All through ReviewPro’s webinar, The New Hybrid Hotel: Workers & Technological know-how Performing in Tandem, we invited Shazia Nazir, Corporate Supervisor, Guest Intelligence at Safir Hotels & Resorts, to share how her firm has carried out automation to improve the visitor encounter. Down below are the highlights from our Q&A session.
Inform us about Safir Hotels & Resorts and your role with the corporation.
Based in Kuwait, Safir Motels & Resorts (SHR) manages a portfolio of 10 motels in Kuwait, Egypt, Oman, Qatar, Lebanon, and Syria. The company’s expansion method aims to share Accurate Arabian Hospitality by taking care of midscale and upscale resorts and serviced residences within the Middle East & North Africa location. As the to start with Arabian hospitality administration business, the enterprise has a wealth of knowledge in bringing price to hotel improvement tasks and profitable lodge operations.
Explain to us about your position with the organization.
My role consists of taking care of brand reputation and guest intelligence, which is more and more crucial in sector positioning and visitor perception management. I am also responsible for gathering aggressive market place intelligence and managing electronic analytics using state-of-the-art resources.
In 2017, Safir deployed ReviewPro’s Visitor Knowledge Platform, including the Visitor Communications answer. These resources help Safir consistently gauge the amount of guest fulfillment by monitoring efficiency insights, thus allowing for us to also aim on non-financial functionality KPIs and turn into additional guest support oriented as an organization.
Why is automation vital to your firm?
Enabling automation and artificial intelligence to enhance the guest experience will help Safir produce seamlessly by eradicating human mistake when also aiding offer guest-centric, customized assistance and tailored recommendations. This opens valuable time to understand our guests’ journey much more in-depth and target on supplying the facts and expertise they have earned. Our visitor gets to be the centre of our interest, not the check-in procedure, with numerous steps around which our friends revolve.
We think that artificial intelligence plays a critical position in being familiar with visitor behavior and predicting getting choices. AI-powered chatbots and common machine learning purposes also enhance lodge cost-profits analysis and guest encounters if resorts can strike a sensitive balance concerning human versus tech touchpoints.
Digital technological know-how has introduced about immense alternatives to innovate and obtain efficiencies, but it also has exponentially amplified the effects of word of mouth. Social platforms like Fb, Instagram, and Twitter and evaluate internet sites like Google and Tripadvisor have empowered company to share their praises and grievances to a significantly broader audience indelibly. Hence, it has turn out to be additional critical than at any time for Safir to align with the know-how disruptions in this sort of platforms to manage its on the net popularity and foster repeat small business.
Automation unlocks new choices for Safir. Embedding related equipment across the lodge presents smooth electronic access to amenities like space keys, lights, and enjoyment. It also leverages to eradicate queues for check-in and verify-out. Migrating and controlling purchaser databases and POS techniques on the cloud is also necessary as it will allow us to produce a standardized and uniform working experience to our guests.
What parts of the visitor encounter do you think really should be automated, and which really should be shipped individually by staff?
It is straightforward to get carried away with buzzy tendencies like automation, chatbots, and synthetic intelligence. The hazard is we as hoteliers will start out automating issues merely for automation’s sake or due to the fact we think we really should imitate what other accommodations are executing without the need of thinking of all the complexities exceptional to our manufacturer.
Safir analyzes the utility, likelihood, and time essential to automate everyday mundane and repetitive jobs. Astonishingly, from time to time it is far more high-priced and inefficient to automate than to do the task manually! At other times, we’re stunned at how extended it took us to automate a job. We should really believe diligently about what should be automated and what need to be shipped individually.
For example, responses to normal queries about repetitive lodge providers and amenities can be automated to be taken care of by a chatbot. Nonetheless, anticipating guests’ needs and featuring them a relaxing welcome consume so the guest is at ease during the check-in process are not able to be automatic. Likewise, personalized interest to friends in the foyer cafe even though ordering drinks, acquiring their orders just proper, and remembering their preferred manufacturer of drinks are intuitive attributes that an automatic procedure are unable to replicate.
What visitor-struggling with places have you automatic at your enterprise?
Safir Resorts & Resorts understands the urgency for efficient, flexible, and long lasting technologies. All our qualities have adopted automation in three key locations to deliver services excellence, reduce expense, and optimize ROI.
- Resort Undertaking Administration: Automated alerts and nicely-defined workflows support produce messages and responsibilities to the assigned personnel so that they are done in a well timed method. Cases can also be automatic as a result of outlined methods or escalated to the housekeeping or engineering group who can comprehensive the process by the assigned deadline and filter out the sound.
- Visitor Opinions Management: Safir responds to write-up-remain guest evaluations inside 24 to 48 hours, dependent on the mother nature of grievances, and in two several hours for in-keep testimonials. Prospective friends glimpse at the most latest testimonials when deciding on a resort. Via our automatic endeavor management program, the relevant workforce gets notified whenever a neutral or destructive evaluate comes in. It escalates to a visitor representative straight away when the opinions are not responded to on time. This will make certain that our management response time is very well under 24 several hours.
- Visitor Messaging: Safir applied an successful, AI-driven chatbot termed Safia that automates the visitor journey from pre-arrival to test-out to fulfill a market place require one of a kind to recurrent vacationers, millennials, and era Z vacationers. Our considerable current market study disclosed that these guest segments prefer considerably less facial area-to-facial area speak to with resort team, wanting to communicate by means of their equipment on the messaging channels of their decision. In addition, they count on instant, effective, and accurate responses to their queries.
An AI self-mastering chatbot, Safia, drives our visitor messaging hub by way of automatic workflows, alerts, and notifications. Safia responds to usually questioned thoughts and even tends to housekeeping requests or directs them to an agent who can produce successfully.
How did you roll out Guest Communications and the Chatbot to staff members and friends to make certain a easy implementation and adoption?
Utilizing an automatic guest messaging hub was only 50 % the results. For it to operate effectively, we necessary to make sure that our colleagues realized how to use the alternatives proficiently and that our attendees knew what we were being offering as a messaging system by means of which they could initiate get in touch with.
We skilled our personnel and produced branding recommendations to introduce what visitor messaging is and what each individual of its salient features are – like the landing site, webchat construction, what to be expecting from our AI-driven chatbot Safia, and how to efficiently use QR codes of landing webpages in their communications and visitor collateral.
To guidance the service’s start, we designed collateral, social media tactics, and artwork to equip all our qualities to launch a marketing campaign to inform our visitors of the provider. By scanning a QR code, guests can watch a record of channels and decide the 1 easy for them. Successful implementation of the chatbot resulted in Safia staying capable to handle 86.1% of the requests from 324 one of a kind people through the pandemic.
What worries have you confronted together the way?
Employing the preferred automation can be tough, deriving from the willingness of workers and visitors to use the technology and adapt it to the hotel’s corporation. Throughout the pandemic, Safir morphed through its demo-and-mistake period and worked to prevail over numerous difficulties. One of the key issues was instruction the chatbot. Nevertheless, ReviewPro delivered us with a pre-properly trained, AI-driven chatbot that took months off the implementation timetable. We have been equipped to go live reasonably faster than predicted.
For guest messaging, because of to unique nation laws, some of the interaction channels ended up not as successful as anticipated. For that reason, we required to personalize the relevancy of the channels that had been a lot more suitable to the international locations in which our lodges had been located. In the Middle East, Arabic is a greatly spoken language, and lots of assessments and conversations have been in Arabic. ReviewPro utilizes Google APIs (application method interfaces) as a result, the translation usually did not express the sentiments correctly.
What 5 guidelines do you have for other hoteliers thinking of utilizing automated expert services?
- Automation workflows must reflect the organizational group successfully so that each and every factor of functions is highlighted.
- Current or long run techniques ought to integrate compatible APIs with the wanted automatic devices. Know-how must evolve with time and updates or be suitable with the wished-for automatic systems.
- The visitor journey demands to be mapped out in depth so the gaps or focus regions for automation can be defined.
- All through the onboarding and offboarding procedures, ensure continuity is managed in the workflow process so nothing falls as a result of the gaps.
- Make sure the techniques can monitor and assess the affect of these automation and new tactics to remain related. You have to have to measure how automation positively impacts your small business.
Why do you consider automation is extra about enhancing efficiency than replacing workforce?
Safir prides alone on quality service and sharing authentic hospitality that is shipped by our colleagues on a daily basis. We do not stray absent from the idea that the lodges are a people’s organization and that embracing automation does not imply replacing human support with robots. The class “Staff” positively impacts our Worldwide Evaluation Index™ (GRI™) by .7%. This demonstrates the essential is getting the right equilibrium among human interventions and automated processes. And, most importantly, we give guests overall flexibility and provide them a preference.
The dilemma of regardless of whether AI will change human staff assumes that AI and human beings have the identical characteristics and qualities, but in fact they really don’t. AI-dependent machines are faster, additional precise and constantly rational, but they are not intuitive, emotional, or culturally delicate. And it’s precisely these skills that humans possess which make us productive.
Safir understands if the guest needs substantial contact company or the technologies is overused in functions, this will negatively affect our visitor knowledge. Technology is not listed here to substitute any individual but to provide aid and boost visitor service ordeals. It also does not imply forcing attendees to use their telephones and applications if they are not comfortable with them. The idea is to offer you them a selection so company can decide on to examine in on their phone or with the help from entrance business office personnel. Hospitality is and always will be about offering great and outstanding services.
Thank you, Shazia!
Check out the web-site of Safir Inns & Resorts to discover much more about the corporation.
To obtain out more about how to use automation to increase the guest experience at your hotel: