How Safir Hotels Leverages Automation to Improve the Guest Experience

In the course of ReviewPro’s webinar, The New Hybrid Hotel: Personnel & Technological know-how Doing work in Tandem, we invited Shazia Nazir, Company Supervisor, Guest Intelligence at Safir Lodges & Resorts, to share how her firm has carried out automation to boost the guest expertise. Under are the highlights from our Q&A session.

Tell us about Safir Resorts & Resorts and your job with the company.

Centered in Kuwait, Safir Inns & Resorts (SHR) manages a portfolio of 10 motels in Kuwait, Egypt, Oman, Qatar, Lebanon, and Syria. The company’s growth strategy aims to share Genuine Arabian Hospitality by handling midscale and upscale inns and serviced residences inside of the Center East & North Africa region. As the to start with Arabian hospitality administration corporation, the enterprise has a wealth of experience in bringing price to resort development jobs and lucrative lodge functions.

Notify us about your function with the enterprise.

My purpose involves taking care of brand popularity and visitor intelligence, which is ever more vital in market place positioning and visitor perception administration. I am also responsible for gathering competitive sector intelligence and controlling digital analytics employing superior instruments.

In 2017, Safir deployed ReviewPro’s Visitor Working experience System, including the Visitor Communications resolution. These tools assist Safir regularly gauge the degree of visitor satisfaction by monitoring effectiveness insights, thus allowing for us to also emphasis on non-money general performance KPIs and develop into a lot more visitor support oriented as an firm.

Why is automation significant to your organization?

Enabling automation and artificial intelligence to strengthen the visitor working experience aids Safir supply seamlessly by reducing human error while also supporting present guest-centric, individualized support and tailor-made tips. This opens important time to fully grasp our guests’ journey much more in-depth and target on furnishing the facts and working experience they are entitled to. Our visitor becomes the middle of our interest, not the check-in method, with several measures all around which our visitors revolve.

We feel that synthetic intelligence plays a vital part in knowing guest behavior and predicting purchasing conclusions. AI-run chatbots and well-liked equipment understanding apps also greatly enhance hotel value-earnings evaluation and guest activities if resorts can strike a delicate balance between human versus tech touchpoints.

Electronic know-how has brought about huge prospects to innovate and realize efficiencies, but it also has exponentially amplified the effect of word of mouth. Social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and assessment internet sites like Google and Tripadvisor have empowered attendees to share their praises and grievances to a considerably wider audience indelibly. Therefore, it has become additional significant than at any time for Safir to align with the technological know-how disruptions in these platforms to keep its on line status and foster repeat enterprise.

Automation unlocks new prospects for Safir. Embedding related units across the lodge delivers sleek electronic obtain to amenities like room keys, lighting, and entertainment. It also leverages to get rid of queues for check-in and look at-out. Migrating and controlling customer databases and POS systems on the cloud is also necessary as it makes it possible for us to produce a standardized and uniform encounter to our guests.

What places of the visitor knowledge do you think must be automatic, and which ought to be sent personally by staff?

It’s quick to get carried away with buzzy trends like automation, chatbots, and artificial intelligence. The risk is we as hoteliers will start out automating items basically for automation’s sake or since we think we should really imitate what other motels are carrying out devoid of looking at all the complexities exceptional to our model.

Safir analyzes the utility, chance, and time needed to automate daily mundane and repetitive duties. Shockingly, in some cases it’s far more highly-priced and inefficient to automate than to do the position manually! At other moments, we’re astonished at how lengthy it took us to automate a task. We should really think very carefully about what must be automated and what must be sent personally.

For illustration, answers to basic queries concerning repetitive lodge products and services and facilities can be automated to be managed by a chatbot. Even so, anticipating guests’ desires and featuring them a calming welcome consume so the guest is comfortable throughout the examine-in method can’t be automatic. Likewise, personalised consideration to friends in the foyer cafe while ordering drinks, having their orders just ideal, and remembering their favored brand name of drinks are intuitive characteristics that an automated system can’t replicate.

What visitor-facing spots have you automated at your enterprise?

Safir Resorts & Resorts understands the urgency for effective, flexible, and long lasting know-how. All our attributes have adopted automation in three critical locations to supply service excellence, decrease value, and optimize ROI.

  • Hotel Task Administration: Automated alerts and well-described workflows assist deliver messages and tasks to the assigned personnel so that they are finished in a well timed fashion. Instances can also be automatic by way of outlined approaches or escalated to the housekeeping or engineering workforce who can comprehensive the undertaking by the assigned deadline and filter out the noise.
  • Visitor Feedback Administration: Safir responds to write-up-stay visitor assessments in just 24 to 48 several hours, based on the nature of grievances, and within two several hours for in-continue to be critiques. Probable attendees appear at the most recent assessments when deciding on a hotel. By means of our automatic job management technique, the relevant workforce receives notified whenever a neutral or negative overview comes in. It escalates to a visitor representative right away when the reviews are not responded to on time. This would make absolutely sure that our administration reaction time is effectively under 24 several hours.
  • Visitor Messaging: Safir carried out an productive, AI-driven chatbot named Safia that automates the visitor journey from pre-arrival to examine-out to satisfy a market place want distinctive to repeated tourists, millennials, and era Z travelers. Our intensive market place research unveiled that these guest segments want much less confront-to-face make contact with with hotel personnel, needing to converse by using their products on the messaging channels of their alternative. In addition, they be expecting immediate, productive, and correct responses to their queries.

An AI self-learning chatbot, Safia, drives our guest messaging hub by means of automatic workflows, alerts, and notifications. Safia responds to usually questioned thoughts and even tends to housekeeping requests or directs them to an agent who can provide successfully.

How did you roll out Visitor Communications and the Chatbot to team and attendees to make sure a smooth implementation and adoption?

Employing an automated guest messaging hub was only half the good results. For it to work effectively, we desired to be certain that our colleagues understood how to use the options effectively and that our guests knew what we had been featuring as a messaging platform via which they could initiate speak to.

We properly trained our personnel and developed branding recommendations to introduce what guest messaging is and what every single of its salient features are – like the landing website page, webchat construction, what to be expecting from our AI-run chatbot Safia, and how to proficiently use QR codes of landing pages in their communications and guest collateral.

To guidance the service’s launch, we made collateral, social media techniques, and artwork to equip all our qualities to start a campaign to inform our company of the assistance. By scanning a QR code, guests can watch a record of channels and select the 1 hassle-free for them. Effective implementation of the chatbot resulted in Safia becoming capable to cope with 86.1% of the requests from 324 exceptional end users all through the pandemic.

What troubles have you confronted together the way?

Implementing the wished-for automation can be complicated, deriving from the willingness of employees and attendees to use the technologies and adapt it to the hotel’s organization. During the pandemic, Safir morphed through its demo-and-error period and worked to overcome numerous problems. One particular of the principal challenges was education the chatbot. Nonetheless, ReviewPro presented us with a pre-skilled, AI-driven chatbot that took months off the implementation program. We were able to go stay somewhat quicker than anticipated.

For visitor messaging, owing to distinctive place regulations, some of the conversation channels ended up not as efficient as anticipated. Thus, we needed to personalize the relevancy of the channels that had been much more suitable to the international locations in which our resorts were found. In the Center East, Arabic is a commonly spoken language, and several evaluations and discussions were being in Arabic. ReviewPro employs Google APIs (application software interfaces) for that reason, the translation ordinarily did not convey the sentiments correctly.

What 5 recommendations do you have for other hoteliers thinking about implementing automatic services?

  • Automation workflows really should reflect the organizational group competently so that every single facet of functions is highlighted.
  • Existing or potential devices really should integrate suitable APIs with the wanted automated units. Technological know-how need to evolve with time and upgrades or be compatible with the wished-for automatic units.
  • The visitor journey wants to be mapped out in depth so the gaps or concentrate locations for automation can be described.
  • For the duration of the onboarding and offboarding processes, assure continuity is managed in the workflow method so nothing at all falls through the gaps.
  • Assure the programs can keep an eye on and evaluate the effects of these automation and new tactics to remain applicable. You require to measure how automation positively impacts your organization.

Why do you think automation is additional about improving upon general performance than replacing staff?

Safir prides itself on high-quality company and sharing genuine hospitality that is sent by our colleagues on a day by day basis. We do not stray away from the notion that the accommodations are a people’s business enterprise and that embracing automation does not imply replacing human assistance with robots. The classification “Staff” positively impacts our Worldwide Review Index™ (GRI™) by .7%. This shows the key is locating the correct equilibrium between human interventions and automatic procedures. And, most importantly, we give friends overall flexibility and offer you them a decision.

The concern of whether or not AI will change human personnel assumes that AI and humans have the same qualities and talents, but in actuality they really do not. AI-dependent equipment are quicker, much more accurate and continually rational, but they are not intuitive, emotional, or culturally delicate. And it’s specifically these capabilities that individuals possess which make us productive.

Safir understands if the visitor desires large touch company or the technologies is overused in functions, this will negatively affect our guest expertise. Know-how is not here to switch anybody but to present assistance and boost visitor services ordeals. It also doesn’t necessarily mean forcing guests to use their phones and applications if they’re not relaxed with them. The strategy is to present them a choice so attendees can pick to test in on their cell phone or with the assistance from front office employees. Hospitality is and usually will be about providing great and exceptional support.

Thank you, Shazia!

Check out the site of Safir Lodges & Resorts to master additional about the enterprise.

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