Hi Ian, first of all thanks for your response which adds a deep layer of reflexion to this discussion.
It’s true that we are in an age where we like to use forms and other digital ways to get stuff done. But I’m not sure that this means that we will lose the human connection. In fact I see more and more services based on text messaging with the scope to bring the human conversation back. But a conversion which is asynchronous. This is maybe the biggest change and maybe it isn’t even such a big change. Decades ago communication via letters was very popular and far more longer than what we have today. And people could still have conversations with days of waiting for an answer.
After all behind an email there is usually a person. What your thinking suggests to me is to keep the meaningful moments personal. Yes a reservation via a form could be great for us customers. But it would be even better if after the confirmation we received a personal message of the staff just checking in if we need anything more or providing something more and personal to start a conversation of the customer wants it.
Your message makes brings me to the following good practice:
Automate everything you can for speed. Make personal and human everything that matters.