March 11, 2019

How Cutting-Edge Brands Are Using Tech for Service Innovation

Did you know that over 50% of companies in the Asia-Pacific region have adopted AI?

According to the MIT Technology Review, these businesses are using AI to solve business problems and create new products and services.

This can be hard to picture, but if we stop to take in how our physical and digital worlds continue to merge while breeding unparalleled customer expectations to match, an exciting new playing field for tech-based service innovation opens up.

With that said, the key to improving and creating new services starts with service design. Through researching, planning and organising all of the people, processes and tools involved in the delivery of a service, service designers can create new solutions to improve the customer experience – and outcomes for service providers.

Here’s how three companies are leveraging tech for service design innovation:

1. HSBC Bank’s new robot hire

Pepper Social Robot HSBC Bank
Source: Business Insider

Besides streamlining operations and enabling staff to have “deeper, more high-value customer engagements”, the Los Angeles branch of HSBC wanted to create a retail banking experience that was “just as fun and engaging” as the rest of the city.

Turning to the SoftBank Robotics America (SBRA), the branch hired the well-known social robot Pepper. Its role is to greet customers as they enter, answer questions and just generally make people happy.

Since Pepper was introduced, the branch has reported increased ATM transactions, credit card applications and foot traffic.

2. The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas’ hotel chatbot

“I’m Rose. The resident mischief maker at the Cosmopolitan. And I’m checked in, indefinitely.”

Finally, a bot with attitude! Rose is a chatbot conceived for The Cosmopolitan’s casino regulars, ready with answers for any situation – food, drinks, shopping and even for VIP access to nightclubs. A customer service, loyalty program and branding machine in one, Rose does a lot of the heavy lifting in personalising each patron’s experience.

3. WAmazing

Source: Japan BrandVoice

WAmazing are a Japanese startup founded by Fumiko Kato, a former digital marketer with experience working in Japan’s tourism market. Kato founded WAmazing to better serve the primary tourist demographic of East Asian, digitally-oriented travellers in Japan.

According to Kato, these tourists find it “impossible” to plan their trip without a smartphone. Realising that Japan’s relatively lower smartphone penetration rate and poor internet access in rural areas was a problem yet to be solved by the local industry, she built the WAmazing app to help travellers manage their holiday bookings, coupled with a free SIM card distribution initiative.

As the startup has been met with huge success and is expanding the business to other tourist markets, WAmazing is also bridging the gap between the ‘new and old’ systems of service delivery in Japan.

While all are great examples of how tech is being used to short-cut processes, relieve pain points and delight customers in a new way, it shouldn’t act as a substitute in moments best experienced between people.

The trick to finding the right balance in your service design? Start with the humans, every time!

Jen Metcalfe

Junior Copywriter / Marketer / Project Co-ordinator

Jen has a keen interest in world culture and tech. When she’s not knee-deep in browser tabs and plugged into Spotify, she enjoys cooking at home, contemplating art and reading Penguin Classics. 

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