For a long time, the hospitality industry has been widely recognised as one of the sectors that deeply prioritise customer satisfaction. However, given the rapid advancements in technology, including Artificial Intelligence (AI), it is no longer sufficient to solely concentrate on fulfilling customers' present requirements; rather, it has become a necessity to proactively anticipate their needs.
Today, 83% of adults wish to book their trips online – and due to the major shift in online consumerism, 73% of advertising has shifted from offline marketing to the digital sphere. In addition, with 63% of customers seeking personalised services and experiences from hotels, hoteliers must venture into new ways to provide unparalleled experiences for their guests with the advent of technology and AI.
Here are some ways that hotels can use AI to their advantage to create meaningful connections with their customers.
Create meaningful personalised guest experiences
Personalisation is a key area of focus in the travel industry. AI has the power to personalise hotel guest experiences on a level never seen before at every touch point of your hotel's journey – from booking through to check-in and beyond.
By analysing customer data and behaviour, AI has the potential to assist hotels in personalising their marketing strategies by providing tailored recommendations and offers that cater to each guest's individual preferences and requirements. Ultimately, the key to successful hotel marketing involves creating custom offers and content that are designed to attract guests towards your property.
Checking guests in more efficiently and accurately
Hoteliers can enhance their check-in procedures by implementing AI technology into their systems, which enables quicker and more accurate processing of data compared to manual check-ins at reception desks. Additionally, AI-powered security checks can provide a more comprehensive analysis of facial features, thereby improving security measures at the hotel.
Automating guest requests
In cases where guests make requests for additional amenities such as extra towels or pillows, such information can be fed into the hotel AI system which will automatically process and order these items in future visits or stays. This means that guests will promptly and accurately receive what they require without having to endure long hold times, go through the trouble of completing extensive forms or having to dial long calls.
Customised room service menus
Guests with dietary requirements or allergies might find it beneficial to have their meals tailored to their needs by an AI-powered chef, which uses algorithms to consider individual preferences based on past orders or feedback during their previous stay.
Moreover, AI-powered tools such as chatbots and virtual assistants are gaining popularity in the hospitality sector, enabling guests to receive prompt answers to their queries and maximise their stay to the fullest. These chatbots can evaluate guest data to offer customised and personalised recommendations on various aspects, including nearby local eateries and popular attractions.
Analyse your guests' behaviour with smart tools
AI technology such as predictive analytics is becoming a game-changer for hotel marketers due to its ability to analyse vast amounts of data in real-time, enabling them to forecast future trends and detect potential issues, optimise their inventory, pricing and staffing to improve operational efficiency and drive revenue.
Predictive analytics tools can also provide hoteliers with a more comprehensive understanding of their guests. By analysing data such as booking patterns, social media activity, and customer feedback, these tools can generate insights into guest behaviour and preferences which be used to create more personalised marketing strategies and improve the guest experience, leading to increased revenue and brand loyalty.
Marketing and messaging still matter
With an abundance of technologies at their disposal, prioritising marketing efforts can prove to be a challenging task for hoteliers. First impressions often begin with digital interactions, be it through social media exposure or hotel touchpoints, making them crucial building blocks of the guest experience, such as the following:
· Pre-visit marketing (through personalised messaging across social media channels and emailers)
· On-property marketing (through digital check-ins, keyless entry, virtual concierge or seamless brand mobile applications)
· Post-visit marketing (through various digital touchpoints after the guest checks out)
Hoteliers must therefore consider various aspects when crafting their storytelling and messaging across channels to create emotionally compelling, consistent and relevant content that resonates with and speaks directly to their guests. AI tools such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Copy.AI can help marketers and hoteliers craft automated yet personalised messaging while they focus on human creativity, strategic thinking and innovative planning for out-of-box ideas.
Research shows that good, personalised brand messaging can outperform ordinary messaging 80% of the time, emerging as the best long-term strategy to win customer loyalty in today’s competitive hospitality landscape. Ultimately, prioritising your messaging allows you to optimise the customer journey across digital channels and reimagine the in-person experience.
The Bottom Line: Focus on Improving the Customer Experience
Even though the pandemic has transformed how businesses operate in various ways, the hospitality sector is capitalising on noteworthy digitalisation opportunities to drive impactful results. Adopting customer experience goals as a core guiding principle can serve as a marketing lens, enabling hoteliers to rise to the occasion to fulfil and surpass expectations, particularly as consumers demand highly personalised digital experiences.
By embracing AI-powered tools and solutions, hotels can stay ahead of the curve and provide guests with the customised, seamless experiences they expect in today's digital age. In the end, hotel marketers that invest in AI and other forms of digitalised technology will see themselves rising to success in 2023 and beyond.