Automation has multiple definitions:
- Relieving manual or repetitive processes
- Adding machine-level reliability to operations
- Smartly handling large guest data sets.
All these definitions have the same aim, to improve the guest experience by introducing automatic rules to something that was previously manual and repetitive.
Many businesses already have some sort of automation rules within their operations, for example, email marketing, auto-fill forms, or translation. For a hotel, automation could look like a ticketing system, installing a chatbot to answer and escalate queries or requests, or setting up automated proactive communication for your guests.
Other industries already embraced automation before hospitality. For example, self-check-in at airports or kiosks at supermarkets, which are now the new norm. Since the pandemic, the world has seen an uptake in the conversation surrounding automation. This is mainly because of the increase of digital consumption, but also due to the fact that hotels are operating on leaner teams and working with fewer resources. All in all, this encourages hotels to automate their operations and lighten the load in their processes.
As well as being more efficient, introducing automation also means introducing machine-level reliability into your processes. Where a human might make an error, a machine will not, as long as it’s programmed correctly. Automation can also help assess big data sets and increase understanding.
These trends are what humans cannot see or understand and automating these systems gives hotels overall better visibility and indications on where to improve and adapt processes.
How Automation Improves the Guest Experience
Automation is not here to replace human service, it is here to enhance it. Automation does not mean forcing your guests that are perhaps not comfortable with using technology to use it, but rather, to offer more options to both staff and guests. Guests who prefer face-to-face interactions will still have the option of speaking to staff, whilst those who prefer an automated and quick approach, and perhaps are coming in and out of a hotel will also have that option.