Artificial intelligence (AI) will enable hotel front desk staff to focus on customer needs rather than administrative drudgery, said one expert speaking at ITB Berlin.
“I don’t believe the front desk disappears, it just changes over time,” said Adam Harris, Chief Executive Officer of Cloudbeds. “Technology is driving opportunities to change the front desk first impression.”
Harris says customers expect even mainline hotels to offer the boutique experience of less conventional properties.
To satisfy this demand, less conventional hotels are off-loading check in, room service, and other requests to platforms like Wishbox, a pre-check-in platform that Harris said reduces front-desk work load by 80 percent.
He cited the Walker Inn Bed & Breakfast, located in the Historic District of Bell Buckle, Tennessee, as an example of a small hotel that has mastered the art of unburdening its staff.
“The Walker doesn’t look modern, but it is,” Harris said. “It is using Hoperator [a live chat and messaging CRM for hotels] to allow guests to chat with their small staff of three guests” who can now focus on up-selling and higher-value tasks.
Cloudbeds markets automation software to the travel industry.
This is strictly an exclusive feature, reprints of this article in any shape or form without prior written approval from 4Hoteliers.com is not permitted. Michael Scaturro is reporting exclusively for 4Hoteliers.com at ITB Berlin 2019 - www.4Hoteliers.com/itb.
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