The adoption of artificial intelligence in the hospitality industry is becoming more of a necessity than a choice. According to Max Starkov, Adjunct Professor at the NYU Tisch Center for Hospitality,
“The marketplace itself, severe labor shortage, cost efficiencies and the rising tide of digitally-obsessed travel consumers are demanding that our industry overcome its glaring technology deficiencies and imposing on our industry the rapid adoption of next-gen technologies.”
Essentially, if you don’t implement AI technology soon, you’ll not only fall short of guest expectations but also fall behind your competitors.
How Can We Apply AI in Hotels?
More and more hotels are utilising AI-enabled technologies. In fact, 76% of hoteliers have already invested in some form of AI or plan to do so in the next year.
Now, you may be picturing the type of AI robot Will Smith would come up against in a Hollywood movie. Yes, robot concierges do indeed exist. But, advancements in AI mean that every hotel is able to offer so much more than that…
1. Customer Services
Hotels can use conversational AI to automate communications with guests and answer their queries around the clock. You might do this via a native app or channels that guests are used to, such as Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp.
Marriott International uses AI-powered chatbots on multiple channels, including Facebook Messenger, Slack, WeChat and Google Assistant, to talk to guests before, during and after their stay. Here’s what their customer support chatbot, “Botlr” looks like:
Our platform, Futr offers these capabilities to many different-sized businesses in the hotel industry. Hotel guests can receive instant answers to questions, such as “Where do I park when I arrive at the hotel?” or “Can I get a late check-out in the morning?” Or if they wish to chat to somebody at the front desk, they can do so in their native language and without having to leave the comfort of their bed.
2. Voice and Text-Based Assistants
Through the use of IoT devices, many lodgings are becoming so-called “smart hotels”. Smart speakers, native apps and digital interfaces allow guests to control aspects of the in-room experience, such as lighting and music.
A real-life example is YOTEL’s signature Technowall, which guests can connect their devices to and use to customise their surroundings. YOTEL also offers a “pocket size virtual concierge” app, which guests can also use for bookings, checking in and out, ordering food-to-go and even as their digital key.
3. Data Collection
AI-driven technology can track guest interactions and behaviours throughout the booking process and the duration of their stay. This allows you to collect large amounts of data, including demographic and psychographic data, on your guests. You can then utilise this data to enhance your sales efforts or personalise the guest experience.
Booking.com, for example, uses AI to offer personalised recommendations in real-time. You can see it for yourself. Search for a destination and the next time you view the homepage, you’ll see a bunch of related offers.
The Impact of AI on the Hotel Industry
Innovations in AI have had a huge impact on the travel and hospitality industry already. Here are just some of the benefits of using AI in hotels:
1. Eradicating Language Barriers
Imagine having the opportunity to speak to guests in their native language. Thanks to natural language processing chatbots that’s now a real possibility.
2. Improved Customer Satisfaction
58% of global consumers say customer service is “very important”, and 37% say it’s “somewhat important”, in their choice of or loyalty to a brand.
AI-assisted live chat allows you to take customer service to the next level with quicker response times and increasingly useful responses thanks to machine learning.
Note: Want to turbocharge your customer services team? Sign up and try Futr to generate instant answers to customer queries in over 100 languages.
3. A Personalised Guest Experience
A hotel’s reputation depends on the way guests are treated. AI helps you build guest profiles and log personal preferences, meaning you can share the most relevant activities, guides and invites at optimal times.
4. Increased Revenue
In some industries, AI is set to boost revenue by 30%.
Investing in AI has great ROI due to reduced operating costs and increased efficiency. Customer service chatbots in particular free up hotel staff to concentrate on bigger, more fruitful tasks.
What’s more, AI can help you predict consumer patterns, see where guests are dropping out of your sales funnel and spot frictions that act as a barrier to sales.
All in all, AI gives you the opportunity to delight customers and offer personalised service at scale. With increased customer satisfaction comes an improved reputation and thereby more sales.
Now it’s over to you to consider where you can implement AI within your hotel. Are there issues in the running of your business which AI could put an end to?
Futr is an AI platform that helps you build customer support chatbots with integrated live chat. Futr answers customer queries 24/7, in any language and on multiple channels. If you found this blog post helpful, you’d no doubt find Futr helpful. Sign up to Futr.