Learning From Other Industries About Artificial Intelligence

By Susan Tinnish Advisory Group Chair, Vistage | June 10, 2018

Artificial intelligence (AI) existed since the 1950s, but it is only recently has computing power, availability of data and the underlying technology advanced to make it viable in businesses. Artificial intelligence relies upon and includes a variety of technologies and tools including digitization, analytics, big data, and deep learning.

Thierry Hubert, founder and CEO of Darwin Ecosystem, describes AI as "Pattern detection is the fundamental ingredient of all cognitive computing associated with AI…AI unifies our collective knowledge and augments our reasoning ability." Most of us have had experience with AI even if we don't recognize it as such.

A quick list of every-day AI applications includes Netflix offering suggestions based on previous viewing choices, Google Maps providing the best route with the shortest time in real time, Mobile bank deposits deciphering handwriting on checks, Email spam filters that learn what the user considers spam, and Online ads appearing based on past purchases or past searches.

AI Already Present in Hotel Industry

Customer service is a fundamental aspect of the industry. AI provides new possibilities for improving customer service and increase personalization and tailor recommendations to enhance the customer experience. Hotels are using AI to surpasses customer expectations:

Customer Service

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Coming up in February 2019...

Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.