Win the Star Wars of Hospitality
We don’t have to tell you that when the internet arrived on the scene, the entire world changed. From shopping, to banking, to connecting with friends, the internet has had a massive impact. And that impact has been enormously positive, in terms of making people’s lives easier. A.I. is already poised to do the same, and it is happening before our eyes. The hospitality industry has the potential for great improvement with Artificial Intelligence as a tool. We’re here to show you how.
A.I. helps to reduce the indecision and tedium that make up day-to-day life. Think of it as a digital personal assistant, woven together with advice from a trustworthy friend. We know this because, for years, we’ve been using the power of A.I. to make life easier for hoteliers and guests. This is achieved through the automation of processes and decisions, as well as an open and flexible system that improves the experience of everyone who interacts with it.
Automated Processes – Save Time and Frustration
Artificial Intelligence automates hotel processes that are typically carried out manually. Folio retrieval, for example, is a frustrating process for hotels and guests. If guest identities can be verified when requesting a folio, staff can access and send folios manually. However, If guest identities are not verified, staff must jump through hoops to verify them, and by the time they’ve done so, days have passed, leaving guests and staff alike frustrated. Automation of folio retrieval with A.I. allows guests to request and receive folios with no action from staff. It starts with a guest requesting his folio through a conversation with a chatbot. If the chatbot can verify the guest’s identity, the folio is sent within seconds. If the guest’s identity is still unclear, the chatbot asks a series of verification questions before sending the folio. Artificial Intelligence ensures quality – meaning that the same questions and processes are used each time to ensure consistent results. Despite being automated, this is all done in a conversational format, making it pleasant and natural for guests.
It’s the cumulation of many A.I. processes like these that work together to create a method for improving guest and staff experience. Reduction in error, wait times, and repetitive tasks are all among the benefits of this excellence through quality.
Automated Decisions – A Trusted Companion
Like a trusted friend always on hand to provide advice, A.I. chatbots have the ability to give you any information you need, in real time. In Star Wars, C-3PO gives his human counterparts valuable information, including translation and protocol knowledge. He serves as a knowledgeable companion and resource to various characters throughout the series. C-3PO has been programmed with the facts, and the humans around him can use the recommendations to make an informed decision. For guests at a hotel, a friendly chatbot can provide similarly trusted information on hotel facilities, local restaurants, or even how to get an early check-in. Guests often look for advice about what to do on vacation, and A.I. delivers recommendations right at their fingertips.
For hoteliers, a bot can help with a different type of decision making. For example, it can take information about guest arrival times and send that data to housekeeping so staff know which rooms should be prepared first. It can also take data from digital conversations with guests and use it to alert management to potential problems, like a leaky faucet or a broken air conditioner. A.I. is the robot friend that hotels need to keep guests happy, and properties running smoothly.
Solutions for the Entire Stay Cycle
There are a variety of solutions on the market today that do help hotels, but these options can’t compete with the comprehensive nature of Artificial Intelligence. A.I. allows hotels to better serve guests before, during and after the stay. When it comes to guest feedback, you want a tool that can provide information in real time, not simply after the guest departs the hotel. With A.I., feedback can be given conversationally at any point in the stay cycle. This provides the opportunity for a hotel to address any issues instantly. Solving guests’ complaints before departure will prevent negative reviews before they start, creating a proactive approach rather than the reactive one that hotels typically take. Other existing solutions address only the pre-arrival aspects of the guest journey, but do nothing to promote offerings during the stay. A.I. can identify guest data, and make tailored, conversational recommendations based on preferences or past behavior. Like other processes, this is done with quality in mind, and achieves consistent results every time.
Flexibility means zero limitations
A.I. removes limits from hospitality services. Many current services are limited because they have failed to harness the right technology. Let’s examine two common types of solutions, in-room, and external.
In-Room Solutions. In-room devices are popular, as hoteliers are attracted to their promises of convenience and positive experience for guests. However, there are several problems with hardware, including wear-and-tear and inconvenient update processes. It’s also impractical to think that guests will only have questions while in their rooms. We know firsthand how many questions guests have before they check-in, as well as when they are out exploring the city they’ve travelled to. For instance, some guests want to request an early check in while boarding a flight from another city. Others may be in a meeting downtown and want to request that their laundry be picked up. These guests will be left unsatisfied if limited to in-room devices.
Out-of-Room Solutions. On the other end of the spectrum, there are also portable, out-of-room devices on the market. One company that produces this type of solution gives guests a cell phone equipped with information about the city for the duration of the stay. This model, although a slight improvement, also has limitations that A.I. can correct. In addition to the expense, giving guests a physical piece of hardware is inconvenient and cumbersome, especially when they would rather use their own devices to communicate and retrieve information.
An Open System
Non-A.I. solutions lack one important thing: an open system. A.I. allows for constant development, constant learning, and constant improvement. Existing solutions are closed, meaning that each update leads to more work for staff, and more frustration for guests. Artificial Intelligence trains itself, sourcing its knowledge from guest questions, NLP machine learning, and the internet. This means all information is up to date, and integrations with other platforms, such as Google Maps and FourSquare have never been easier. This is yet another reason why A.I. will make life easier, and another reason why it’s a valuable investment in any hotel’s future.
Hardware free, open platform, infinite integrations.