The concept of artificial intelligence (AI) is nothing new. It has populated classic novels and films for decades. The theory and imagination always existed for such a creation, but technology was too limited for it to exist in reality.
Machine learning and intelligent computers are now ubiquitous in almost every industry, helping to improve service and efficiency. In some cases, machines really can do it better, with many programs quickly beating the world’s best chess players or quiz masters. Even Apple’s personal assistant Siri has been around for six years and smart computers are well and truly permeating the hospitality industry too.
Here’s what is happening:
Booking platforms can be powered by AI
Avvio, a hotel technology provider, recently launched Allora, the world’s first direct booking platform powered by AI. Allora’s job is to drive direct bookings and guest loyalty by orchestrating better online experiences.
She relies on learning models to analyse large volumes of data, and identify which variations will yield the best booking engine configuration. With the collected data, Allora can have more personalised interactions with guests and move the booking process away from a cookie-cutter approach.
Avvio launched Allora, the world’s first AI direct booking platform.
Click to tweet
It will make big data easier to manage
It’s important for hotels to discover as much information about travellers as possible. This way they can tailor the experience to meet specific individual needs. AI can be a valuable tool in this respect. Not only will it be able to sift through data a lot quicker, but also automate a lot of resulting actions too.
Ultimately the challenge of collecting and analysing data will be simplified by technology that is smart enough to make strategic choices about guest characteristics and behaviour.
Travellers will become smarter shoppers
If AI assistance establishes itself in the everyday, global travellers will possess a lot more power. They’ll be equipped with the ability to search and query travel options against very specific criteria and receive the answers they need almost instantly.
Essentially this means hotels will need to respond in kind and be extremely flexible in what they can offer guests in regards to packages, rooms, amenities, and other services.
Customer service will go to a new level
The potential for AI to improve the service aspect of hospitality is unlimited. Examples include:
- Front desk
If an AI can instantly sync with your mobile phone or use facial recognition there’s no need for formal identification or check-in. With a mobile room key as well, travellers will have no need to delay between entering the hotel and settling into their room.
- Room service
No need to call or wait for someone to accept your order, AI will be allow a guest to communicate instantly. The food or beverages could even be delivered automatically by AI bots.
Hotels will no longer need valets and doormen if cars can drive and park themselves.
- Cleaning and maintenance
AI systems will be extremely efficient in sticking to schedules and maintaining standards when it comes to cleaning and preparing for the arrival of guests.
- Power management
Smart technology will raise the bottom line of hotels by sensing what lights and appliances are being used and turning off those that aren’t to save power.
Hotels are already using AI
There are a number hotels that are using AI robots and programs to improve guest experience. Here are some standout examples:
- Connie the Concierge
Connie is employed by Hilton and can give guests a range of tips on what attractions, restaurants, or activities to investigate. She learns from every interaction so is constantly improving the knowledge and service she can impart.
- Ivy the Direct Messenger
Ivy is a program used by many major hotel brands that basically automates all guest interaction. Designed specifically for the hospitality industry, Ivy handles around 90% of real-time requests, effectively becoming the main point of contact throughout the hotel stay. Any question she can’t answer, she can immediately refer to the relevant department.
- Rose the Personable Assistant
Rose is similar to Connie, but is boosted by the presence of a distinct personality. Guests at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas are first made aware of this by a calling card, which they receive at check-in. It reads: “Know my secrets. Text me” and “I am the answer to the question that you never asked”.
Many other examples exist such as Mario at Marriott, who welcomes guests, or a dinosaur checking guests in at Henn-na, Japan.
The evidence is clear the way forward for hotels is AI if they want to completely streamline the way they serve guests.