To maintain competitiveness, it is more important than ever for hotels to invest in technologies that can help them with the persisting staffing issues and give them the operational flexibility they need to succeed. Strategies driven by artificial intelligence are increasingly gaining interest across various segments of the industry. So, how can AI improve a hotel business?
Why Are Hoteliers Implementing AI?
H2c recently conducted a report on the adoption of personalized automation in hospitality, surveying hoteliers around the world. Specifically, they asked about the goals of hoteliers when implementing AI. The results showed that 88% of all respondents prioritize the guest experience, 87% profitability, and 53% saving operational costs.
But how exactly can AI and automated technology support hoteliers in achieving these goals?
1) Enhancing the Guest Experience
In the past, hoteliers were hesitant to adopt technology out of fear it would hurt their service and “human” touch. However, the recent pandemic has boosted the adoption rate of hotel technology and has pushed hoteliers to look into modern technologies like AI to future-proof their business.
Artificial intelligence can enhance the guest experience in several ways. For example, by solving guest issues faster and better. A popular AI-driven solution, adopted by many hoteliers already, is the hospitality chatbot. It allows hoteliers to deliver 24/7 support in multiple languages, across various communication channels, without adding pressure to your staff.
Thanks to the use of artificial intelligence, the chatbot can understand the intent of the guest’s request and respond to them with the right information, in the right tone of voice, at once when the guest needs the response.
2) Increasing Profitability
Another way AI can improve a hotel business is by driving revenue. The same AI-driven chatbot that helps your guest with their booking queries, can now close the deal within the same conversation, increasing your website conversion.
On the other hand, by leveraging automation tools, hoteliers can generate new upsell opportunities. For example, by sending out an automated upsell message via WhatsApp or SMS with the option for guests to personalize their stay with a welcome drink, romantic details, a spa package, etc.
AI is also capable of processing large amounts of data in real-time, giving hoteliers access to valuable insights on performance analytics, so they can prioritize improvements that will make an impact. Using sentiment analysis to analyze guest feedback, like survey responses and online reviews, hoteliers can understand what investments will bring the biggest return on investment.
3) Saving Operational Costs
Although saving operational costs scored low as an AI implementation goal, the importance of it will only grow as the industry is still dealing with staff shortages. Doing more with less is becoming increasingly important, and automation and AI both play a key role here.
Automating simple and repetitive tasks will alleviate your staff from tedious tasks and allow them to focus on more complex projects. So, instead of spending your time responding to the same frequently asked questions, a hotel chatbot can respond to your guests within seconds, allowing staff to offer a better service to the guest in front of them.
Automation requires a simple setup, and from then on processes can run by themselves, alerting the right people to take action when needed. These automated systems help new staff to onboard quicker, and ensure timely and correct follow-up, even when staff resources are low.
AI adoption in the hospitality industry is still in its early stages, and there is much more innovation and progress to come. However, we are already seeing strong interest from hotel chains of all sizes to invest in intelligent automation, as it will hike job attractiveness and allow skilled staff to focus their efforts on more strategic tasks, as well as improve your hotel business overall.