For the duration of ReviewPro’s webinar, The New Hybrid Hotel: Staff & Technologies Functioning in Tandem, we invited Shazia Nazir, Company Supervisor, Guest Intelligence at Safir Lodges & Resorts, to share how her enterprise has executed automation to enhance the guest expertise. Below are the highlights from our Q&A session.
Explain to us about Safir Lodges & Resorts and your part with the company.
Primarily based in Kuwait, Safir Resorts & Resorts (SHR) manages a portfolio of 10 hotels in Kuwait, Egypt, Oman, Qatar, Lebanon, and Syria. The company’s development approach aims to share Real Arabian Hospitality by controlling midscale and upscale lodges and serviced residences in just the Middle East & North Africa location. As the to start with Arabian hospitality administration organization, the corporation has a prosperity of expertise in bringing price to hotel growth assignments and worthwhile lodge functions.
Explain to us about your role with the business.
My job will involve taking care of brand status and visitor intelligence, which is increasingly important in industry positioning and visitor perception administration. I am also liable for gathering aggressive industry intelligence and taking care of digital analytics making use of sophisticated tools.
In 2017, Safir deployed ReviewPro’s Guest Encounter Platform, which includes the Guest Communications solution. These applications aid Safir regularly gauge the degree of guest pleasure by monitoring efficiency insights, therefore making it possible for us to also concentration on non-monetary performance KPIs and come to be more visitor service oriented as an business.
Why is automation essential to your company?
Enabling automation and synthetic intelligence to increase the guest working experience aids Safir supply seamlessly by eliminating human mistake though also helping provide guest-centric, personalized support and personalized tips. This opens useful time to comprehend our guests’ journey extra in-depth and target on offering the details and knowledge they ought to have. Our visitor turns into the center of our consideration, not the verify-in approach, with various actions all over which our friends revolve.
We consider that artificial intelligence plays a vital part in being familiar with guest conduct and predicting acquiring decisions. AI-driven chatbots and preferred equipment learning purposes also increase lodge expense-earnings analysis and visitor encounters if inns can strike a fragile harmony between human compared to tech touchpoints.
Digital engineering has introduced about enormous opportunities to innovate and realize efficiencies, but it also has exponentially amplified the impression of phrase of mouth. Social platforms like Fb, Instagram, and Twitter and evaluation internet sites like Google and Tripadvisor have empowered friends to share their praises and grievances to a significantly broader viewers indelibly. As a result, it has grow to be additional vital than ever for Safir to align with the technological know-how disruptions in such platforms to maintain its on the internet name and foster repeat company.
Automation unlocks new possibilities for Safir. Embedding linked products throughout the resort supplies easy electronic entry to features like place keys, lights, and leisure. It also leverages to eradicate queues for test-in and examine-out. Migrating and running purchaser databases and POS devices on the cloud is also essential as it will allow us to supply a standardized and uniform encounter to our attendees.
What regions of the guest expertise do you think really should be automated, and which need to be shipped personally by employees?
It’s straightforward to get carried away with buzzy traits like automation, chatbots, and artificial intelligence. The danger is we as hoteliers will begin automating issues merely for automation’s sake or for the reason that we assume we should really imitate what other hotels are performing with no looking at all the complexities unique to our model.
Safir analyzes the utility, probability, and time expected to automate every day mundane and repetitive jobs. Amazingly, occasionally it is a lot more expensive and inefficient to automate than to do the position manually! At other times, we’re impressed at how long it took us to automate a task. We really should think diligently about what need to be automated and what should be delivered personally.
For case in point, solutions to general queries regarding repetitive lodge products and services and facilities can be automatic to be dealt with by a chatbot. On the other hand, anticipating guests’ needs and supplying them a relaxing welcome drink so the visitor is snug through the examine-in system simply cannot be automated. Equally, personalized notice to attendees in the foyer cafe whilst buying drinks, getting their orders just correct, and remembering their favorite brand name of drinks are intuitive characteristics that an automated procedure cannot replicate.
What guest-experiencing locations have you automatic at your organization?
Safir Resorts & Resorts understands the urgency for economical, versatile, and lasting technological know-how. All our houses have adopted automation in a few essential places to deliver assistance excellence, decrease price tag, and maximize ROI.
- Lodge Job Management: Automatic alerts and effectively-described workflows enable supply messages and duties to the assigned team so that they are completed in a timely manner. Situations can also be automatic via outlined approaches or escalated to the housekeeping or engineering crew who can complete the process by the assigned deadline and filter out the sounds.
- Visitor Opinions Administration: Safir responds to post-keep guest testimonials inside of 24 to 48 hours, dependent on the character of grievances, and in just two several hours for in-remain opinions. Potential visitors search at the most the latest opinions when selecting on a lodge. Through our automatic task management program, the applicable workforce receives notified each time a neutral or destructive assessment will come in. It escalates to a guest representative straight away when the opinions are not responded to on time. This will make confident that our management response time is effectively less than 24 several hours.
- Guest Messaging: Safir implemented an economical, AI-driven chatbot known as Safia that automates the guest journey from pre-arrival to look at-out to fulfill a market will need unique to regular travelers, millennials, and era Z tourists. Our in depth industry investigation unveiled that these visitor segments desire less face-to-facial area call with lodge employees, desiring to converse by using their gadgets on the messaging channels of their decision. In addition, they hope fast, economical, and exact responses to their queries.
An AI self-finding out chatbot, Safia, drives our guest messaging hub as a result of automated workflows, alerts, and notifications. Safia responds to often asked inquiries and even tends to housekeeping requests or directs them to an agent who can provide effectively.
How did you roll out Guest Communications and the Chatbot to workers and company to guarantee a smooth implementation and adoption?
Utilizing an automatic guest messaging hub was only half the achievement. For it to operate nicely, we required to make sure that our colleagues realized how to use the answers efficiently and that our guests understood what we were featuring as a messaging platform through which they could initiate contact.
We trained our employees and created branding tips to introduce what guest messaging is and what just about every of its salient characteristics are – like the landing site, webchat framework, what to hope from our AI-run chatbot Safia, and how to successfully use QR codes of landing webpages in their communications and guest collateral.
To guidance the service’s start, we created collateral, social media techniques, and artwork to equip all our properties to launch a campaign to advise our visitors of the assistance. By scanning a QR code, visitors can see a listing of channels and select the 1 hassle-free for them. Productive implementation of the chatbot resulted in Safia remaining ready to handle 86.1% of the requests from 324 special end users for the duration of the pandemic.
What difficulties have you faced along the way?
Utilizing the wished-for automation can be challenging, deriving from the willingness of workers and visitors to use the technological innovation and adapt it to the hotel’s business. Through the pandemic, Safir morphed through its trial-and-mistake stage and labored to defeat a lot of troubles. Just one of the main problems was instruction the chatbot. Nonetheless, ReviewPro supplied us with a pre-qualified, AI-driven chatbot that took months off the implementation plan. We had been ready to go live relatively faster than anticipated.
For guest messaging, owing to distinctive nation legislation, some of the conversation channels were being not as efficient as anticipated. Therefore, we needed to customise the relevancy of the channels that have been extra suitable to the countries in which our accommodations were situated. In the Middle East, Arabic is a widely spoken language, and lots of testimonials and conversations had been in Arabic. ReviewPro employs Google APIs (software system interfaces) consequently, the translation usually didn’t express the sentiments properly.
What 5 ideas do you have for other hoteliers considering applying automatic providers?
- Automation workflows really should mirror the organizational crew efficiently so that each part of operations is highlighted.
- Existing or foreseeable future devices ought to integrate suitable APIs with the sought after automatic techniques. Engineering need to evolve with time and upgrades or be appropriate with the desired automated methods.
- The guest journey requires to be mapped out in depth so the gaps or focus regions for automation can be described.
- In the course of the onboarding and offboarding procedures, assure continuity is maintained in the workflow process so very little falls as a result of the gaps.
- Ensure the systems can keep track of and assess the impact of this sort of automation and new practices to stay relevant. You will need to measure how automation positively impacts your small business.
Why do you imagine automation is a lot more about improving upon efficiency than replacing workers?
Safir prides alone on excellent assistance and sharing reliable hospitality that is shipped by our colleagues on a everyday basis. We do not stray away from the idea that the resorts are a people’s business and that embracing automation does not signify changing human support with robots. The class “Staff” positively impacts our Global Evaluation Index™ (GRI™) by .7%. This exhibits the critical is acquiring the suitable balance concerning human interventions and automated procedures. And, most importantly, we give visitors flexibility and supply them a choice.
The problem of whether AI will substitute human employees assumes that AI and human beings have the exact characteristics and talents, but in actuality they do not. AI-dependent equipment are more rapidly, more precise and persistently rational, but they aren’t intuitive, psychological, or culturally delicate. And it is precisely these abilities that people have which make us successful.
Safir understands if the visitor wishes large touch support or the technologies is overused in functions, this will negatively impact our guest practical experience. Know-how is not here to exchange any person but to offer you aid and improve visitor support experiences. It also doesn’t necessarily mean forcing company to use their phones and applications if they’re not relaxed with them. The notion is to give them a choice so guests can decide on to check in on their cell phone or with the guidance from entrance business office employees. Hospitality is and often will be about delivering excellent and outstanding support.
Thank you, Shazia!
Examine out the web page of Safir Inns & Resorts to find out more about the business.
To come across out far more about how to use automation to strengthen the guest practical experience at your hotel: