It used to all start with a smile and a handshake or a hug (considered quite normal in most regions), isn’t it? All your business meetings, a guest welcome, an evening get together whatever it be ... The eye contact and the physical presence has been such an integral part of all our interactions thus far, especially the Hotel industry which thrives on socialization and human interaction.
Needless to say, COVID-19 has had a huge impact on how we operate. What a journey this has been! With Knowcross working so closely on automating the Hotel operations across the world in multiple Hotel brands and chains, for now handshakes and hugs have to wait in lieu of virtual greetings.
Having to swiftly move from 10+ projects a month with our global activation team travelling to every part of the world to now … our new 'activation normal'. Providing the same exceptional level of white glove service to our guests but keeping in mind the safety the hotels and our employees, by making a conscious shift to remote deployments. Of course without letting the customer feel any impact of this shift.
The most important part of education and training is learning. In my opinion, learning comes best when you hear more ideas, more questions, more challenges, interact with others in person with that eye contact. I see a great such example at my home when my son sits for his virtual school. Every time I walk into that room, my respect for the teachers goes up a notch. Every single day, they effortlessly connect with 20+ students in one class, listen actively to their questions, ensure the entire class comprehends what’s being taught, repeatedly ask them to mute their mike yet encourage them to ask questions … and while doing all this, builds a great relationship with each one of them.
We are in a similar boat. Our consultants still spend hours with the Hotel teams to understand their operational challenges and the stack of papers put out in front of them, while they figure out the best way to get you rid of those by automating operations in the days to follow. They virtually bond with their class attendees, connecting individually to ensure understanding while fostering a relationship for the future.
While it does sound difficult to some, online or remote training does have its own benefits too. Larger audiences can be engaged at once, resources can be better leveraged as travel costs are minimized, training timelines can be trimmed or a quick refresher easily completed, and people can connect from anywhere - time zones can almost be mitigated.
The truth is, we’ll have to work with this positive side of remote training for many more days or months to follow-maybe for some we will make the shift forever. But, for me, let’s just face it, face to face interactions cannot be substituted and we are looking forward to be back there with you - giving you that firm handshake or big hug as soon as we can!