Our brains are wired to love and become addicted to instant rewards. Any delay in satisfaction creates stress. Just remember how you feel when a web page takes over 3 seconds to load. We crave technologies that go even faster than our brains. The Google, Amazon, Booking.com, and Uber of this world have been harnessing the benefits of instant reward to boost their sales for years. AI is just the next logical step and there is no way back because the faster you go, the more consumers buy from you, and the faster you want to go.
The goal is not to replace human work but to expand your capacity to deliver the instant value and relevance that your customers crave and that you are not currently able to provide. Hotels chronically complain about how understaffed they are and how hard it is to keep pace. So 2 choices here: 1- embrace AI as an opportunity or 2- keep running a Formula 1 race with a bicycle.
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Cloud AI — the opportunity for hotels
The market for AI is no longer the privilege of a few multi-billion dollar companies. Cloud AI solutions have become widely available for hotels that can massively capitalize on its power at virtually no cost.
- Big Data: A new generation of booking engines led by companies such as Avvio are able to learn from customer demographics and adapt their display to better fit the preferences of each customer.
- Chatbots: Technologies such as Quicktext and Zoe bot engage customers on your direct channels to help your online visitors access immediately, relevant information while capturing data on them that either the chatbot or you are able to action to increase sales.
Grow out of your terminator fantasy
Some people mix fiction and reality either because they are afraid of AI’s potential, or on the contrary, they expect to see a full human being. This confusion happens because we use terms such as intelligence, neural networks, deep learning etc. It is true that AI is inspired by our brain, but overall, we frequently get inspired by nature to solve challenges. Most of the time we can recognize where the inspiration comes from but the final product is usually quite far from the original model.
A train inspired by a bird’s beak
With AI it is exactly the same thing. We can use some basic logic but it remains very focused on a specific use case. So, if you want to be able to profit from AI, you need to have realistic expectations. For instance, chatbots are currently able to manage frequently requested tasks such as giving particular information, booking a room, locating and finding relevant places around the hotel etc. They deal with some repetitive tasks that none of your employees want to do and chatbots have become very good at it — even better than humans. However, virtual assistants are not able to serve the customers outside of their perimeter. That’s when you move from autopilot to manual. Taking AI for what it is, rather than your wildest dreams, will enable you to realize that it can benefit your business today.
If you’d like to discuss more or have questions about chatbots and AI for the hotel industry feel welcome to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org