3 hours… 3 days in Charlotte

Once our 3-hour layover in Charlotte turned into a 3-day layover, we found ourselves looking for things to do with no agenda. However, there is still plenty to take away from the situation, especially with business in mind. We have encountered numerous businesses in the past couple of days and can take away the specific functions and skills from each.

After finding out that our flight to Dublin had been canceled (late Saturday night) we had to plan sleeping arrangements for the night. We managed to get rooms at Hyatt. The hotel industry is dependent on human resources/people management and marketing, ensuring that every employee matches a certain standard and makes guests feel welcome and spread the word. From the minute we walked into the hotel we were greeted with an excellent display of communication and customer service. These past couple days the staff has been outstanding to us, making sure we all have updated room keys and have access to the conference room. They even went out of their way to find playing cards to keep us occupied while waiting in the lobby. Actions like these help make the consumer’s experience better, especially in our situation, coming in with negative attitudes. Even though it was not their problem to fix, Hyatt has done everything in their power to make sure we were comfortable these past couple days. When I tell people about my trip I will be sure to mention how Hyatt handled the situation and treated us. This is a perfect example of how creating a memorable experience for your consumers and encouraging them to talk about it is a form of marketing and can help strengthen a brand image.

After realizing we had a couple of days of free time we began looking for activities to do in the area. We came across a TopGolf a couple of miles away. We decided to go there because it worked well with our large group and had an element of team building while still being fun. While at TopGolf I recognized the importance of Information Technology as well as Operations Management. There were a lot of moving pieces that the staff needed to account for in order to make the customers experience as enjoyable as possible and to make their jobs easier.

I first noticed this when we arrived and put our names in to wait for a bay. It was extremely crowded there so we ordered food at the bar while waiting for our bay to be ready. Once our bay was ready, we got a text and we left the bar to go to the bay. Since customers are always on the move, the employees need to adapt to the situation and communicate with each other in order to deliver food, help at the bays, etc. Not only is this important for the customer’s experience but also for TopGolf and making sure the customers are paying and not losing track of the customer’s whereabouts. I noticed this when they made sure to take down credit card information before orders so that everything was on file. Each bay had a lot of technology involved. The games were profile based and would track each players ball. Depending on the game mode, there were different objectives and strategies. This makes the games more interesting and fun for the customer but also more complicated to program for TopGolf.

The text system while waiting is a good example of both operations management as well as information technology. Not only is texting easier for the customers, but TopGolf can better estimate wait times if people don’t respond to their texts and can move on to the next person waiting. This makes the line move faster and helps TopGolf make sure they are filling the most bays they can and maximizing their revenues. Texting allows for an easy communication method from any location so the consumers are happy as well.

So far this trip I have learned to accept the situation that is given and try to make the best out of it. Instead of sitting in my hotel room complaining, I recognize that our situation is not ideal but I might as well get something out of it and try to integrate it with the original plan.

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