There is nothing new about personalisation in the hotel industry. Tailoring the guest experience has always been a cornerstone of good hospitality, with hotel employees learning about their guests' preferences and habits to provide shape their experiences. We tend to talk about personalisation as though it is a new phenomenon, but what’s changed is the accessibility, impact and cost of doing it. Over time, personalisation has evolved, and technology and AI have played a significant role in this transformation.
In the past, for example, hotel employees might take a note of guests' likes and dislikes and do little things for them to make their stay more enjoyable. For instance, a guest might receive their preferred newspaper each morning or a particular brand of bottled water in their room. These small gestures helped hotels stand out and build loyalty.
However, as the hospitality industry grew, so too did the demands of modern consumers. It has become increasingly difficult to maintain a personal touch as hotels had more guests with more needs to cater to. Additionally, the cost of providing these personalised services through hotel staff is high, making it a challenge for hotels to scale without sacrificing quality.
Enter technology and AI. With the advent of new technologies, hotels can now gather and analyse vast amounts of data to personalise their guests' experiences. It is possible to provide better, more personalised experiences than before, while significantly reducing the costs at the same time. For example, hotels can learn about guests' trips, their interests and their behavour, including their preferences, activities, and spending habits. This information can be used to create tailored recommendations during their stay, such as where to go and when.
Moreover, AI-powered chatbots and voice assistants can now interact with guests, providing them with instant answers to their questions and fulfilling requests. This helps hotels reduce costs while providing even more personalisation, leading to increased revenue, reduced costs and better customer satisfaction.
Guests have always appreciated personalised services, but they are now demanding it more than ever before. According to a survey by Accenture, 83% of guests are willing to share their data in exchange for personalised experiences. Furthermore, 44% of guests said they would be willing to pay more for a personalised experience, according to a survey by Salesforce.
Personalisation is not new. It has been a crucial aspect of the hotel industry since it began. Like most industries, the service was delivered with great cost by hotel employees learning about guests to provide tailored experiences. With the advent of technology and rapid development of AI we are now experiencing, personalisation has become easier and cheaper, allowing hotels to scale while still providing personalised experiences to guests. Guests appreciate these personalised experiences and are increasingly demanding them. According to search from Hilton, 86% of travellers now expect personalisation.
It is clear that hotels who invest in personalisation are going to reap the benefits in the form of reduced staffing costs, increased revenue and improved customer satisfaction.