Imagine going on a cruise and having the ship know your every desire – sometimes even before you do.
That’s the goal of Carnival Corporation’s new Ocean Medallion technology, a wearable device that will debut on the Regal Princess cruise ship later this year. It follows on the heels of Disney’s MagicBand and a similar device on Royal Caribbean cruises, but it goes even farther in predicting and responding to customer needs and desires.
Each passenger will receive a personalized token that can be worn around your neck, on your wrist or carried in your pocket. The token interacts with 7000 sensors throughout the ship to track where you are, and what you’re doing. And it uses that information to predict what you’d like to do next. The sensors interact with 4000 high res screens throughout the ship to provide personalized recommendations.
The Wall Street Journal has released its annual scorecard of U.S. airlines, sizing them up according to factors that matter to travelers, including delays, on-time arrivals and lost baggage. Overall, the newspaper reported, airlines did a better job on some measures in 2016 than in 2015, with 7 percent fewer late arrivals.
Alaska Airlines earned top rank for the second year in a row, but as a customer experience consultant, I was just as interested in the airlines at the bottom. American Airlines ranked ninth out of the nine carriers rated, and budget carrier Spirit Airlines came in eighth.
American Airlines blamed problems at its hubs and its merger with USAir, and said it has a new training program to improve customer service. But Spirit, which was dead last in the customer complaints category, seemed to feel destined to do poorly. This is no great surprise: CNN Money ranked Spirit 10th out of 10 airlines rated for customer satisfaction in 2015. Another budget carrier, Allegiant Air, came in ninth.
Let’s face it; the holiday season is well over and becoming difficult to even remember. It’s time to get cracking. With a little effort, we should be back on track in no time.
If only it were that easy! The truth is the hot mess we return to makes us want to pack up and head right back on holiday. Unfortunately, for the majority of us, this solution isn’t an option.
So, we try. After all, the inbox so full it’s bursting isn’t going to empty itself, is it? What is needed presently is some good, old-fashioned elbow grease—and more than a little efficiency.
While some people are terribly efficient without much effort, others of us have much to overcome to optimize our efficiency. In these cases, having efficiency requires recognizing what is getting in the way of it.
Recognition can take time. To that end, I have three major mistakes inefficient people often make that get in the way of efficiency, which include:
Back in November, Hertz rental car shares fell sharply when the huge rental car company slashed its profit forecast for the year. Hertz (which also owns Dollar and Thrifty) blamed it on vehicle depreciation, but depreciation may be the least of the rental car industry’s worries as we move into 2017.
Over the past several months, I’ve become a fan of Uber and Lyft. With these services at my fingertips, I’ve discovered that I seldom need to rent a car when I travel. I avoid long lines, confusing contracts and surcharges. I have a driver to chauffer me about and I don’t have to learn my way around a strange city!
In a recent column, New York Times writer Ron Lieber reports that he also avoids renting cars when he travels. Uber and Lyft’s apps make summoning and paying for a ride effortless, but rental car companies seem bent on making the experience as difficult and unpleasant as possible.
The customers have spoken, and they’ve had enough of car dealerships.
They’re spending less time talking to salespeople at car lots and more time researching cars online, taking virtual test drives and emailing or texting dealers to find the perfect vehicle. Customers might still visit a dealership or two for a test drive, but they also might just buy the car sight unseen and have it delivered, according to dealers and industry executives who gathered recently for the Tampa International Auto Show.
Car buyers visited an average of 5 dealerships before buying a car in 2013, but now that number is down to 1.6, Google Account Executive Derek Humphrey told the auto show crowd. “They walk in already knowing what they want,” he said. And that means that dealers and manufacturers need to find ways to appeal to customers online.
It’s about time they figured that out.
We hate shopping for cars BUT dealerships don’t really get it!
As I’ve written before, the entire process of buying a car at a dealership is horrible. Research by Cisco of 1500 car consumers found that 83 percent would rather research a car online, and 55 percent would feel comfortable closing the deal virtually.
What happens when you take the people out of an experience that was traditionally a human-based interaction? Does it make it better or worse? And what does this mean to the future of Customer Experience? Amazon and Uber might soon have answers for us on these questions.
Amazon and Uber have been making headlines by eliminating the humans from areas of the Customer Experience where a person is usually involved. Amazon is promoting its Amazon Go stores that don’t require checking out with a person. Uber is fighting with the DMV in California about the legality of testing its driverless taxis in San Francisco.
However, the move toward automation for traditional human interactions doesn’t stop here. There is talk about computers replacing lawyers in the day-to-day legal work and systems that can predict treatment plans for cancer patients almost as accurately as a doctor can.