Are our days as guest experience experts numbered with the revolution of Artificial Intelligence?
Updated: Apr 17
In the most simplest way, Artificial intelligence is the simulation of human intelligence and processes by machines or systems that are programmed and developed to think and act like humans, in this case we are relating how Artificial Intelligence will affect the guest experience in the near future.
Big hotel chains and organisations are facing the highest quit rate of GEN – Z and with very low retention rates because of traditional policies and systems that do not favour the current working environment and the changing consumer behaviour, with GEN-Z being the most technology-accepting generation. In no time, employers and employees will adapt to the use of AI in this industry massively. For example, let’s say I am a hotel owner, and I am able to develop virtual agents that are modified and updated to predict guest behavior depending on the past requests and past stays fed into the system. With heavy hiring costs and time-consuming training models, in no time as a hotel owner I will adapt to AI as it saves a lot of time and money and is easily manageable remotely thus creating time for other things which will increase productivity of senior employess.
With my recent study and experience, technology has heavily affected the hospitality scene in terms of defining consumer behaviour. For example, hotel desks and receptions are getting less and less busy with hotel chains embracing technology to increase efficiency.
AI will be able to develop more special chatbots that can handle routine guest service requests thus freeing up staff time for more important tasks. These chatbots and systems will be developed for different hotel departments and guests will have access to these systems 24/7 that will then create a personalized virtual guest experience depending on data that has been updated in the system. These chatbots too will be developed in such a way that they can translate different languages in real time in your guests’ native language. Could this be the end of relevancy for reception and concierge desks?
Downsides. AI might not be able to generate an accurate itinerary at the moment. For example, if you ask “what is the best Italian restaurant in town” or “where can I have Iftar today?” Yes, as a system it struggles with reasoning but non of these can stop the evolution of AI as developers are working day and night to fix all these issues, It wont be long until we are there. Once AI has been modified and updated, the system will be able to generate and execute itineries at a moments notice, thus saving a lot of time – with data being fed into the system over time. The system will be able to predict human behavour depending on what the user has fed and updated into the system. We should keep in mind that we’re only at the beginning of what AI can accomplish, whatever limitations it has today will be gone before we know it.
Overall, AI should be used as a tool in hospitality to amplify guest experiences in such a way that humans remain humans which requires hotel chains to constantly keep updating their operation procedures to fit the current consumer behavior with Gen-Z in mind.
If you are still doubting the power of AI, here are some questions to think about if you are a hotel guest in the next 5 years: Would you push a button to have a restaurant booked on the spot? Would you push a button to have a full report of the days weather forecast before planning any activities? Would you push a button to have your flights changed on the spot? Would you push a button to have your luggage taken down when you are not able to reach the busy hotel lines? Would you push a button to have an instant check out at a busy reception? Would you push a button to have your car arrive on the spot by the valet? Would you push a button to have an itinerary generated on the spot through a virtual agent that offers tailored recommendations? Would you push a button to make an instant payment? If the answer is “yes” to all these questions, its high time we embrace AI in hospitality and find ways to work with it as it is just getting started.