The future of hotel AI is here.
Already we are seeing hotels with self-check-in, mobile booking and live-chat.
We are at the beginning of seeing tech and artificial intelligence (AI) mature into something even more exciting for hotel guests.
Let’s see what hotel AI is already out there.
1. Robot Customer Service
Hilton Hotels are the first large hotel chain to adopt a breakthrough hotel specific artificial intelligence.
Let’s introduce you to ‘Connie’, the first hotel robot where you can get tourist information, travel information and even tell you the weather forecast.
The robot is extra intelligent as it learns from human interaction and speech, improving its communication with experience.
2. Machine Learning
Machine Learning is used intelligently in hotels to deliver outstanding customer service.
This form of AI automatically learns through experience and intelligently predicts future behaviours.
Hence, it’s popularly used in retail to monitor consumption and user behaviour patterns. Therefore predicting likes and dislikes on products, hobbies and food.
As a result, hotels can pre-empt the probability guests will want or need something.
Imagine knowing a customer’s favourite drink, magazine or newspaper? Hotels have more opportunities to exceed guests expectations.
In addition, machine learning is also used as a tool for hotel revenue managers. They can use it to predict and identify revenue opportunities. Leading hotels in tech use this for setting room rates to managing promotion opportunities.
3. Location-Based Machine Learning
Many hotels offer full experience packages- not just inside the hotel but outside too. Location-Based Machine Learning knows customers favourite foods or interests. Based on their interests, it sends notifications of what’s available in the local area.
Furthermore, picture this:
You check into your hotel. You’re hungry. You’re unfamiliar with the local area. You then receive information on the best-rated sushi in the local area.
It goes without saying, favourite food + minimum effort = very happy guest!
4. Robot Butlers
There are now hotels in Japan which are 100% robot serving, check out the Henn-na Hotel. From robot front desk to robot cleaners. This hotel really has replaced all human elements of service.
(Consequently, the sound of a fully run hotel with robots sounds a little creepy rather than inviting!)
However, aspects of this quirky revolution in AI are sure to improve services. We are fans of the Robot AI’s carrying luggage and room service requests for guests.
5. Voice Control
We are in the beginning stages of seeing voice activation used in hotels.
There are hotels who have installed voice control systems in their rooms. These allow hotel guests to control the drapes, lights, music and temperature in their room.
Most of all, we are sure to see the usefulness of voice control grow and mature into something very special.
This type of hotel AI seems the most likely to pick up in popularity. It’s easy to implement and it doesn’t take away from the special and personal customer service that people expect from luxury hotels.
Rolling out in the Marriot Hotels, Amazon is pushing its way to the front of the queue to be the hospitality choice for AI. Called Alexa for Hospitality, two lucky Marriot Hotels have launched the product, with many Marriot Hotels to adopt the technology later on.
guests will be able to ask questions about the area, order room service, control lights, drapes, heating and cooling, TV and of course control music.
Is hotel AI counterproductive to great customer service?
The big question to ask is, how will artificial intelligence in hotels impact on customer service? There is a way to combine a personalised and charming human interaction in unison with technology.
Some of the best experiences in hotels come from the way staff are able to rectify problems. And if we replace a persons empathy, innovation and problem-solving abilities with a machine then could aspects of customer loyalty be diminished?
Hotels need to think clearly about what services they replace with AI, as some will be greatly enhanced, and some may take away from a necessary interaction that is desired.
Updated: December 2018, Original post: November 2017.