“True hospitality consists of giving the best of yourself to your guests,” said Eleanor Roosevelt.
Travelling and exploring new foods and cultures and cuisines certainly unfolds a new and exciting world before us. The diversity in this planet affords plenty of room for discovering and re-discovering the world around as well as within each of us. However, while having a wonderful time exploring new places and cultures, have we paused to consider the efforts involved in establishing a world conducive to our various adventures? The hospitality industry is definitely the ‘behind-the-scenes’ domain that leaves no stone un-turned to ensure that this process of exploration and discovery is hassle-free and comfortable for every enthusiast. From providing accommodation and transportation, to food and beverage and luxury facilities for its clients, the hotel and hospitality industry works round the clock to ensure we make good memories.
And with the unimaginable growth and expansion taking place today, nearly every nook and cranny of the world is accessible to its eager tourists. Hence, it applies that the hospitality sector must work doubly hard to ensure that these tourists are comfortable in course of their ventures. In such a scenario, it often becomes tedious and time-consuming for humans to be everywhere, shuffling tasks and being superheroes. And that’s where your new-age superhero, Artificial Intelligence, steps in and takes matters forward!
We’re back with a blog; and today, it’s time to consider some brilliant ways in which AI can work wonders in the hotel and hospitality sector:
1. NEW GUESTS? ALLOW AUTOMATION TO LAY THE RED CARPET…
Welcoming new guests into the hotel premises and ensuring their comfortable and peaceful stay is every hotel’s primary responsibility. However, the bigger and more luxurious the hotel, the more the number of clients; and consequently, the more the amount of efforts exerted by the staff. That’s where automation and AI technology step in to make life more efficient. With the guestroom automation feature, hotel rooms can now be automated to adjust room-temperature levels in accordance with the ‘occupied’ or ‘vacant’ status of a room. Moreover, with the Guest Automation System being applied in leading five-star hotels today, it is possible for guests to automate all electrical appliances (including the A.C., fan and lights) using the ‘master switch’. The Shangri-La hotel in UAE famously applies guestroom automation in providing day-to-day hospitality services to its guests.
2. ENTER, GUESTS! SO…ENTER MORE DATA?
The entry and exit of your esteemed guests often translates into the entry of a massive amount of data pertaining to the same. And undoubtedly, this task induces monotony and stagnation, and prevents professional growth for the hotel staff. The good news is that this data entry task is very much ‘automable’! With automation, that whole chunk of data pertaining to the occupancy status of the rooms as well as extremely integral information to promote sustainable living – such as data on energy saving and staff responses to guest calls can now be taken care of.
3. BECAUSE THE ENVIRONMENT HOSTS US EVERYDAY…
Just like a hotel hosts its guests on a daily basis, the environment around us also continues to host us every single day, providing us with the necessary resources and space. And so, it follows that we, as a society, owe it back to nature. A report by Energy Star states that 47,000 hotels across America incur an annual expenditure of $2,196 per available room, which amounts to 6% of all operating costs. This alarming statistic is reason enough for the hotel industry to begin to consider environment-friendly alternatives on priority. AI is here to help you out in your journey towards a sustainable living. AI enables all electrical appliances in a room to be automatically switched off when the occupancy status of the room changes to ‘vacant’. What’s more, the electricity automatically switches to standby mode when the guest is not in the room, but still somewhere in the vicinity (for e.g. at the balcony).
4. KNOCK, KNOCK! CHATBOT SERVICE…
Like in many other significant domains, chatbots and virtual assistants can play an indispensible role in the hospitality industry, too. These virtual friends are available to your guests 24/7, answering any questions and providing constant assistance. These allow for more efficient and quick customer service, preventing any delays in attending to your guests while also providing a much-needed respite to the hotel staff.
5. NOW, YOUR MOBILE PHONE IS LITERALLY THE ‘KEY’…
No, the word ‘key’ isn’t just a metaphor. With the digital transformation attaining unimaginable heights, your phone can literally act as the key to your hotel-room! Now, high-end five-star hotels have successfully enabled digital check-in for their guests, wherein the guests can check into their hotel rooms using the hotel app instead of queuing up at the reception to acquire the room keys. This is not only a major time-saver for the guests, but also paves way for the hotel staff to engage in more productive tasks pertaining to hospitality and hotel management.
6. “HOW DID WE FARE?” NOW, YOUR HOTEL GUESTS CAN FEEL FREE TO SHARE…
Guest reviews are extremely important sources of constructive feedback for any hotel. However, it often happens that this feedback is not very comprehensive owing to dearth of time on part of the departing guest. Moreover, hotels are often apprehensive to directly approach guests for their feedback. With digitization, the entire feedback process can be transformed into a more efficient and convenient one. Automating the guest review process ensures that guests who have recently checked out of the hotel receive custom emails requesting their feedback. This allows for the guests to fill up the feedback forms in a hassle-free and relaxed manner while also increasing the possibility of a more in-depth feedback.
So, here we were, with the 6 major benefits of deploying AI and automation technology into the hotel and hospitality industry. While digitization is certainly the way to go for any hotel to increase its efficiency and productivity, it cannot replace the concern and care provided by human staff. The key to successful automation in this industry is to identify the processes that are indeed monotonous and rule-based, and to automate these in order to increase overall efficiency and promote employee growth.