New Research on AI Speaks to the Future of Hotel Guest Relationship Management

The study seeks to benchmark best practices for utilizing AI in the context of guest experience management and offer practical guidance to IT decision makers.

A comprehensive research study conducted by Starfleet Research, with underwriting support from Oracle Hospitality, aims to understand the current state of the hotel industry as it relates to the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in enhancing the quality of the guest experience. The report, “How Artificial Intelligence Enhances the Hotel Guest Experience,” was released last month and is currently available for complimentary access courtesy of Oracle. 

Leveraging both primary and secondary research, the objective is to provide a broad view of technology innovation, industry adoption trends, and the benefits that early adopters are already achieving with AI. The study seeks to benchmark best practices for utilizing AI in the context of guest experience management and offer practical guidance to IT decision makers who may be looking to utilize AI at their hotel properties.

Chapter 1 (“Enhancing the Hotel Guest Experience”) looks at some of the key concepts related to the advent and proliferation of AI-enabled devices. It explores how devices for enhancing the hotel guest experience are rapidly evolving in terms of features and functionality.

Chapter 2 (“Meeting Guest Expectations”) examines the various demographic and technological forces that have given rise to heightened guest expectations. It looks at how AI-enabled solutions can play an instrumental role in meeting (and even exceeding) these expectations.

Chapter 3 (“Powering Guest Personalization”) explores how, given access to the right data, AI-enabled devices can facilitate relevant guest interactions and recommendations while automatically taking “best next actions” based on a guest’s stated and inferred preferences, interests and behaviors.

Chapter 4 (“Fueling the Guest Journey”) discusses how AI can play an important role in helping hotel operators honein on the different elements of the guest journey — in part, by allowing them to monitor and assess hotel performance, identifying any issues that may need to be addressed.

Chapter 5 (“Working Hand in Hand with Hotel Staff”) explains the complementary nature of AI. It makes the point that,rather than replace customer service reps, front desk personnel, and other hotel staff, AI can make humans more valuable by enhancing their knowledge,performance and speed.

When it comes to utilizing AI, the hotel industry was lagging behind the times. However, as this research study shows, that is no longer the case, particularly with respect to the guest experience. Today the industry is moving fast and furiously toward not only mirroring AI-enabled home and office experiences in guest rooms, but surpassing those experiences with a range of innovative capabilities designed to further elevate the overall guest experience across the entire property — and beyond.

The following are just a few of the key takeaways from the study for hotel operators to keep in mind:

  • AI dramatically reduces the need for human assistance when it comes to answering questions and resolving problems that commonly arise during a guest stay, resulting in substantial cost savings.
  • AI is driving the evolution of hotel messaging; increasingly, the conversation between hotels and guests is shifting from a request-based one to a two-way dialogue, which is far more valuable.
  • AI significantly enhances the in-room guest experience by seamlessly integrating technology-enabled amenities. This integration translates into increased guest satisfaction and loyalty.
  • By automating “best next actions”based on guest data, AI gives hotels the opportunity to enable personalization in ways not previously possible — driving increased RevPAR in the process.
  • AI can identify and resolve issues that could potentially erode guest satisfaction without the need for human intervention. It can also suggest new innovations to further improve guest satisfaction.

While it may be early in the game, AI is already changing the guest experience across the travel lifecycle, including the on-property experience. As the research makes clear, this transformation will only accelerate over the next few years, ushering in the future of the hotel guest experience.