In the course of ReviewPro’s webinar, The New Hybrid Resort: Workers & Technological innovation Working in Tandem, we invited Shazia Nazir, Corporate Supervisor, Visitor Intelligence at Safir Lodges & Resorts, to share how her organization has applied automation to strengthen the visitor knowledge. Below are the highlights from our Q&A session.
Convey to us about Safir Lodges & Resorts and your job with the business.
Primarily based in Kuwait, Safir Inns & Resorts (SHR) manages a portfolio of 10 lodges in Kuwait, Egypt, Oman, Qatar, Lebanon, and Syria. The company’s growth method aims to share Accurate Arabian Hospitality by controlling midscale and upscale inns and serviced residences inside the Middle East & North Africa area. As the 1st Arabian hospitality management business, the firm has a wealth of practical experience in bringing benefit to hotel progress assignments and lucrative hotel functions.
Inform us about your part with the firm.
My function involves running brand status and guest intelligence, which is increasingly significant in market positioning and visitor perception administration. I am also liable for accumulating aggressive market place intelligence and controlling digital analytics employing sophisticated resources.
In 2017, Safir deployed ReviewPro’s Visitor Practical experience Platform, which include the Guest Communications answer. These instruments help Safir constantly gauge the amount of guest satisfaction by monitoring effectiveness insights, thus enabling us to also focus on non-financial overall performance KPIs and turn out to be much more guest support oriented as an firm.
Why is automation important to your business?
Enabling automation and synthetic intelligence to boost the guest experience assists Safir supply seamlessly by eliminating human mistake although also assisting present guest-centric, personalized assistance and customized tips. This opens important time to recognize our guests’ journey much more in-depth and concentration on delivering the information and experience they are worthy of. Our guest becomes the center of our focus, not the look at-in system, with various steps close to which our friends revolve.
We consider that synthetic intelligence plays a critical job in comprehending guest actions and predicting paying for selections. AI-run chatbots and well-liked machine discovering apps also enrich lodge charge-income investigation and guest experiences if accommodations can strike a delicate harmony involving human vs . tech touchpoints.
Electronic technology has introduced about immense alternatives to innovate and accomplish efficiencies, but it also has exponentially amplified the impact of term of mouth. Social platforms like Fb, Instagram, and Twitter and critique websites like Google and Tripadvisor have empowered visitors to share their praises and grievances to a noticeably broader viewers indelibly. Therefore, it has grow to be much more critical than ever for Safir to align with the know-how disruptions in these platforms to preserve its on the web name and foster repeat enterprise.
Automation unlocks new prospects for Safir. Embedding related equipment throughout the hotel offers clean digital access to features like area keys, lights, and leisure. It also leverages to eradicate queues for check-in and check-out. Migrating and running customer databases and POS methods on the cloud is also critical as it lets us to provide a standardized and uniform practical experience to our attendees.
What spots of the guest practical experience do you imagine ought to be automatic, and which need to be delivered personally by staff?
It’s uncomplicated to get carried away with buzzy traits like automation, chatbots, and synthetic intelligence. The chance is we as hoteliers will start out automating factors only for automation’s sake or mainly because we feel we need to imitate what other resorts are doing with out thinking of all the complexities exceptional to our manufacturer.
Safir analyzes the utility, chance, and time demanded to automate day by day mundane and repetitive jobs. Incredibly, at times it’s additional expensive and inefficient to automate than to do the position manually! At other situations, we’re surprised at how long it took us to automate a job. We need to consider very carefully about what should really be automated and what ought to be delivered personally.
For illustration, solutions to basic queries relating to repetitive hotel services and services can be automated to be dealt with by a chatbot. On the other hand, anticipating guests’ needs and providing them a soothing welcome drink so the guest is comfortable during the check out-in method cannot be automated. In the same way, personalised focus to company in the lobby cafe when buying drinks, obtaining their orders just ideal, and remembering their most loved manufacturer of beverages are intuitive characteristics that an automated process are unable to replicate.
What guest-experiencing spots have you automated at your firm?
Safir Lodges & Resorts understands the urgency for economical, versatile, and lasting know-how. All our attributes have adopted automation in 3 crucial regions to deliver company excellence, lower cost, and optimize ROI.
- Hotel Process Management: Automatic alerts and properly-described workflows assist provide messages and tasks to the assigned staff members so that they are finished in a timely method. Instances can also be automated by described approaches or escalated to the housekeeping or engineering crew who can entire the endeavor by the assigned deadline and filter out the sounds.
- Guest Feed-back Administration: Safir responds to article-stay guest assessments inside of 24 to 48 hours, relying on the nature of grievances, and in just two hours for in-continue to be reviews. Opportunity visitors appear at the most latest evaluations when selecting on a resort. Through our automatic task management system, the applicable team receives notified each time a neutral or damaging assessment comes in. It escalates to a guest consultant straight away when the responses are not responded to on time. This will make confident that our administration response time is well less than 24 several hours.
- Visitor Messaging: Safir executed an effective, AI-pushed chatbot identified as Safia that automates the visitor journey from pre-arrival to check-out to fulfill a marketplace have to have special to recurrent tourists, millennials, and technology Z travelers. Our comprehensive industry research revealed that these visitor segments choose less face-to-deal with call with lodge team, wanting to connect by way of their devices on the messaging channels of their selection. In addition, they count on instant, successful, and correct responses to their queries.
An AI self-learning chatbot, Safia, drives our guest messaging hub through automatic workflows, alerts, and notifications. Safia responds to commonly requested issues and even tends to housekeeping requests or directs them to an agent who can supply effectively.
How did you roll out Visitor Communications and the Chatbot to personnel and company to assure a sleek implementation and adoption?
Utilizing an automatic guest messaging hub was only 50 percent the accomplishment. For it to get the job done nicely, we wanted to guarantee that our colleagues understood how to use the answers effectively and that our company understood what we were being supplying as a messaging platform by which they could initiate contact.
We qualified our personnel and formulated branding rules to introduce what guest messaging is and what each and every of its salient features are – like the landing web page, webchat composition, what to expect from our AI-run chatbot Safia, and how to successfully use QR codes of landing internet pages in their communications and visitor collateral.
To support the service’s launch, we produced collateral, social media approaches, and artwork to equip all our qualities to start a marketing campaign to inform our company of the service. By scanning a QR code, attendees can check out a list of channels and decide the one particular easy for them. Productive implementation of the chatbot resulted in Safia staying able to handle 86.1% of the requests from 324 special consumers for the duration of the pandemic.
What difficulties have you faced together the way?
Utilizing the desired automation can be tough, deriving from the willingness of staff and guests to use the engineering and adapt it to the hotel’s business. During the pandemic, Safir morphed through its demo-and-error stage and labored to conquer many troubles. One of the primary issues was coaching the chatbot. However, ReviewPro provided us with a pre-skilled, AI-pushed chatbot that took months off the implementation plan. We ended up in a position to go dwell fairly faster than anticipated.
For visitor messaging, due to diverse nation legal guidelines, some of the conversation channels were being not as productive as expected. Therefore, we required to customize the relevancy of the channels that were being much more pertinent to the nations around the world in which our resorts had been situated. In the Center East, Arabic is a greatly spoken language, and a lot of evaluations and conversations had been in Arabic. ReviewPro uses Google APIs (software application interfaces) for that reason, the translation normally did not convey the sentiments precisely.
What 5 guidelines do you have for other hoteliers thinking about utilizing automatic services?
- Automation workflows must replicate the organizational crew proficiently so that every single facet of functions is highlighted.
- Current or future methods must integrate suitable APIs with the preferred automatic systems. Technological innovation really should evolve with time and upgrades or be appropriate with the wished-for automatic techniques.
- The guest journey wants to be mapped out in depth so the gaps or target regions for automation can be outlined.
- Through the onboarding and offboarding procedures, make certain continuity is maintained in the workflow course of action so almost nothing falls by the gaps.
- Guarantee the systems can keep an eye on and evaluate the effect of these automation and new tactics to remain relevant. You need to have to measure how automation positively impacts your company.
Why do you feel automation is extra about enhancing efficiency than replacing staff members?
Safir prides itself on quality service and sharing genuine hospitality that is shipped by our colleagues on a every day basis. We do not stray away from the notion that the inns are a people’s business enterprise and that embracing automation does not suggest changing human provider with robots. The classification “Staff” positively impacts our Global Review Index™ (GRI™) by .7%. This exhibits the key is discovering the ideal stability involving human interventions and automated processes. And, most importantly, we give friends adaptability and provide them a preference.
The dilemma of no matter if AI will replace human personnel assumes that AI and humans have the identical qualities and talents, but in reality they really don’t. AI-dependent equipment are more quickly, additional precise and regularly rational, but they are not intuitive, emotional, or culturally sensitive. And it’s specifically these qualities that humans possess which make us efficient.
Safir understands if the visitor needs large touch assistance or the engineering is overused in operations, this will negatively influence our guest knowledge. Technology is not listed here to substitute any one but to present guidance and increase visitor service encounters. It also does not indicate forcing guests to use their phones and apps if they are not cozy with them. The idea is to supply them a option so friends can pick out to look at in on their phone or with the help from entrance office environment workers. Hospitality is and usually will be about providing superb and exceptional services.
Thank you, Shazia!
Check out out the website of Safir Lodges & Resorts to study a lot more about the company.
To find out a lot more about how to use automation to strengthen the visitor experience at your lodge: