April 2, 2024

The role of AI in the hotel industry: Strengthening rather than replacing your team

Find out how AI can benefit your hotel and support your teams

Have you ever feared that artificial intelligence (AI) could replace your job? Or heard your hotel teams raising such concerns? This article shows how AI can be used in hospitality as a tool to spend more time on the real purpose of your work and be better organised – not to replace humans.

Achieving greater efficiency with AI

Integrating AI into hotels introduces a complex dynamic that impacts work results and the employees’ experience. By implementing such technology, certain tasks previously carried out by humans are automated, which not only has the potential to increase efficiency but also to improve the quality of work output. Many workers in the hotel industry, who spend a great deal of their time on repetitive tasks such as answering similar questions over email, social media and phone calls, will be relieved by the use of AI. However, this also requires hotel staff to adapt and develop their skills and competencies in order to be able to work effectively with new AI-powered systems. 

The future of the hotel industry lies in the harmonious integration of technology and human expertise, with both sides complementing each other to ensure the highest standards of guest service.

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To better illustrate this collaboration in practice, it is crucial to look closely at what benefits AI can offer in addition to what your staff are offering.

The digital concierge: Use staff resources effectively

Using a digital concierge, such as a chatbot that processes guest enquiries autonomously around the clock, not only represents a better use of resources but also increases guest satisfaction and loyalty by responding quickly and accurately to their requests. This functionality extends beyond hotel websites to popular social media channels making the service even more accessible to potential guests.

In the 2023 summer season (June to August), HiJiffy’s AI processed 1,707,204 conversations. This enormous number of interactions would otherwise have been processed individually and manually by hotel staff, using up time and resources. 

The use of AI therefore makes a decisive contribution to finding the balance between dealing with tasks efficiently and excellent customer service. This technology-supported increase in productivity can also take the pressure off staff during stressful periods such as the peak season.

Increase sales and improve the guest experience

Planning the perfect holiday can be a challenge, especially when potential guests are confronted with information overload. Answering their questions quickly and in detail can make the difference between a successful booking and a missed opportunity. Artificial Intelligence plays a crucial role in this context, not only by answering enquiries promptly but also by recognising and responding to individual needs. By providing a seamless direct booking process supported by AI, hotels not only improve their guest experience but also significantly increase their revenue.

In addition, the use of AI in the hotel industry opens up new opportunities for personalised marketing campaigns, which leads to greater guest loyalty. Automated welcome messages that contain targeted offers for upselling or cross-selling can increase the value of every booking. At the same time, integrating guests into loyalty programmes through AI enables greater loyalty and encourages repeat visits.

Data for personalisation: Foreseeing guests’ needs and wishes

AI offers the opportunity to process data faster and recognise patterns that humans may overlook. It can help to analyse the behaviour and preferences of guests and offer tailored recommendations and services. Thanks to storing considerable amounts of your guests’ data, you can create a more personalised guest journey and fulfil wishes that have not even been expressed yet. But ultimately it is the staff who deliver these personalised experiences with warmth and personal attention. In a study by Oracle which forecasts the hotel business up to 2025, 47% of consumers stated that AI-supported promotions based on previous purchases would improve their shopping experience.

However, when using this data, it is crucial to protect data privacy and ensure that the data is used responsibly. At HiJiffy, data protection and security are of paramount importance. We ensure the secure transmission of confidential data to provide your guests with a protected online experience.

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A fast service to guests means they are more satisfied

Another study by Oracle Hospitality highlights that 74% of hotel guests favour the use of technology to speed up service delivery. By using AI, check-in and check-out processes can be automated, which leads to a noticeable reduction in waiting times at reception. In addition, many travellers prefer this type of contactless service.

Another important aspect is social anxiety or so-called “telephone phobia”, where guests may hesitate to call reception to order something for their room. In such cases, a quick text to a chatbot could make these guests feel much more at ease, and they get a positive experience that they are more likely to remember.

AI can also improve the satisfaction of your hotel staff. Studies have shown that AI and related technologies have positive effects, such as increasing the work performance of employees and productivity. This also increases job satisfaction and motivation. 

Automation of feedback and reviews

Feedback and reviews play a decisive role in travellers’ booking decisions. As many as 81% of guests regularly read reviews before choosing accommodation. This figure underlines the importance of guest feedback as a key factor in the decision-making process. It emphasises how essential it is for hotels to create positive experiences and actively collect and manage reviews.

By using AI, hotels can make this process more efficient by sending automated WhatsApp messages with feedback campaigns. Guest reviews and satisfaction surveys can be sent during and at the end of the stay to obtain reviews for internal monitoring or external platforms such as TripAdvisor or Google. 

Overcoming language barriers for effective guest communication

Language barriers pose a challenge for international travellers who need help communicating in English or the local language. Uncertainty about whether information has been understood correctly often leads to repeated queries. Communicating in the guest’s native language would simplify many things. However, it is unrealistic to expect hotel employees to be able to communicate fluently in all languages. Here, the use of AI-supported translation tools offers a practical solution by enabling immediate and accurate translation, thus facilitating communication with guests from all over the world.

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A solution that supports you and your staff.

The strategic use of artificial intelligence to complement human skills enables close collaboration. The ethical and transparent use of AI can bring significant benefits to your hotel without replacing people. Instead, it aims to take over repetitive and monotonous tasks in order to give employees more room to be creative and offer more personal interaction. At a time when guests’ expectations are constantly growing, the targeted use of AI technologies represents an indispensable competitive advantage.

HiJiffy’s Guest Communications Hub perfectly embodies the philosophy of optimising the use of AI in the hotel industry. This tool was developed to support hoteliers in coping with repetitive tasks and offers various advantages through the use of conversational AI. The platform can increase direct bookings, send out campaigns, make check-in processes more efficient and save time by reducing incoming enquiries. This allows hotel staff to concentrate on more important tasks, such as personalising the guest experience and creating a unique experience.

Senior Marketing Executive DACH

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