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21 June 2024

Using Tech to Create First-Class Customer Service


GUEST COLUMN:

Hamish Watkins
Co-Founder
PIKKLE

As co-founder of PIKKLE, my experience has taught me that the key to a successful hospitality business isn't just about high-quality food – it all comes down to offering a fantastic customer experience.

PIKKLE is a Cardiff-based start-up specialising in delivering curated street food and artisan produce to corporate and event audiences.

We are scaling – it’s an exciting time, but alongside growing the business comes a new pressure. We want to maintain a truly bespoke approach to working with each and every customer, even as the number of events we take on grows.

That comes down to how effectively we manage the operational aspects – and we believe that digital innovation is key to achieving these goals.

We handle most of our inbound queries through our website, with all project management tasks organised through our systems. This digital approach has been fundamental in managing the complex logistics that come with catering to diverse events.

Bringing digital innovations into the business is not about replacing the human touch, because that is essential. It’s about supporting it with technology to ensure that we have the time to make every client interaction unique and memorable.

While we automate many backend processes, our client interactions remain wholly personalised. This blend ensures that our team can dedicate more time to engage with customers directly, fostering a connection that is authentically ‘us’.

Our approach extends to managing food safety—a critical aspect of our operations. We utilise digital systems to monitor and maintain rigorous standards, from temperature controls to allergy checks. These systems ensure accuracy and consistency, especially vital as our event numbers grow. In a high-pressure environment, manual checks are prone to error; however, digital solutions allow for real-time quality assurance and compliance with food safety regulations, which is indispensable.

We also need to pay close attention to dietary preferences and food allergies, which of course have a huge bearing on menu planning and event execution. Digital platforms enable us to manage and track these requirements efficiently, ensuring every guest’s needs are met without fail. This capability is crucial when catering to large groups, where the scope for error increases exponentially.

Digitising routine tasks allows our team to concentrate on what truly matters -exemplary customer service. Automation, in this context, does not mean reducing staff interaction but enhancing it. Automated alerts and reminders help keep our team on track, ensuring that operational tasks such as food safety checks are performed meticulously and on time. This system frees our staff from mundane memory-based tasks, allowing them to focus on delivering a personalised and engaging customer experience.

As we scale and evolve, we see the integration of digital tools as pivotal. These innovations support our mission to deliver exceptional service and maintain high standards of food safety and customer interaction. By embracing digital solutions, we are not just keeping up with industry trends but are setting new standards for excellence in the hospitality sector.

Our commitment at PIKKLE is to ensure that every event we cater is as flawless in execution as it is unique in presentation, all facilitated by the thoughtful application of technology.


 



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