As we go into 2024, we can see how the evolution of technology has been incorporated into almost every industry sector. With travel on the rise since the pandemic, organizations are trying to keep up with the high demand and are adapting tactics to maintain and even increase the satisfaction levels associated with customer experience. An example of an industry that is implementing technology features is the hospitality and hotel industry.
Artificial Intelligence came into its own in 2023 and will gain further traction in the coming years. AI is fast becoming a foundational tool for many industries and innovations in 2023 and it is being utilized now to positively impact the guest experience in hotels.
There are three key areas where leveraging AI in daily hotel operations will provide a significant increase in the overall satisfaction level of the guest experience: generating content, personalization, and sentiment analysis. Let’s take a look at how AI will make the guest stay more pleasurable and help hotel staff through these mechanisms.
When a guest enters an unfamiliar hotel, leveraging AI can provide comfort by enabling a seamless check-in process. AI can be utilized to give the feeling of a one-on-one interaction without the guest ever having to speak to a hotel representative. This can be done with remote assistance via a digital itinerary that provides recommendations to guests based on their preferences. Guest apps can be used to assist guests with only one interface where they would receive all the guidance and answers to make their stay more enjoyable. AI allows for the creation of meaningful and personal interactions with technology. With a combination of technology apps and AI, providing personalized content will become a statement in the hospitality industry in 2024.
With the ongoing staffing issues in hotels and resorts, hotel guests may have to wait an extended period for a concierge or hotel representative to assist. After a long day of travel, having to wait in line to get a hotel key or to see which restaurants are close by is not ideal. With generative AI, this issue for hotel guests is no longer a concern. Its use in hotel apps can model the concierge experience right at the guest’s fingertips, with personalized interactions and guidance. AI can provide these hyper-personalized options such as the type of restaurant the guest prefers, differing price points, shopping destinations and more. AI stores preferences allowing for a faster response to guest concerns and requests, as compared to waiting in line. AI learns a guest’s patterns and preferences and will predict what will satisfy the guest without even having to ask. The growth potential for AI is unlimited in its ability to personalize each step of the hotel guest experience.
Humans show feelings in many ways; actions, facial expressions, and of course, in the tone of voice used. Our tone can sometimes convey more information than the actual words spoken. Sentiment analysis is what AI does simultaneously while listening to what a guest is asking, allowing for a deeper understanding of how the guest is feeling and thinking in order to better determine the best solution. Instead of having a predetermined list of responses based on guest questions, with sentiment analysis, AI can provide a more specific response. This allows customer service to address each guest in a different way to resolve a specific request. Our emotions are the way we express ourselves, communicate, and understand one another, so when we use technology to speak to a guest, it is vital that the technology has the ability to understand the emotion and react accordingly.
Leveraging AI in day-to-day hotel operations will have several positive implications, including a faster and more seamless check-in process, personalized customer service, room-service, check-out, and an overall improvement in meeting the needs of the guest. With travel on the rise, providing the most positive experience to the guest is important in the future success of the industry. Happy guests mean successful businesses.
AI will keep evolving and its relevance in the hospitality sector will only gain traction. Individual and even larger properties must understand that in order to ensure revenue growth and increase the overall satisfaction of its customers, AI will have to be integrated. AI will never replace the human touch, but it can augment and support it. AI will transform the guest experience in the hospitality industry in 2024 and the years to come.