Wednesday, August 3, 2011

NZSki is making great use of RFID to enhance customer service

I went skiing yesterday and was impressed with how NZSki is using RFID to enhance customer service.

I started the day by going into the Queenstown Snowcentre to buy a ticket for the bus up to Coronet Peak. Instead I found I could buy my ticket for skiing as well, which was great. The queue was short and when I got to the counter I was asked if I had used NZSki before. I hadn’t, so the person serving me proceeded to ask my name, took my photo, and casually asked me where I was from.

Before I knew it, a plastic re-usable pass for the mountain had been printed for me with my name on it, a reference number and the fact I was an Adult and Male.

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NB: Reference number blanked out in picture.

After a 25 minute bus ride, I was at Coronet Peak and then proceeded to the chair lift. What I then found was that at every chairlift and t-bar I went to during the day there was a gate to go through where you needed to hold your pass up to (typically there were 5 gates, one for each seat). This worked fine through my jacket, however for the first gate since I had my cell phone in the same pocket it didn’t work, but the liftie let me through anyway.

I also noticed that as each person went through, the liftie had an iPad that had pictures of who was coming through each gate so they were doing checks to see that people weren’t using other peoples passes.

There were also top-up machines located at both the snowcentre and near the ticket offices up the mountain, where you can use buy your ticket yourself without needing to go to the counter. Similarly, you can also buy your ticket from the comfort of your home through registering and logging in online (more about that later).

The whole process worked well and helped to keep the flow going (not that there was much of a queue today; it was in fact almost non-existent).

I had a superb day on the mountain. The conditions were excellent, beautiful blue sky in the morning (there was a little bit of cloud in the afternoon, although this was minimal and there was still unlimited visibility), no wind, great snow and almost non-existent queues. My legs and feet were a bit shocked by the exercise, but I still managed to do a decent number of runs.

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Once I got off the mountain I went to the nzski.com mypass website, entered the reference number on my card and then proceeded to enter a username and password. Some details such as my name and city were already populated. What was also nice was the statistics displayed, showing how many metres I had descended and how many runs I had done (NB: this will be missing my first run, since they just let me through).

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There are also leader boards of who has descended the most in the day, season etc. and who has done the most runs.leaderboard_resized

Today I went back to this site and purchased an afternoon pass for The Remarkables. It was all very simple to do.

I was impressed with how well RFID was used to enrich the customer experience.

<Cross-posted to http://sinnjoy.com>

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