Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the most trendiest topic across the world and has immense potential to empower India’s promising hospitality segment with ultimate guest satisfaction score. By Jaal Shah, managing director, Travel Designer Group
One of the most interesting thing to notice in the hospitality segment is the ever evolving preferences, behaviours and expectations of the New World Guest. Be it a group traveller, business traveller, fine diner or a bag packer, this new world customer is constantly looking for exceptional and authentic experiences. Those who are able to achieve best guest satisfaction score with impeccable services, authentic experiences and customised innovations can stay in the game for a long run. Right from pre-booking to post-stay, exceeding guest expectations to newer heights is the key.. Hospitality is one segment where AI can proudly take the charge of complete transformation.
Travel is a compound activity, physically as well as emotionally, hence customer satisfaction is a key aspect in the hospitality industry. A busy day at a hotel concierge can cause inconvenience to an individual who is at the verge of being delayed to a meeting, an airport or an appointment. This is a common concern faced in the business travelers’ segment. On the other hand, families with children, group travellers encounter crowded check in counters, long wait for a room key, submission of personal details which puts the guest on a long wait. These are the common concerns while travel plans are made. In this scenario it becomes extremely crucial for hotels to enhance operational efficiency at every step of guest journey. With this efficiency transformation they can achieve the desired guest satisfaction index. Introducing AI in the hospitality segment can drastically boost the operational efficiency and can bring in much ease to these concerns.
Powering seamless booking experiences: Indian hospitality has moved to a new era with the massive digital conversion happening in the country. This has revolutionised reservation system and booking experiences. Pre-booking phase and addressal of booking enquiries is the stepping stone of a smooth customer journey. Here chatbots can play a significant role in transforming the way hotels handle enquiries and reservation. Conversational bots have no language barrier and can interact with a guest in his native language, assuring the most efficient interaction with utmost guest satisfaction. Now hotels can deliver automated customer support, content and interactive experiences through chatbots. An efficient means of fueling direct bookings in form of a reservation channel, chatbots can facilitate error free ease
of booking. This can further bring in greater brand loyalty and improvise guest satisfaction.
Enabling a controlled, concise and efficient interaction at Front Desk: With chatbots assistance reception or reservation staff can efficiently address a customer. Right from hotel bookings and customer service inquiries to pre/post-stay inquiries and general travel advice, customers can get instant and accurate information related to their queries through AI enabled tools. While saving on staff costs, hotels can deliver better guest experiences. With the aid of chatbots, guests can check-in or check-out on the go. A check in facility by facial recognition, iris scanner or thumb scan can take stay experiences to new heights. Mobile and voice-activated assistants can interact in the intuitive manner with the guests as we are slowly getting used to of digital and machine interactions.
Automating personalisation with AI: New world guest’s craving for exceptional and personalised experiences has created a huge scope for AI enabled solutions. AI can be effective in delivering exceptional and memorable stay experiences powered by personalisation. AI has immense potential to speed up the entire process with utmost accuracy. Chatbots and other AI tools can take care of the smallest customer choices and preferences making their stay memorable. They can order meals or drinks, control room environment etc on voice command. Guests can access hotel room in exciting ways through mobile apps or wrist bands. Bots can manage evening reservations or recommend interesting sightseeing and visits, taxi booking and itinerary planning.
Chatbots and conversational bots can provide accurate information, solve guest’s inconveniences, attend room service orders and offer recommendations in real time.
Enhancing customer services: Customer service can reach to a new satisfaction zone with robotic concierge. Robotic butlers, concierges and luggage handlers are no more part of sci-fi movies. Designed for perfection, these robotic concierges can learn from every insight, offer real-time recommendations basis in-depth research and analytics, facilitate travel, carefully assist visitors minute service requirements and can become a unique experience in itself for guests.
Consumer insights to exceed future expectations: AI can also play a critical role in getting consumer insights of smallest choices, preferences, behaviors, travel patterns etc. AI’s ability to learn and understand customer by using data analytics can help hotels in preparing for future guest satisfaction scores. Indian hospitality sector can create a robust framework basis these predictive and analytical tools so as to exceed expectations and ensure unmatched experiences. With in-depth insights of guest choices, customer purchases, reservation preferences, rating inquiries, payment methods etc., hotels can create a better experience framework for their new world guest.
Since Indian hospitality has already witnessed a great digital transformation and the customer is well accustomed of digital platforms, shifting gears to AI is going to be a smooth journey for guests. In their endeavour to offer exceptional experiences to guests and enhance operational efficiency, hotel chains across the world are now taking help of next gen technologies such as AI. Automation of personalisation is the future trend supporting disruption at every stage in the hospitality segment. It is time for Indian hospitality to ride on AI and drive ultimate guest satisfaction scores.