With the advent of advanced learning machines, hotels are bracing for sweeping job loss amidst the fear that AI will totally replace human interactions. This is not true, and instead, AI should be seen as a dial knob that can be slowly adjusted, not a switch that can instantly turn on and off.
The Fear of Losing Jobs
Many departments in hotels fear losing their jobs to AI, including the reservations and front desk departments. Chatbots and conversational AI systems can replace guest messaging duties and calls. There is also a fear of physical robots replacing runners during graveyard shifts and maintenance workers replacing human labor. However, this is not a new trend as hotels have always embraced automation to increase productivity. Innovations like elevator and switchboard operators are completely gone now.
Implementation of AI – Not Binary
Implementing AI, like a volume knob on an amplifier, starts from a low setting to a high one slowly. Things do not happen overnight, and hotels should not rush into implementing AI without proper analysis. It should be treated as an assurance of task replacement, not job replacement. The technology should be implemented in a way that enhances rather than compromises revenue performance.
Adopting AI is Not Compulsory
Hotels must understand that adopting AI is not mandatory. Some hotel operations may not benefit from implementing AI, like a case where live agents can answer all the questions efficiently. In such a scenario, implementing AI would not make sense as it could compromise revenue performance.
The Case of Annette
John Smallwood, the CEO of “Travel Outlook” recently implemented Annette, a conversational AI voice, in a full-service resort. Annette was trained to answer basic guest inquiries that did not require human interaction, thus freeing intake teams to focus on cross-selling other non-room amenities to drive TRevPAR. The project was implemented slowly, and only the guest interaction vanguard was automated, replacing an IVR system to enhance the customer experience.
– Hotels have always embraced automation to increase productivity and reduce human labor.
– Automation tools like IVR are mostly irritating to guests.
– Implementing AI can enhance the customer experience and boost revenue generation.
Hotels should treat AI technology adoption like a knob, slowly adjusting and testing different settings to determine the optimal level of deployment. This will prevent the risk of potential job loss and preserve revenue performance. It’s important for hotels to understand that adopting AI is not compulsory.
AI technology boost productivity and fosters innovation, but it should be implemented without causing the replacement of human labor. AI should be used to enhance customer experience, drive TRevPAR, and boost revenue performance. Hotels should embrace this technology gradually, treating it as a dial knob, with the help of experts in the field.