Have you only just learned how to spell IT? And then along came AI…
We all know that the rapid advance in computer software and solutions ensures that we need to have one eye on “what next”.
What if the “what next” is already here and, in many cases, well established?
Welcome to AI or Artificial Intelligence.
AI has been with us for decades, and even Steven Spielberg made a film of that name back in 2001. So AI is a term we have all become aware of, although implementing AI technology for most businesses remains a distant dream.
Only now is the technology advanced and reliable enough for a broader range of business operations.
AI can be explained as simply as the code used to personalise the emails you receive.
Within the hospitality industry, AI is being utilised throughout hotels and resorts to support customer service activity via automation of everyday tasks and the analysis of that other often used phrase Big Data.
Standard customer service functions range from simple enquiry email responses to sales and booking systems and guest direct messaging processes.
An AI phone system can route calls from a busy front reception desk, use chatbots to answer straightforward queries and deliver remote check-in and check-out systems via smartphones.
Of course, one often missed benefit of AI is the always-on, any time response-ability and the speed of response to guests and potential guests may be the key to achieving excellent customer service delivery.
At the higher end of AI implementation, we can cite Hilton Hotels with its own AI robot called Connie offering tourist information to guests. There are many more clever if not high budget examples of AI innovation.
Yes, many hotels and resorts cannot justify such expenditure. However, simple online chatbots, virtual assistants and direct messaging on websites and social media platforms offer lower costs and excellent options.
We mentioned Big Data earlier. The AI’s ability to manage and interrogate large data capacity can be an essential tool wherever volumes of guest data are collated.
Data analysis AI can be utilised for customer (guest) surveys, online reviews, loyalty and sentiment measurement, geotargeting, and more, including AI support systems for your hotel or resort staff.
Additional uses of Artificial intelligence include revenue management, guest experiences, excellent customer service delivery, and the automation of daily operations.
However, Artificial Intelligence is so much more. For example, booking engines and travel sites that list your hotel or resort are already likely to use AI to determine guest sentiment, browsing, and booking, impacting your visibility positively or negatively.
Focusing on five main guest interactions can prove beneficial
1 Before Arrival
- To attract bookings
- To improve communication of important information
- To ensure their positive experience starts from the minute they book
2 Check-In AI
- To welcome the guests on arrival
- To provide an efficient and stress-free arrival process
- To ensure all pre-arrival requests are in place
3 Interactions During The Stay
- To provide ease of communication, e.g. room service/housekeeping
- To identify and manage personalised guest needs
4 Check-Out AI
- To provide an efficient and stress-free departure process
- To ensure excellent positive review potential
5 Post-Check-Out AI Interaction
- To remind the guest of their positive experience
- To keep your hotel/resort front of mind
- To personalise offers for future return stays
Each of the above can be delivered using AI technology.
We could add the advance in Natural Language Processing (NLP), Chatbot Audio Processing, Smart Rooms and the Internet of Things (IoT).
InsideHS will be keeping a close eye on new technology and systems as they emerge. In the meantime, why not share your own experience of Artificial Intelligence systems?
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Written by John Heffernan – RedLive Media