During ReviewPro’s webinar, The New Hybrid Lodge: Personnel & Technologies Operating in Tandem, we invited Shazia Nazir, Company Supervisor, Guest Intelligence at Safir Accommodations & Resorts, to share how her enterprise has executed automation to improve the guest knowledge. Below are the highlights from our Q&A session.
Inform us about Safir Lodges & Resorts and your part with the enterprise.
Based in Kuwait, Safir Hotels & Resorts (SHR) manages a portfolio of 10 accommodations in Kuwait, Egypt, Oman, Qatar, Lebanon, and Syria. The company’s expansion strategy aims to share Real Arabian Hospitality by controlling midscale and upscale hotels and serviced residences in just the Center East & North Africa area. As the 1st Arabian hospitality management organization, the organization has a prosperity of encounter in bringing benefit to lodge development projects and rewarding lodge operations.
Explain to us about your position with the firm.
My purpose consists of taking care of brand name name and guest intelligence, which is significantly essential in current market positioning and guest perception administration. I am also responsible for gathering competitive market place intelligence and handling digital analytics making use of superior instruments.
In 2017, Safir deployed ReviewPro’s Visitor Knowledge Platform, together with the Visitor Communications alternative. These applications aid Safir frequently gauge the amount of guest satisfaction by checking efficiency insights, thereby letting us to also emphasis on non-financial performance KPIs and turn into extra guest support oriented as an business.
Why is automation critical to your company?
Enabling automation and synthetic intelligence to increase the visitor working experience will help Safir provide seamlessly by eliminating human mistake while also serving to give visitor-centric, customized support and tailor-made suggestions. This opens worthwhile time to fully grasp our guests’ journey a lot more in-depth and target on delivering the info and working experience they are entitled to. Our guest gets to be the middle of our interest, not the check-in process, with several methods close to which our attendees revolve.
We feel that synthetic intelligence plays a important part in understanding visitor habits and predicting purchasing choices. AI-powered chatbots and well-liked equipment understanding programs also enrich lodge cost-income assessment and visitor encounters if accommodations can strike a delicate stability concerning human as opposed to tech touchpoints.
Digital technological innovation has introduced about enormous options to innovate and realize efficiencies, but it also has exponentially amplified the impact of phrase of mouth. Social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and critique web-sites like Google and Tripadvisor have empowered friends to share their praises and grievances to a noticeably broader viewers indelibly. So, it has come to be far more crucial than ever for Safir to align with the technological innovation disruptions in these types of platforms to maintain its on the web popularity and foster repeat organization.
Automation unlocks new choices for Safir. Embedding linked units throughout the hotel offers clean digital entry to amenities like place keys, lighting, and enjoyment. It also leverages to eliminate queues for examine-in and look at-out. Migrating and running purchaser databases and POS techniques on the cloud is also necessary as it will allow us to provide a standardized and uniform encounter to our company.
What parts of the visitor expertise do you believe should be automated, and which need to be sent individually by staff members?
It’s easy to get carried absent with buzzy traits like automation, chatbots, and synthetic intelligence. The threat is we as hoteliers will start out automating matters basically for automation’s sake or due to the fact we imagine we should really imitate what other inns are carrying out with no thinking of all the complexities exceptional to our manufacturer.
Safir analyzes the utility, probability, and time required to automate day by day mundane and repetitive responsibilities. Incredibly, often it is more expensive and inefficient to automate than to do the work manually! At other moments, we’re shocked at how prolonged it took us to automate a activity. We should believe very carefully about what should be automated and what should really be delivered individually.
For instance, responses to common queries relating to repetitive hotel providers and services can be automatic to be dealt with by a chatbot. Having said that, anticipating guests’ demands and giving them a soothing welcome drink so the visitor is snug all through the check-in approach can’t be automatic. Likewise, personalised notice to guests in the lobby cafe whilst purchasing beverages, getting their orders just ideal, and remembering their favorite model of beverages are intuitive attributes that an automated technique can’t replicate.
What guest-dealing with spots have you automatic at your firm?
Safir Resorts & Resorts understands the urgency for productive, versatile, and long lasting technological innovation. All our attributes have adopted automation in a few essential areas to provide support excellence, decrease value, and increase ROI.
- Resort Activity Administration: Automatic alerts and effectively-defined workflows help deliver messages and responsibilities to the assigned personnel so that they are accomplished in a timely way. Scenarios can also be automated by means of defined approaches or escalated to the housekeeping or engineering crew who can complete the undertaking by the assigned deadline and filter out the sound.
- Visitor Feed-back Management: Safir responds to submit-stay visitor reviews in 24 to 48 hours, dependent on the nature of grievances, and inside of two several hours for in-keep critiques. Probable visitors glance at the most current critiques when determining on a hotel. Through our automated undertaking administration procedure, the suitable crew receives notified when a neutral or adverse evaluate will come in. It escalates to a guest consultant promptly when the remarks are not responded to on time. This tends to make confident that our management response time is very well below 24 hrs.
- Guest Messaging: Safir executed an successful, AI-driven chatbot termed Safia that automates the guest journey from pre-arrival to examine-out to satisfy a market place require one of a kind to repeated vacationers, millennials, and era Z vacationers. Our comprehensive market place exploration exposed that these guest segments choose fewer confront-to-encounter make contact with with hotel staff members, wanting to talk by way of their units on the messaging channels of their selection. In addition, they expect quick, efficient, and exact responses to their queries.
An AI self-studying chatbot, Safia, drives our visitor messaging hub by means of automatic workflows, alerts, and notifications. Safia responds to regularly requested inquiries and even tends to housekeeping requests or directs them to an agent who can produce competently.
How did you roll out Guest Communications and the Chatbot to employees and friends to make certain a smooth implementation and adoption?
Utilizing an automatic guest messaging hub was only 50 percent the results. For it to get the job done effectively, we wanted to ensure that our colleagues realized how to use the options effectively and that our guests realized what we had been presenting as a messaging system as a result of which they could initiate get hold of.
We skilled our workers and developed branding suggestions to introduce what visitor messaging is and what every single of its salient attributes are – like the landing web site, webchat composition, what to be expecting from our AI-powered chatbot Safia, and how to successfully use QR codes of landing web pages in their communications and guest collateral.
To aid the service’s start, we created collateral, social media strategies, and artwork to equip all our homes to start a marketing campaign to notify our friends of the provider. By scanning a QR code, attendees can look at a record of channels and select the a person effortless for them. Profitable implementation of the chatbot resulted in Safia remaining capable to manage 86.1% of the requests from 324 exclusive people all through the pandemic.
What troubles have you confronted together the way?
Utilizing the ideal automation can be demanding, deriving from the willingness of workforce and friends to use the technologies and adapt it to the hotel’s firm. For the duration of the pandemic, Safir morphed by way of its demo-and-mistake section and labored to prevail over quite a few difficulties. One of the major challenges was teaching the chatbot. Having said that, ReviewPro furnished us with a pre-experienced, AI-pushed chatbot that took months off the implementation agenda. We have been equipped to go live fairly quicker than expected.
For visitor messaging, owing to distinctive state laws, some of the interaction channels have been not as successful as expected. Hence, we required to customise the relevancy of the channels that had been extra suitable to the nations in which our lodges ended up found. In the Center East, Arabic is a commonly spoken language, and quite a few testimonials and discussions had been in Arabic. ReviewPro works by using Google APIs (application application interfaces) hence, the translation typically didn’t express the sentiments properly.
What five suggestions do you have for other hoteliers contemplating implementing automatic providers?
- Automation workflows really should mirror the organizational team proficiently so that every single facet of functions is highlighted.
- Current or foreseeable future systems should combine suitable APIs with the desired automated systems. Technological innovation must evolve with time and updates or be compatible with the wished-for automatic devices.
- The guest journey requirements to be mapped out in element so the gaps or target spots for automation can be described.
- For the duration of the onboarding and offboarding procedures, be certain continuity is preserved in the workflow procedure so almost nothing falls by means of the gaps.
- Be certain the devices can monitor and assess the affect of these automation and new practices to continue to be appropriate. You have to have to measure how automation positively impacts your organization.
Why do you believe automation is more about enhancing effectiveness than replacing workers?
Safir prides alone on quality assistance and sharing genuine hospitality that is sent by our colleagues on a daily basis. We do not stray away from the idea that the inns are a people’s small business and that embracing automation does not imply replacing human support with robots. The class “Staff” positively impacts our World-wide Evaluation Index™ (GRI™) by .7%. This demonstrates the critical is getting the correct harmony involving human interventions and automatic processes. And, most importantly, we give company flexibility and offer them a selection.
The query of whether or not AI will replace human employees assumes that AI and human beings have the very same characteristics and capabilities, but in actuality they do not. AI-based mostly devices are more rapidly, extra exact and constantly rational, but they aren’t intuitive, emotional, or culturally sensitive. And it is precisely these abilities that humans have which make us productive.
Safir understands if the guest wishes high contact assistance or the know-how is overused in functions, this will negatively impact our guest encounter. Know-how is not here to switch anybody but to provide help and enrich guest assistance encounters. It also doesn’t suggest forcing guests to use their phones and apps if they’re not relaxed with them. The idea is to provide them a selection so friends can opt for to check out in on their mobile phone or with the help from front workplace personnel. Hospitality is and usually will be about providing excellent and exceptional service.
Thank you, Shazia!
Test out the internet site of Safir Motels & Resorts to find out a lot more about the company.
To find out more about how to use automation to improve the guest encounter at your lodge: