Experiences are what makes your guest come back time and again, thus driving loyalty. And a loyal guest is a good source of references which eventually lead to more revenues. Artificial intelligence in the hospitality industry is quite popular among many prominent hotel brands. Today, the bigger brands like Marriott International and Hilton Hotels & Resorts have started using AI in the form of chatbot messaging.
AI technology today has completely disrupted – in a good way, the functioning of hotels across the world. With its ability to streamline processes and provide guest-centric service experience, it’s a no brainer that artificial intelligence is the way ahead.
What is artificial intelligence?
Artificial intelligence is a concept that has existed for many years. But what exactly does one mean when they use the term ‘Artificial Intelligence’ or ‘AI’? The term ‘AI’ refers to intelligent behavior performed by computers or machines.
Today the concept has been developed to a point where it can be used to aid businesses and to improve their services. The collection of your customer data, coupled with vast improvements in computer technology, simply means that AI can be used for improving the functions of the business. Areas that can effectively use artificial intelligence are: customer service, personalization of tasks, advanced problem solving, etc.
Why is artificial intelligence gaining importance in the hospitality industry?
Hotel owners across the world are today realizing the importance of artificial intelligence in the hospitality industry. While the staff is continuously under stress to maintain the hotel’s service levels, be attentive to every single guest that walks in, artificial intelligence is gradually paving its way in the hotel industry.
Here’s how Artificial intelligence in the hospitality industry is growing
- Improving hotel operations
It’s not humanly possible to attend to guests at the front desk, answer calls and also answer online guest queries. Consider the instructions you give your staff – verify the documents while check-in, be courteous, give the guest your undivided attention, answer queries from other guests simultaneously; so on & so forth. Irrespective of how well trained your staff is, anyone will buckle under that performance pressure. By effectively training your staff to perform like robots, your service levels will decrease too. Here’s where the use of artificial intelligence in the hospitality industry comes in handy.
Chatbots, a form of artificial intelligence, are a boon in assisting your employees when there are multiple guests to deal with. Your front desk staff can comfortably answer guests at the front desk, while the chatbot takes care of online queries from potential guests. This means that both the tasks are being performed simultaneously without the hassle of adding extra stress on your staff.
Increasingly popular in the hospitality industry today are self check-in kiosks. These kiosks add points to your service rating and let the guest check-in hasslefree. These add on products only serve to provide a consistent guest experience.
- Effective revenue management
Being in the hospitality industry only means that it’s a human-driven industry because service is what matters the most. But moving away from traditionally managed human-based services to a more automated and service-centric platform will only serve to improve your hotel’s efficiency.
A primary example of this is the Property Management System you may already be using to manage your bookings and for various other reasons. Moreover, a cloud-based property management system will give you numerous other benefits (hyperlink to our cloud-based PMP article).
Have you wondered how you get a trend analysis which enables you to optimize your room rates? You got it! Artificial intelligence in the hospitality industry has made it possible for your channel manager to compute complex data to give you the best rate. Not only that; it even automatically updates your rates across all channels which lets you reap the benefits of maximized revenue without any human effort.
- Personalization gets a whole new meaning
While we do agree that human emotions and expressions are one of the best forms of personalization, AI will pave the way for service efficiency. While a small hotel might be perfectly satisfied with a Facebook chatbot to drive additional sales, a hotel chain with hundreds of rooms at each hotel will need more than just a chatbot. Whether it’s a chatbot or an integrated PMS into your operations, artificial intelligence in the hospitality industry will best serve those who enter the fray early.
- Data analysis
Customer service, loyalty programs, knowing your guest preferences, retaining guests, etc are tasks which are not humanly possible to achieve without the help of artificial intelligence. AI technology can be used to quickly and efficiently categorize your guest data as per room preference, budget, amenities your guests use etc to lure them with attractive loyalty programs and offers for their next stay or perhaps even reach out to potential guests.
- Multilingual booking experience
Have your front desk staff faced a scenario where they are unable to interact with a guest because he/she (the guest) can’t communicate in English? It’s a hindrance to the guest, your staff and can easily create a negative service experience in the mind of your guest. A situation like this eventually leads to a biased review for your hotel. Here’s where intelligent chatbots enter the picture. These chatbots are programmed to create a simulated conversation through natural language processing (text) and generation (voice) in your guests’ native language; the result being clear and concise interactions between the human and the machine.
With these AI conversational tools, you can answer queries round the clock and accept booking 24/7 because there’s ‘someone’ always at the desk.
Artificial intelligence in the hospitality industry is already creating a storm around the world. Are you as a hotelier, already in the technology boat or are you yet to explore AI? Whatever your situation, you can be sure that hundreds of years down the line your hotel will be AI personified if Poe’s The Raven is to be a reality.
So wait no more; give your hotel the AI benefits that are sought after by hoteliers across the globe.