If the buzzword in technology has been Artificial Intelligence, then in the past year, its engine has been Covid-19. News coverage has been saturated with well-known brands finding themselves on the end of bankruptcy, pushed over the edge by Covid-19 restrictions.
For many such as Debenhams and Peacocks, whose stores are disappearing from the high street, it’s not the product that failed but an inability to update their traditional working methods.
Technological solutions have become essential to maintaining revenue streams during successive lockdowns. Yet for some, technology means a daunting learning process, replacing staff and complicated procedures.
Services provided by the activities sector have been in heavy demand but despite lockdowns, people-centric social experiences have been equally popular. So how can the activities sector remain engaging but upgrade its current systems? Read on to find out.
Embrace online ordering and booking platforms
Adaptation is key. The implementation of electronic point-of-sale (EPOS) and online ordering has maintained revenue streams for smaller high-street businesses. This method can be adapted for use in the activities sector for booking activities and subscriptions to members’ content.
Much of the sector has provided free content as well as subscription-based services for fitness. Online fitness has started to trend because of its accessibility and is predicted to continue to increase as people become acclimatised to it.
That doesn’t mean that consumers aren’t looking for high-quality content to help them track and improve their fitness.
Discussed in a video aimed at examining the growth of his business, Theo Milward of Swimtime Group and Franscape has put integrated technology as his pathway to enhancing customer experience.
A booking system or an EPOS that helps people pay as they go for outdoor activity in groups can help keep the activities sector afloat.
When it comes to outdoor activities which are allowed as long as the group are socially distanced. These adaptations are essential to keeping the human touch despite seeking a technological solution.
Automate easier customer queries
You can automate simpler queries to free-up time for your staff to respond to the complex ones. Every problem doesn’t necessarily have a technological solution.
Address the areas that need to be quicker or more efficient and automate those tasks. Repetitive questions about timing, kit or scrolling through FAQs can be a thing of the past with intelligent automation.
Accurate automation that can alert you to problems before they happen and can be either self-fixing or direct you how to fix them.
Accelerate your team towards strategic decision-making and developmental coaching skills and away from time-consuming admin.
Automation doesn’t need to replace people, in fact if done properly with the right processes, it can actually improve staff morale.
As Jim Darragh, CEO of Totalmobile added, staff morale isn’t solely dependent on salary, the introduction of processes that take the stress from admin tasks will keep people happy despite pay freezes.
Solutions include flexible working or accessible cloud-based documents, tracking payroll, timesheets and allocating equipment. More advanced solutions include chatbots.
Monitoring with a cloud-based solution
Monitoring with AI brings forth images of surveillance-based technologies that intrude on privacy. Yet in today’s reality, many organisations are using them to help keep their teams within current COVID-19 compliance guidelines.
This technology has the capacity to transform security and business operations just by helping your staff to keep themselves distanced, in smaller groups or to wear their masks.
AI is predicted to play a far more significant role in cloud-based technology because of its capacity to capture data to help you make informed decisions about your business.
Fewer participants in early classes? Provide a boost or an incentive to get them there. Less uptake on classes that require a larger space? Implement shorter or space-restrictive programs to cater to them.
Use the data you have to get closer to your customers and closer to fulfilling their needs.
Looking to the future
AI can be instrumental in improving employee satisfaction and increasing customer engagement. In reality, as much as people see automation as displacing workers, but if used appropriately, it can be the strength of a business.
Looking to the future of technology means that the activities industry employees have the capacity to share the spoils of new technology.