5 ideas to improve hotel profitability with smart technology and AI in 2020

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Smart technologies and artificial intelligence that looked like science fiction just a few years ago, have now become mainstream in hotel operations. With trade show season about to start again, make sure to take a closer look at smart technology providers. Here are 5 ways to improve your hotel operations and profitability by leveraging smart technology and AI in 2020. 

1. Cut utility bill with IoT sensors

There is a cost associated with switching from standard to smart technology that is quickly compensated by substantial savings. The purchase price is very easy to identify and savings require a longer-term approach. 

Smart room temperature managers such as those made by Verdant will offset the purchase difference in 12-24 months compared to a traditional system. They will allow hotels to cut the energy spend by as much as 20%.

Lighting and appliances are another big saving opportunity that can be unlocked, thanks to smart sensors. 

2. Save money on maintenance: repair things before they break

Repairing things before they break down is a good idea. In fact, it can be applied to all components of the hotel. But when do you know it’s time to do something? Usually, you realise there is a problem a little bit too late, when you have water pooling all over the bathroom floor. 

In addition, small issues might go unnoticed until they become big money holes. The bill can pile up quite fast as a single leaky toilet can cost you up to 700€/year and waste an insane quantity of water in the process. 

Smart captors such as Robeau prevent failure and leak risks in your water system. They help you avoid all that trouble altogether and save up to 40% on your water bill. 

3. Drive additional revenues with smart guest experiences

We have entered the age of assistance. Chatbots are key drivers for personalization as they allow guests to access immediately, the information they need. This greatly reduces friction and labor cost. In fact, chatbots are a great way to boost hotel revenue through smart technology and AI in 2020. 

Instant messaging is your guests’ favorite means of communication. Customers have become accustomed to instant satisfaction and are no longer ready to wait for answers to simple queries such as parking, front desk opening hours, hotel equipment and amenities, etc.

A chatbot’s ability to drive customer engagement has proven very useful in boosting direct sales revenue. Now, chatbots are evolving more and more towards in-stay services. Smart hotel chatbots such as Quicktext are powerful and easy to implement. Quicktext offers chatbot and messaging solutions for hotels

The main point of this new technology is not to remove human resources. Rather, it is to deal with frequent queries so that the staff can focus on highly valuable conversations where the human touch really makes a difference. 

4. Make smarter decisions with big data and keep it safe

Data has always been a challenge for hoteliers. Mainly because until recently, most hotel management systems were data prisons rather than data hubs. A new generation of cloud-based softwares, such as Mews and Cloudbeds, is leading the way to better data management for hotels. 

This new generation of PMS has an ecosystem approach where they enable data to flow seamlessly between the PMS and the other component of the hotel ecosystem (Revenue management system, CRM, channel manager chatbot, etc.)

According to them, GDPR is a constraint and an opportunity for hotels to move to modern-day data management. 

5. Remove friction points at check-in/check-out

For many hotels, check-in and check-out have more friction points than anything else. By giving customers the option to check-in/out remotely, hotel owners can reduce the waiting time and frustration at the front desk. Also, receptionists are then able to build relationships instead of spending most of their customer-facing time managing administrative processes. 

Some technologies such as Mews already allow self check-in, but everyone has to make do with their existing tech stack and start from somewhere. The Chess Hotel, Paris, doesn’t offer self check-in. However, it uses the Quicktext SMS service to send pre-arrival text messages to guests, to find out their estimated time of arrival. Thanks to this simple idea, the front desk can be properly staffed and welcome guests in the best conditions every day. 

One of my favorite initiatives is Village Hotels in the UK. They offer self check-in combined with human interaction. The village Hotels made it super simple for guests to manage the check-in process on their own, but they are never far away from a receptionist.

village hotels check in desk Ai in 2020 for hotels quicktext

Check-in desk at Village Hotels

Technology moves fast and these 5 trends are just the beginning. The key to smart hotel innovation is focussing on technologies that help hoteliers meet guest expectations and drive revenues. 

If you would like to know more about smart technology for hotels and AI in 2020, or have questions about hotel chatbots, visit our website or contact Benjamin Devisme.

This article has been inspired by a previous publication

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