Let’s Make Things Better with Technology

I recently went to a local restaurant for dinner with my family. Walking through the door, I’m greeted with nearly a hundred others who are also waiting for a table. Looking at the disconnection between their systems and the customers just frustrated me. With nearly a 45 minute wait, I’m guessing that somewhere between 50 and 70 aggregate man (and woman) hours were wasted during my wait. What I don’t understand is why they don’t make this better with technology. Moreover, it frustrates me that we, as consumers, don’t demand it.

So why would a business want to do better? For me this is fairly obvious. Unfortunately many businesses seem to be happy as long as they are currently busy and profitable. By improving customer experiences, better brand loyalty can be achieved, efficiencies can be gained and overall customer satisfaction will be improved. Technology use cases and methods differ from industry to industry, but businesses should think about how they can improve the experiences for those who keep them going.

As I’m waiting, I’m thinking. With IoE, Cisco advertises a guitar, that tells an exit door, that tells the last train (about a second encore)…

Why can’t this restaurant have a website, that offers an app, that allows you to get on the list, estimate the appropriate arrival time and eliminate the need for the restaurant pager…

This shouldn’t be that complicated. In addition to reducing congestion at the door and allowing people to arrive when they can actually eat, they could advertise their daily specials and solicit feedback from customers. There’s no reason that a good business can’t provide great customer service but change requires someone to think outside of what is status quo.

While this is just one example, it is indicative of a thought process that technology leaders should all have. Technology in business is not about gadgets. It is about streamlining operations, processes and experiences. So as we get hung up on some cool new features of a system or the elegance of our latest toy, let’s back up and figure out how we can make a difference and actually make things better with technology.

Readers of this article may also enjoy:

  1. The Case for Consistent Customer Service

About Paul Stewart, CCIE 26009 (Security)

Paul is a Network and Security Engineer, Trainer and Blogger who enjoys understanding how things really work. With over 15 years of experience in the technology industry, Paul has helped many organizations build, maintain and secure their networks and systems.
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One Response to Let’s Make Things Better with Technology

  1. Will Hogan says:

    Most of those restaurants that do not accept reservations (Outback, PF Changs, Olive Garden, etc) do accept call ahead.

    I’d be great if the call ahead was available on the net.

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