Artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the world. Every week we read reports about the how AI will fundamentally change the nature of work, replacing numerous jobs and leading to the creation of jobs that don’t yet exist. However, for many of us, AI seems to belong to a distant future rather than today’s reality. But independent hotels should be fully cognizant of the capabilities of AI and how it can help streamline processes, improve customer retention, deliver a better customer experience and provide valuable insights.
In today’s AP Voice we delve into just a few ways that AI is already impacting the hotel industry and how independent hotels can leverage the various technologies available to drive their business goals.
Booking platforms: Technology providers specialising in booking solutions are looking at how to adapt AI to deliver smarter and tailored booking experiences for guests and hotels. Hotel technology provider Avvio recently launched Allora, the world’s first direct booking platform powered by AI. Allora encourages direct bookings and guest loyalty by orchestrating better online experiences. To do this, she relies on learning models to analyse large volumes of data to identify which variations will yield the best booking engine configuration. This enables Allora to provide more personalised interactions with guests, rather than the current cookie-cutter approach. Earlier in 2018, Sabre Corporation and Microsoft announced the pilot launch of an AI-powered chatbot, “Ella,” that explores how artificial intelligence can help travel agencies better serve travelers by fulfilling their most common service and support requests with smart technology. Amistad Partners uses Sabre as our go-to booking solutions provider.
Reputation management: A poor review or any delay in responding to a question asked on social media by a customer could lead to negative consequences for a hotel. In our industry, reputations matter. What our customers say, think and feel matters. AI is being used by industry leaders to monitor social media to respond quickly and avert potential public relations issues. But it’s not all about the negative, as AI-powered tools can also flag favourable comments, allowing you to make the most of positive feedback.
Digital concierge and virtual assistants: AI has become a household item with the introduction of Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa. We are used to having information available at our fingertips without needing to actually go look for it ourselves. So it comes as no surprise that this is what guests are looking for as part of a superior hotel experience. In the UK, guests at all twelve of the Edwardian Hotels-owned Radisson Blu locations can interact with an AI-based chatbot, Edward, via text using a smartphone. They can order room service or request a late checkout. They can source details about the hotels’ spas and restaurants as well as hotel specials and details about local attractions. Hilton Worldwide Hotel’s AI-based concierge Connie is powered by IBM’s own sophisticated AI, Watson. An AI-enabled robot and performing tasks like a human concierge, Connie can assist arriving hotel guests at front desk standing on its bipedal support.
Business intelligence: Data is essential in remaining competitive. AI solutions can help hotels collect, clean and save data. They can also help hotels analyse data by parsing through multiple databases to give insights that can help shape strategy and make business decisions. Sabre has developed an analytics platform to use artificial intelligence to help maximize total hotel revenue. Its SynXis Analytics Cloud identifies opportunities for revenue and guest-experience improvement and helps hoteliers avoid lost revenue by analyzing data from operations, finances, room-stay production, ancillaries and rate-room-channel configurations to deliver targeted actionable insights.
At Amistad, we take technology seriously. We’re big believers in applying data-driven insights to enhance client relationships. AP Digital is a multi-faceted web and app technology that serves as a CRM tool, a client portal, an agent portal, a professional services automation platform, a contract manager and a virtual assistant. Every AP engagement is measured in minute detail to gauge the effectiveness of our delivery and the efficiency of your dedicated team, to get and assess client feedback to drive continuous improvement and profitable engagement. Do get in touch to find out how you can use AI and technology to further your sales and marketing goals.
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