How Technology Can Help Reimagine Customer and Colleague Experiences

By Alchemmy’s Gavin Nicol

The case for automation and technology: The 2020 Pandemic set in motion dramatic and unprecedented changes to the global economic, political, and financial landscape. In parallel, exponential technological adoption forced businesses to re-think and re-design their operating models. In this New World, priorities and expectations have shifted across three key areas: Business, Customers and Colleagues.

  1. Business Priorities are changing: The economic shock of COVID-19 has put investment of automation and technology in the High Priority/High Urgency Box for executives. Cash flow, operational efficiency and business resilience have become central to business strategies, so as to safeguard against future shocks and ensure operations are maintained. Alchemmy’s Intelligent Automation Report highlighted that 90% of companies substantially changed operating models, putting in place new systems and solutions in the wake of the pandemic, while a third transformed completely.
  2. Customer Expectations are changing: Customers enjoy more choice than ever before thanks to technology. Gone are the days of generic, cookie-cutter customer experiences. The rise of Netflix, Spotify, Amazon, Uber, and self-scanning at supermarkets are just a handful of examples of how personalisation and self-service models have taken hold with no signs of stopping.
  3. Colleague Expectations are changing: “The War on Talent” and “The Great Resignation” are twin themes which have dominated HR in recent years. Our research reveals that CTOs see “shortage of talent” as the main obstacle to implementing intelligent automation in their business. In a world where money is no longer the sole motivating factor for employees, focusing on the employee experience is the most promising competitive advantage that organisations can create. Leveraging automation technology to remove many repetitive/low value tasks and allow colleagues to focus on more meaningful activities will be critical.

 

A Case Study for Automation and Technology

Against this backdrop, Alchemmy supported a UK International Airport in implementing its Automation of the Passenger Journey Programme. This focused on streamlining the end-to-end passenger journey while providing personalisation and choice throughout. It was characterised by:

  1. Reimagining the Customer Experience: In place of long queues for check-in and drop off bags, Self-Service Bag Drop and Self-Boarding Gate units were implemented across the terminals, mirroring supermarket self-service. The result was reduced bottlenecks, swifter flow, personalised options for customers, and increased capacity to provide enhanced service.
  2. Reimaging the Colleague Experience: These technologies helped reduce the repetitive/low value tasks involved in manual customer check-in and bag drops, allowing staff to focus on more meaningful tasks, enhancing their sense of fulfilment and purpose. Automation also provided an additional security layer by removing the potential for human errors in monotonous but mission-critical tasks.

 

The lessons learned from this project have been distilled into 5 Key Principles for leveraging People, Automation and Technology:

  1. Create a Compelling Vision: Ensure the vision resonates with all key stakeholders. Engagement is key.
  2. Define “What’s in it for me?”: Be clear on what motivates colleagues and what drives customers to use a certain technology – how will it help them?
  3. Identify the Low-Hanging Fruit: Focus on leveraging technology in areas that provide the greatest benefit.
  4. Incremental Change: Don’t change too much at once. Ensure new technology has been tested in trials before large rollouts to maximise benefits.
  5. Create Feedback Loops: Implement mechanisms for regular feedback to facilitate improvements to technology and processes.

 

If you want to know more about our work in intelligent automation or the aviation sector, please contact us.

Written by

Zoey Luu

Published on

35th June 2022

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