Technology has made many things previously deemed impossible into real-life possibilities. Today, elements of science fiction movies and shows have become commonplace in our lives, even dull, because we became used to the wonders of technology. As businesses, industries and individuals, we take advantage of so many different technologies that we don’t even realise the magnitude of the progress we have made.
If we could bring a person from 50 years ago and show them the technologies that we use in a hotel, let alone a factory or a manufacturing plant, they would be amazed. Even hotels, a very common and unsurprising part of our world, can now leverage once-fictional technologies like artificial intelligence (AI). Let’s have a brief moment of awareness and take a look at what kind of technologies are transforming today’s hotels.
Nowadays, some hotels use AI extensively. Even the property management systems (PMS) integrates AI and cloud technologies to create sophisticated user profiles and streamline services through features. Innovation and progressive hospitality managers can take advantage of these technologies to exceed guest expectations by enhancing customer care, support and services.
Hotels use AI technology to learn about their customers and their habits by using data analytics platform. This helps hotel staff form a better picture of who their customers truly are.
With the help of AI, hoteliers can collect information about:
- Guest contact and personal information (given with consent)
- Purchase history
- Travel choices
- Trip patterns and routes
- Location preferences
- Hotel rating reviews
- Payment methods
AI-powered Concierge for Customer Service
More and more hotels are realising that just the interior appeal of a hotel is not enough to turn guests into loyal customers. That’s why the hotels use AI-powered concierge services to create superior guest experiences.
Alexa is Amazon’s artificially intelligent, cloud-based software that developers can use to build custom and unique voice-enabled practices for customers. Alexa provides an easy and intuitive way for customers to interact with everyday technology. It not only makes the use of technology easier for customers by letting them use their voices to interact with technology, but it also plays an important role in connecting guests with hotels.
The Hotel Data Scientist (HDS)
Hotel Data Scientist helps the hotel managers to understand the behavioural and habitual patterns of guests, as well as draw insights from these patterns to contribute to increasing profits. According to the Harvard Business Review in the October 2012 issue, “Data scientists are the people who understand how to fish out answers to important business questions from today’s tsunami of unstructured information.”
The HDS can help their human counterparts with their advanced skills in:
- Advanced Excel
- Analytics and reporting
- CRM/customer segmentation
- Data mining SQL
- Revenue optimization
- Business metrics
- Modelling algorithms
The continuously progressing nature of technology inspires hoteliers to innovate and try new ways to ensure a smooth and satisfying experience for travellers. Some have even started venturing into the area of science fiction by employing “robot butlers” to welcome newly arrived guests and deliver various items to their rooms. Robot butlers have been designed to act like people, so they will even react to music when they are serving guests at a rooftop bar. Not so much of a dancer perhaps, but considering they are already able to use the elevators in the building, who knows what they’ll be able to accomplish in the future.
Although today’s robot butlers are not exactly Sonny (the sentient robot from the movie I, Robot), they can easily run errands like delivering extra towels and toiletries. They can move between rooms effortlessly through a combination of sensors and Wi-Fi/4G connectivity, which is interconnected to the hotel and elevator software. This allows staff to apply their time to tasks where a human touch is required.
It’s obvious that what was once science fiction is now our reality. The more we become comfortable with new technologies, the more we grow indifferent to their effects on our lives. Hopefully this brief moment of awareness has helped you to realise how much technology is transforming the way we conduct business — including the hospitality business.