Frank Reeves, Co-founder and CEO of leading hotel technology provider Avvio, on how the use of AI technology is likely to impact the hospitality industry
Artificial intelligence is revolutionising how we use and engage with technology across every aspect of our lives and the hotel industry is now different.
Hospitality has long been undergoing a technological revolution which has seen many previously manual tasks automated. However, what has been lost through the advancement of technology is the more personalised human element of the hotel booking experience and customer service.
However, artificial intelligence and Machine Learning offer to take our automated digital systems to the next level by enabling them to learn from customer behaviour, industry trends and more to personalise and target their offering. While chatbots and mobile phone apps have managed to fulfil some aspects of a ‘digital concierge’ services for some time, the addition of real AI is the moment the hospitality industry has been waiting for.
Last year Avvio launched the world’s first artificial intelligence powered booking engine called Allora, which uses Learning Models to analyse large volumes of data and identify which variations will yield the best booking engine configuration.
Due to digital communications, most hotels now collect and store a huge amount of valuable data but do not have the manpower to assess, analyse and put this information to good use.
This is where AI and Machine Learning can step in. AI-powered systems like Allora, which have the ability to collate and analyse the data to create more effective and personalised offerings, are likely to become much more widespread over the next couple of years.
By tracking and analysing data across hundreds of properties, based on geography, guest history, booking preferences, interactions on site, conversations and more, AI can develop targeted and relevant marketing material aimed at specific individuals and create a booking journey tailored to individual needs. It is moving the hotels’ online interactions away from a one size fits all model to a flexible and dynamic system which can adapt to appeal to different customers.
AI will enable hotels to make specific recommendations, suggest trips, or upsell additional services – and teach itself how to enhance a visitor’s experience.
With so many options can accessible through online searches, many customers are facing ‘choice fatigue’. It is no longer about greater choice, but about the perfect choice specifically for that individual. This more personalised approach to sales and marketing is something that technology, until now, has not been able to offer and which will make a huge difference for hotels, their customers and the hospitality industry as a whole.
This will enable potential guests to find what they are looking for faster making it more likely they will book direct or remember the hotel for a later date.
The demand for the implementation of AI technology is also being driven by today’s hotel guests, who are now becoming increasingly accustomed to the level of tailored service offered by sophisticated new AI technologies are. As a result, your future guests will expect smarter and more accurate responses to feel any emotional connection and loyalty to your hotel.
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