a character holding a broken heart reflecting the importance of a personal touch in hospitality and not an over reliance on ai in hotel technology

As renowned author Maya Angelou once said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” This sentiment is at the core of what most hoteliers strive to achieve for guests during their stays, with a keen focus on guest satisfaction remaining an essential element of any successful property’s operations.

NB: This is an article from Aptech

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However, with technology’s growing role in hospitality optimization, the companies providing systems and solutions to hotel organizations may not always share the same mindset. Although artificial intelligence (AI) and automation are continuing to enhance the speed and efficiency of many hotel processes, customer service has often suffered, and personal interactions are increasingly hard to come by. Especially in an industry grounded in hospitality and personalization, this approach seems counterintuitive.

Why Personal Interaction Still Matters

As reported in a recent survey by McKinsey & Company, “Respondents of all ages said that live phone conversations were among their most preferred methods of contacting companies for help and support. That finding held true even among 18- to 28-year-old Gen Z consumers, a cohort that favors text and social messaging for interpersonal communications.”

Many organizations are also finding that customers of varying ages are tiring of digital self service and like the option of getting a customized, quick resolution for a specific problem from someone who understands their industry and their unique challenges – like live support personnel for the hospitality industry. A customer service representative who is familiar with that organization’s challenges and has a history with them is far more likely to solve their problem and solve it quickly as they have a personal knowledge of the company and its previous challenges as well as how they were resolved.

In fact in the U.S., “(Consumers) overwhelmingly prefer to interact with a live person when dealing with customer service reps,” echoed another recent industry poll. The survey reported that 69% of respondents list talking to a live agent by phone as one of their top three preferred forms of communication when trying to reach a company’s customer service department. Additionally, “willingness to help”, “ability to solve my issue”, and “knowledge about the product or service” ranked among the top three most important qualities of customer service agents.

Read the full article at Aptech