Right through ReviewPro’s webinar, The New Hybrid Resort: Workforce & Generation Running in Tandem, we invited Shazia Nazir, Company Supervisor, Visitor Intelligence at Safir Inns & Motels, to proportion how her corporate has applied automation to support the visitor revel in. Underneath are the highlights from our Q&A consultation.

Safir Hotels & Resorts leverages automation to improve the guest experience

Let us know about Safir Inns & Motels and your function with the corporate.

Based totally in Kuwait, Safir Inns & Motels (SHR) manages a portfolio of 10 motels in Kuwait, Egypt, Oman, Qatar, Lebanon, and Syria. The corporate’s expansion technique targets to proportion True Arabian Hospitality through managing midscale and upscale motels and serviced flats throughout the Heart East & North Africa area. As the primary Arabian hospitality control corporate, the corporate has a wealth of revel in in bringing worth to lodge building initiatives and winning lodge operations.

Let us know about your function with the corporate.

My function comes to managing logo popularity and visitor intelligence, which is an increasing number of necessary in marketplace positioning and visitor belief control. I’m additionally accountable for collecting aggressive marketplace intelligence and managing virtual analytics the use of complicated gear.

In 2017, Safir deployed ReviewPro’s Visitor Revel in Platform, together with the Visitor Communications resolution. Those gear lend a hand Safir continuously gauge the extent of visitor pride through tracking efficiency insights, thereby permitting us to additionally center of attention on non-financial efficiency KPIs and change into extra visitor carrier orientated as a company.

Why is automation necessary on your corporate?

Safir Hotels & Resorts outdoors

Enabling automation and synthetic intelligence to support the visitor revel in is helping Safir ship seamlessly through getting rid of human error whilst additionally serving to supply guest-centric, personalised carrier and adapted suggestions. This opens precious time to grasp our visitors’ adventure extra in-depth and concentrate on offering the ideas and revel in they deserve. Our visitor turns into the middle of our consideration, now not the check-in procedure, with a couple of steps round which our visitors revolve.

We imagine that synthetic intelligence performs a the most important function in working out visitor conduct and predicting buying selections. AI-powered chatbots and widespread device studying programs additionally fortify lodge cost-revenue research and visitor stories if motels can strike a gentle stability between human as opposed to tech touchpoints.

Virtual generation has led to immense alternatives to innovate and reach efficiencies, but it surely additionally has exponentially amplified the affect of phrase of mouth. Social platforms like Fb, Instagram, and Twitter and evaluate internet sites like Google and Tripadvisor have empowered visitors to proportion their praises and grievances to a significantly wider target audience indelibly. Thus, it has change into extra important than ever for Safir to align with the generation disruptions in such platforms to handle its on-line popularity and foster repeat industry.

Automation unlocks new probabilities for Safir. Embedding attached units around the lodge supplies clean virtual get right of entry to to facilities like room keys, lighting fixtures, and leisure. It additionally leverages to get rid of queues for check-in and check-out. Migrating and managing buyer databases and POS methods at the cloud may be crucial because it lets in us to ship a standardized and uniform revel in to our visitors.

What spaces of the visitor revel in do you assume must be automatic, and which must be delivered individually through personnel?

Safir Hotels & Resorts room

It’s simple to get over excited with buzzy tendencies like automation, chatbots, and synthetic intelligence. The chance is we as hoteliers will get started automating issues merely for automation’s sake or as a result of we expect we must imitate what different motels are doing with out bearing in mind all of the complexities distinctive to our logo.

Safir analyzes the software, likelihood, and time required to automate day-to-day mundane and repetitive duties. Unusually, on occasion it’s extra pricey and inefficient to automate than to do the task manually! At different instances, we’re amazed at how lengthy it took us to automate a role. We must consider carefully about what must be automatic and what must be delivered individually.

For instance, solutions to basic queries relating to repetitive lodge products and services and amenities will also be automatic to be treated through a chatbot. Alternatively, expecting visitors’ wishes and providing them a relaxing welcome drink so the visitor is at ease all over the check-in procedure can’t be automatic. In a similar fashion, personalised consideration to visitors within the foyer cafe whilst ordering drinks, getting their orders excellent, and remembering their favourite logo of beverages are intuitive attributes that an automatic machine can not mirror.

What guest-facing spaces have you ever automatic at your corporate?

Safir Hotel room

Safir Inns & Motels understands the urgency for environment friendly, versatile, and lasting generation. All our homes have followed automation in 3 key spaces to ship carrier excellence, scale back charge, and maximize ROI.

  1. Resort Process Control: Automatic indicators and well-defined workflows lend a hand ship messages and duties to the assigned personnel in order that they’re finished in a well timed means. Instances may also be automatic via explained methods or escalated to the home tasks or engineering crew who can whole the duty through the assigned time limit and filter the noise.
  2. Visitor Comments Control: Safir responds to post-stay visitor critiques inside 24 to 48 hours, relying at the nature of grievances, and inside two hours for in-stay critiques. Possible visitors take a look at the newest critiques when selecting a lodge. Via our automatic activity control machine, the related crew will get notified every time a impartial or detrimental evaluate is available in. It escalates to a visitor consultant straight away when the feedback don’t seem to be spoke back to on time. This makes positive that our control reaction time is definitely below 24 hours.
  3. Visitor Messaging: Safir applied an effective, AI-driven chatbot known as Safia that automates the visitor adventure from pre-arrival to check-out to satisfy a marketplace want distinctive to widespread vacationers, millennials, and technology Z vacationers. Our in depth marketplace analysis published that those visitor segments desire much less face-to-face touch with lodge personnel, wanting to be in contact by the use of their units at the messaging channels in their selection. As well as, they be expecting speedy, environment friendly, and correct responses to their queries.

An AI self-learning chatbot, Safia, drives our visitor messaging hub via automatic workflows, indicators, and notifications. Safia responds to regularly requested questions or even has a tendency to home tasks requests or directs them to an agent who can ship successfully.

How did you roll out Visitor Communications and the Chatbot to personnel and visitors to make sure a clean implementation and adoption?

Safir Hotels guest messaging

Enforcing an automatic visitor messaging hub was once best part the good fortune. For it to paintings properly, we had to make certain that our colleagues knew easy methods to use the answers successfully and that our visitors knew what we have been providing as a messaging platform during which they might begin touch.

We skilled our personnel and evolved branding pointers to introduce what visitor messaging is and what each and every of its salient options are – just like the touchdown web page, webchat construction, what to anticipate from our AI-powered chatbot Safia, and easy methods to successfully use QR codes of touchdown pages of their communications and visitor collateral.

To give a boost to the carrier’s release, we evolved collateral, social media methods, and paintings to equip all our homes to release a marketing campaign to tell our visitors of the carrier. Via scanning a QR code, visitors can view an inventory of channels and pick out the only handy for them. A hit implementation of the chatbot led to Safia with the ability to take care of 86.1% of the requests from 324 distinctive customers all over the pandemic.

What demanding situations have you ever confronted alongside the best way? Safir Hotels & Resorts entrance

Enforcing the required automation will also be difficult, deriving from the willingness of staff and visitors to make use of the generation and adapt it to the lodge’s group. Right through the pandemic, Safir morphed via its trial-and-error section and labored to triumph over many demanding situations. One of the crucial major demanding situations was once coaching the chatbot. Alternatively, ReviewPro supplied us with a pre-trained, AI-driven chatbot that took months off the implementation agenda. We have been in a position to head are living somewhat quicker than expected.

For visitor messaging, because of other nation rules, probably the most communique channels weren’t as efficient as expected. Due to this fact, we had to customise the relevancy of the channels that have been extra related to the international locations by which our motels have been situated. Within the Heart East, Arabic is a broadly spoken language, and plenty of critiques and conversations have been in Arabic. ReviewPro makes use of Google APIs (software program interfaces); subsequently, the interpretation most often didn’t put across the feelings appropriately.

What 5 guidelines do you’ve for different hoteliers bearing in mind imposing automatic products and services?

  1. Automation workflows must replicate the organizational crew successfully in order that each and every facet of operations is highlighted.
  2. Current or long run methods must combine appropriate APIs with the required automatic methods. Generation must evolve with time and upgrades or be appropriate with the required automatic methods.
  3. The visitor adventure must be mapped out intimately so the gaps or center of attention spaces for automation will also be explained.
  4. Right through the onboarding and offboarding processes, be certain continuity is maintained within the workflow procedure so not anything falls in the course of the gaps.
  5. Ensure that the methods can observe and assess the affect of such automation and new practices to stick related. You wish to have to measure how automation definitely affects your online business.

Why do you assume automation is extra about bettering efficiency than changing staff?

Safir Hotels & Resort photo

Safir prides itself on high quality carrier and sharing original hospitality this is delivered through our colleagues every day. We don’t stray clear of the perception that the motels are a folks’s industry and that embracing automation doesn’t imply changing human carrier with robots. The class “Workforce” definitely affects our International Evaluate Index (GRI) through 0.7%. This presentations the secret is discovering the suitable stability between human interventions and automatic processes. And, most significantly, we give visitors flexibility and be offering them a call.

The query of whether or not AI will change human staff assumes that AI and people have the similar qualities and talents, however actually they don’t. AI-based machines are sooner, extra correct and persistently rational, however they aren’t intuitive, emotional, or culturally delicate. And it’s exactly those skills that people possess which make us efficient.

Safir understands if the visitor wants top contact carrier or the generation is overused in operations, this may increasingly negatively affect our visitor revel in. Generation isn’t right here to exchange any person however to supply give a boost to and fortify visitor carrier stories. It additionally doesn’t imply forcing visitors to make use of their telephones and programs in the event that they’re now not pleased with them. The speculation is to supply them a call so visitors can select to envision in on their telephone or with the the help of entrance place of work personnel. Hospitality is and at all times might be about turning in very good and outstanding carrier.

Thanks, Shazia!

Take a look at the site of Safir Inns & Motels to be informed extra concerning the corporate.

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