Proper use of AI and machine learning in the hospitality sector can yield big dividends
Technology is forever developing and for the better. Life has been made simple by mobile cellphones and other useful devices that have been embedded in our daily lives. You can communicate with people who are oceans across real-time and even see their face.
All these social technological developments have proved the efficacy of technology in the day and age that we live in. However, technology has not only developed our social life, but a wide variety of commercial sectors have submitted to use different technologies that are at their disposal.
Some of the industries that have started using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are the health, logistics, automotive industries and many more. The hospitality industry is also not exempt from this development because there are technologies that have been developed and are still being developed for this particular industry; for example, the Hotel Property Management System.
How can you implement this technology and other similar AI and Machine Learning application in your hospitality business?
How is Artificial intelligence utilized in hotels?
The hospitality industry is a wide sector, but the cornerstone of this industry is the accommodation part of it and hotels are the leaders in that arena. The complexities of running a successful hotel can be burdening and require you to hire additional staff which can dent your pocket pretty bad.
However, Hotel Property Management Systems (Hotel PMS) can assist you with the day to day tasks of running your hotel. Hotel PMS do everything for you on your behalf and it is fully automated, so you do not have to supervise it every now and then. These systems that are run on AI can be scaled to any type or size of the hotel and work on a “per room” basis.
This means that you pay for the rooms you have and with Hotel PMS’ you can get services like booking management, easy payment methods, and many more services.
Some other PMS’ or other AI technologies have developed self-check-in booths or kiosks that confirm the booking and check the guest in.
Real-life examples of the use of AI in hotels is the Radisson Blu hotels that have AI configured assistants that give directions, tips and handle complaints. You can also order room service using their AI bot that enhances the experience of staying at those hotels fitted with this technology.
Recommendation search engines
This is the most common Artificial Intelligence technology used in the hospitality industry. Regular travelers use it frequently and even those who do not travel much use it to save costs. Using recommendation search engines, travelers can get the best quotes of hotel rooms and flights to their destination countries.
Well-known sites like Expedia use Machine Learning to learn the preferences of your travel and then recommend hotels and flights according to your preferences. For example, when you search for flights to a New York City, Expedia will show you hotel recommendations. This data is collected through your previous searches and bookings.
Similar sites like Booking.com also give you personalized recommendations for your trip and can even offer alternative destination choices for your next trip.
You can implement this technology in your business by working towards getting listed on these sites. Getting listed can sometimes be initiated by a guest who enjoyed their stay in your hotel, or you can do it yourself.
You have to search whether your business has been listed on these sites by searching your business in their search bars. If you do not see your business there, you need to list it and you can get useful links to the process of each website on that recommendation engine’s website.
Chatbots in the travel industry
Chatbots are like speaking to your imaginary friend, but the beauty of it is that Chatbots do respond and they are often very insightful. This Artificial Intelligence development has also shown major success in the hospitality industry as it has taken flight in various sectors in this industry.
Some call chatbots that are used in hospitality, Intelligent Travel Assistants. These Intelligent Travel Assistants work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and have no holidays. This is the reason why they have been adopted in the hospitality industry that requires customer support around the clock. The services offered by chatbots vary and are mostly task-specific.
For example, some chatbots might be programmed with AI that resolved hotel customer complaints. Other chatbots answer questions related to having a great time in a certain destination. While on the other hand, other chatbots answer basic questions like where you can get pizza or other services.
Other chatbots help travelers plan their trip in an effortless and streamlined manner. You get two types of chatbots, the first type uses predetermined answers that are manually programmed. The second type is a bit complex and answers some complicated questions that need a bit of thinking. According to your needs, you can choose which one you need.
You can embed your chatbots on the most popular social media channels or on your website. Some hotels and hospitality service providers have opted to have their own app, in which they imbed their chatbot.
You can get yourself a good chatbot and start customizing it to your own needs and then implement it on your website, app, or social media pages. The instant responses to questions you customers may have will help you retain those customers and even grab the attention of new customers,
Sarah Perry who works as the head of customer service for a grademiners review online service, MyAssignment says that both pre-sale and after-sale support is paramount, not just for hotel industry but every business. Before joining the online writing service, she spent almost two decades in hospitality industry.
Using chatbots, they have considerably reduced their response time and waiting time is zero. Even a bigger benefit is that customer issues are resolved at a high rate and the need to email or talk to an executive is also reduced.
Some travelers start planning their trip well in advance and may try to plan the cheapest time to travel. They can use services like flight fare forecasting software and choose to book their flight at that time. This makes travelling efficient and very economically savvy for them and this has a direct impact on the hospitality industry.
You can use these systems to your advantage to try and prepare yourself for the predicted outcome. For example, if a flight to the city your business is situated in, you can position your hotel’s marketing campaign to those travelers. You can also make special offers to attract their interest and as a result, you can gain more bookings.
Constantly being on the lookout on these fare forecasting websites can even boost other hospitality sectors like the food sector. You will know when you can offer deals to customers and when to boost the exposure of your restaurant.
These predictive systems use Machine Learning to predict patterns based on historic reactions at certain times of the year and on how travelers reacted on special flight offers.
You can use them to check movement in shorter terms and even longer terms and base your business marketing strategies on those predictions. As much as these systems make traveling affordable for travelers, your business can also profit by using them.
Forecasting consumer trends and pricing
Another way to find out when is the best time to run promotions and special offers are consumer trend forecasting software. These Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning run systems will collect historical data and let you know the trends that will happen in the hospitality industry.
For example, these predictive systems will let you know what will happen during the upcoming Christmas in your area. Using these systems, you will know which season of the year will have many travelers in your city.
Consumer trend forecasting systems are based on the truth of history repeating itself as the historical data provided yields to accurate predictions concerning this industry.
Deep learning, technology closely related to machine learning can also be used in applications that will show you the best pricing structures of your business.
As a result, without risking your profits, you can gain a competitive advantage over your competition. The data that needs to be processed to get the perfect forecast for the best price of your product or service include:
- The season and time of year
- Competition pricing structures
- Events that will be taking place
- Third-party promotions
With this data, you can get the correct price to set on your products and services to attract most of the clients with only a small price to pay. To implement this system in your business, you can search for price optimization software that runs on machine or deep learning.
Although this predictive analytics software is still in the development phase, you can expect the meaner and leaner version of it that will work easily for your business. However, there are some systems in the market that you can use for your hospitality business
The hospitality industry depends on knowing the trends of the industry and when to run exposure marketing campaigns. Machine learning and Artificial Intelligence have developed technologies to tackle those problems and satisfy customers. Chatbots also have a great impact in retaining business from returning customers by the quick response system chatbots use that are available around the clock on every day.
Written by: Jacob Dillon, BOSS Contributor
Jacob Dillon is a writer and proofreader from the UK who currently works at Livecareer. Being interested in personal development, he has authored various articles and books. Besides, Jacob also offers paper writing service to students. He can be reached via Facebook or check his Twitter.