Cofounder at UpperKey. Passionate about property management, real estate investments, proptech and driving international business growth.
Throughout my career, I’ve been drawn to technologies that streamline processes, reduce workloads and free up time to explore bigger issues. We’ve seen incredible technological leaps in hotel management, but how can we continue to use new technologies to improve customer service and property management operations, as this will play a considerable part in our success?
When I heard about ChatGPT, my working world became a little more exciting. It’s the most significant advance in AI conversation and interaction to date. Why? It follows complex instructions, remembers discussions, is creative and delivers results in a fluid, natural language. And it’s lightning fast.
The latest iteration, GPT-4, is multimodal—it recognizes images and text and can manage far longer-form enquiries and conversations. Working independently or collaborating, it writes poetry, songs and stories. It also programs code, creates software and webpages and works in multiple languages.
It also delivers an advanced customer service chatbot that can do more, remember more and say it better. It can handle far more requests than your teams, lowering stress levels and reducing workloads. It’s efficient and very close to human.
When streamlining your organization’s daily work, everyone wins: Managers contend with less data management, customer services teams only deal with the most complex enquiries, sales and marketing take advantage of data-driven strategies and, of course, guests will have enhanced operations at their fingertips.
In this article, I’ll look at some potential use cases for ChatGPT in hotel management. In addition to enhancing our customer service chat, my company is currently working with ChatGPT on delivering local events tips that affect pricing and occupancy strategies. However, it’s not all smooth sailing, as we’ll consider further in this article.
How To Implement ChatGPT In Hotel Management
To implement a ChatGPT chatbot into your website, you’ll need an account with OpenAI (with the appropriate pricing structure for your chosen chatbot) and another with one of the plug-in providers suitable for your website. The plug-in providers handle technical issues, generally with a setup wizard or control panel, for the less tech-minded. Finally, there’s a line of code to copy and paste into your website.
Of course, that’s a simplified explanation, but there’s documentation on the OpenAI website and from your chosen plug-in provider. The OpenAI documentation guides users about usage, models, tokens and budgets. Your plug-in provider should cover how your chatbot learns, looks and functions.
Implementing your chatbot is the first step. What comes after depends on your efforts. Here are a few ideas:
1. Advanced Customer Support
ChatGPT can offer personalized communications with customers, offering the ability to provide:
• Personalized room suggestions, facilities, services and activities, bespoke to each customer enquiry.
• Stay management, including bookings (and cancellations) with recommendations based on enquiries or previous visits’ data.
• Directions, instructions, suggestions and tips.
• Complaint management.
2. Optimized Services
Likewise, ChatGPT offers the opportunity to improve existing services with:
• Digital check-ins.
• Room service.
• Personalized food choices and suggestions.
• Managed loyalty programs and reward incentives.
3. Virtual Concierge
It also allows you to streamline concierge services with:
• Personalized local entertainment and dining opportunities.
• Transport links.
• Activity, sports and leisure venues.
• Cultural venues and sight-seeing opportunities.
• Education, lifestyle, heritage programs and visitor attractions.
4. Multi-Language Support
ChatGPT knows and works in 10 natural languages, allowing hotels to break down with real-time translations between guests and customer service staff. In addition, it knows several programming languages that allow it to create code and programs.
5. Data Analysis
ChatGPT can access your records and analyze everything from guest demands, orders and requests to suppliers, bookings and service engagements. Compared to human operation, the time it takes to examine data sets and uncover patterns and behaviors is incomparable. Feedback, reviews and information analysis can also detect problems and complaint themes.
6. Enhanced Marketing
Finally, ChatGPT can advance your marketing efforts with trend predictions as well as promotional, social media, SEO and email campaign strategies.
Not All That Glitters—Challenges With Implementation
As with any significant change, it’s not always easy or straightforward. ChatGPT is still in its infancy, and its developers have their own wrinkles to iron out. Here are a few potential issues you might face:
Works On Outdated Knowledge
The model works on data training resources that ended in 2021, which means it hasn’t accessed the most up-to-date information. There’s also the issue with AI “hallucinating,” making up facts based on its findings. However, extensions are being introduced that access web data for up-to-the-minute results, and ChatGPT-4 is considered more reliable than its predecessor.
Implementation And ‘Training’
A key issue will be implementing it into your current operations. Getting your tech to talk to each other and accessing data in usable formats isn’t easy. It has to integrate with booking systems, payment gateways, loyalty programs, communications, CRMs and other data pools.
Training ChatGPT to work for you within your resources is another job for your IT team and AI experts. It must also learn industry terminology to provide accurate and relevant results.
Just like your human staff, ChatGPT is going to drop the ball from time to time. It’ll need monitoring, updating, training and optimizing to keep it functioning accurately. Being responsible for so many of a hotel or property’s essential functions could spell disaster if errors creep in.
A Little ‘Flat’ Or Expressionless
So far, despite suggestions that it can match your brand voice, I’ve yet to see proof. Although, that one’s more a case of when than if, looking at its progression so far.
As tech races forward, we must decide which new technologies to invest in and implement. AI brings so much to the table. It will likely infiltrate all of our technology systems. Only you can decide whether right now is the right time for you and if the merits outweigh the issues. Regardless of your decision, it’s crucial to understand the potential use cases as well as how it would work in your strategy.
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