Buyers guide to track and trace apps for hospitality

Track and Trace: A Buyer’s Guide

Track and Trace: A Buyer’s Guide 1472 982 Chris Wilkie

Track and Trace is a scheme that allows the hospitality industry to keep track of potential COVID-19 cases. It requires the capturing of customer data that then needs to be stored for 21 days. If anyone who has visited reports symptoms, then the business can facilitate contact to let customers know they could be at risk of catching the virus. 

In the age of GDPR, how such data is captured is equally as important as all the other restrictions that are in place. If you are looking to set up track & trace for your hospitality business, here’s what to look out for. 

Ease of Use

When you hired your hospitality staff, their ability to get up to speed with brand new business-critical technology probably wasn’t high on your check-list. Yet, we are now in a situation where lots of new technology is being installed, very fast. If the software is complicated or glitchy to use, this leaves the whole system open to failure. So, it’s vital your track & trace app is simple and straightforward to use from the get-go. 

Typically, track & trace works by capturing customer information via a QR code as they enter the building. Staff can then check in with that person when ordering or paying the bill. When the customer leaves the building, the software should also check them out again. Doing so will give businesses an accurate view of who was in the building and when should they need to contact people. All of which needs to be easy to manage through the track & trace method you use. 

GDPR Compliance

With so much focus on the coronavirus itself, it’s easy to let GDPR catch you out. Doing so could be very costly for your business, at a time when the industry has already taken a significant hit. Paper track & trace systems are costly to implement with huge overheads and are not only encouraging unnecessary physical contact but also is vulnerable to anyone viewing that customer information. The data can even be stolen if it’s just laying on the table! 

That doesn’t mean digital track & trace is always plain sailing either. Despite its infancy, reports of track and trace data breaches have cropped up on social media. So, alongside adequate GDPR training for your staff, the system you use for track & trace needs to be fully watertight. Given there are companies who have set up track & trace apps in a day, it’s important to ensure the system has been fully road tested before you trust it with your customer data. 

Customer Support

If the company has only been up and running a few weeks or even days, it’s important to ascertain whether there is adequate customer support in place. If there’s no contact emails, phone numbers, opening hours or even social media accounts for a track & trace app, how do you as the customer ensure that your data is safe or contact them if there is a problem? 

Given problems with the app could spell disaster for your business, the software you choose must have customer support in place. Adequate customer support is just one of the reasons it pays to go with an existing company that has a fully GDPR compliant track & trace system in place. This is especially the case if they already work with hospitality clients because they understand the demands of the business, better than someone who is only factoring in the tech side of things, and not the day to day reality of a hospitality business. 

Cost

Does the solution you are looking at offer flexible, transparent pricing? Track & trace is a massively helpful tool in the fight against COVID-19 and mandated in some countries, and as such there may be companies looking to profit from this. So, it’s important to get a demo, see the people producing the app online and ask what’s included for the price. 

For example, is the software GDPR compliant? Is it easy to use for staff and customers, and does it offer support? How about footfall analysis? Does it allow you to keep track of the number of people in the space? If the system goes down, what guarantees are in place?  Does it automatically delete the data after 21 days? Does it differentiate between customers who want to stay on the system longer than 21 days and those that don’t? The cost can be broken down as monthly, annual or recurring. There could also be setup fees too, so it’s important to ask about those. 

As track & trace is a new product to the market, there’s likely to be some large inconsistencies between what different companies charge. Some may offer free trials, and others can also offer wider marketing services as part of the package, making it cheaper overall. The key is to ensure you’re investing in a well-tested, solid product that can hopefully pay for itself, rather than a cheap option that might lay you open to fines or worse. After all, your customers aren’t getting in the building without it! 

To Sum Up

Track & trace is imperative in some countries, but it’s also a key part of hospitalities’ armoury in reassuring customers who want to come back but are cautious. By monitoring who is in the building and how many people are in the space, you can reopen and most importantly, keep everyone safe. What to look out for as a buyer includes a system that works well both from a customer and business perspective. It needs to store your customer information in a GDPR compliant way, including deleting the data after 21 days. 

Here at Stampede, we provide track & trace through our existing software. Your guest WiFi will automatically check people in through two clicks on their phone, with no messy paperwork or huge amounts of staff time. If there’s some reason they can’t use WiFi, or it’s a problem for your business, they can use a QR code which is fully integrated into the system. Businesses can monitor the footfall to comply with social distancing regulations. We’ll even send you a free COVID-19 readiness pack so that you can get up and running with track & trace straight away. We have customer support available too and can talk to you about your WiFi system and what’s the best solution for you. Click here to find out more, and to watch a video of our track & trace app in action.