pod arcade. Here, guests can ride the vehicles and live out their fantasies of destroying the Empire’s Battle Fleet.2. The Storm Trooper Home Theatre. This mega-mansion transports guests straight to the galaxy with a tricked-out Storm Trooper-themed theatre that seats eight. After watching the entire Star Wars series from beginning to end, guests can also enjoy a pool, outdoor dinning set, sun loungers, pool table and a neon black-light games room filled with multi arcade games.More news:  Windstar celebrates record-breaking bookings in July3. The Classic Quote Twin Room. The entire universe is in one bedroom at this high-end villa located less than 10 minutes from Walt Disney World. There are three children’s themed bedrooms – Star Wars, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and Pokemon – not to mention a private outdoor pool deck and spa, restaurant/bar, fitness centre and a waterpark, all located at the Encore Club.4. The Millennium Falcon Suite. At this newly furnished vacation home, your bedroom doubles as the entrance to the Millennium Falcon! Guests can also enjoy a pool area that overlooks a Jack Niklaus golf course, outdoor dining area, private theatre, games room and a second-floor loft area with pool table at this upscale five-bedroom villa.5. The Dark Side Arcade. With over 7,500 square feet, this amazing villa is a dream come true for movie fans. Guests can play classic arcade games alongside Darth Vader, Darth Sidious and Yoda in a super-cool arcade worthy of Luke Skywalker himself. This home can accommodate up to five families and also features an infinity pool and multiple living spaces.More news:  Save the dates! Goway’s Africa Roadshow is backKissimmee’s tourism authority, Experience Kissimmee, is represented in Canada by VoX International. Tuesday, July 23, 2019 Share Tags: Star Wars Travelweek Group center_img These are the most outrageous Star Wars-themed rooms in Kissimmee for die-hard fans << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted bylast_img read more

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