High-Touch to No Touch

By Adam Levithan

During my years working at restaurants and hotels I was taught the value of a smile and personal connection as the driver of a good experience. Today, these interactions are limited, and we look to technology not to replace them but to increase efficiency that allow team members time to focus on the customer. Built into your Microsoft 365 investments there are two key areas involving the interaction between back-office, managers and frontline workers, scheduling and training.

Scheduling with Shifts in Microsoft Teams

From the smallest restaurant using a sign-up sheet, call-ins and word of mouth, to chain of restaurants or hotels with self-created systems, a high percentage of time and thought is spent on scheduling. Aptly named, Microsoft created a solution called Shifts for creating and maintaining schedules that is fully integrated into the mobile Microsoft Teams app. You can:

  • Request Time off – Requesting time off sends an alert to the Owner, who can approve/reject the request.
  • Swap/offer shifts – Alerts are sent to the people that are chosen, and they can accept/deny the request.
  • Views/Reports – Back-office and Managers can review schedules in many different ways.

On-line Training

With your team members already in Microsoft Teams for scheduling, virtual meetings and finding documents, the next step is to embed training into the mobile friendly tool. While the best trainings in a restaurant or hotel are hands-on, you can come close to the experience.

  • Interactive Live Sessions – You can produce single or multi-camera training videos with minimal production effort to show all angles of the training, while simultaneously taking and answering questions.
  • One-time, Live & Recorded – If people couldn’t attend the original session it is recorded, and a questionnaire can be added to test knowledge. Team members can even submit video responses demonstrating their training.

Technology will never replace high-touch scenarios, but it provides more time for your team members to focus on delivering memorable and effective experiences in the new normal and beyond.