Revolutionizing Hospitality: The Impact of Generative AI & ChatGPT
Table of Contents
- ChatGPT in Travel & Hospitality
- ChatGPT: The Basics of NLP
- Using ChatGPT in Travel & Hospitality Businesses
- ChatGPT Use Cases for Hospitality & Travel
- Advantages of Using ChatGPT in Hospitality
- Disadvantages of Using ChatGPT in Hospitality
- Where to Start Using AI in the Hotel and Transportation
- Additional Resources
ChatGPT: The Basics of Natural Language Processing
ChatGPT is a Generative AI tool that utilizes a Generative Pre-training Transformer (GPT), a family of Large Language Models (LLM) to facilitate Natural Language Processing (NLP) and hold realistic, human-like conversations with participants, often providing information and guidance along the way.
That’s a lot of acronyms to unpack. But while the technology powering ChatGPT is sophisticated, the idea behind it is relatively simple. This tool has been trained on billions of examples of language in action, and human interaction, allowing it to better “understand” how humans use language in a natural capacity.
Accordingly, it can readily understand and process prompts and inquiries from human beings and provide them with intelligent, seemingly thoughtful responses.
In its current state, ChatGPT is able to consult with sources all over the Internet to provide information, context, and even ideas to the people interacting with it. If you ask it a question, it will have an answer. And that answer is often surprisingly good. You can also encourage ChatGPT to generate text in a specific way, for a specific purpose, such as prompting it to draft a welcome email to your newest subscribers.
ChatGPT isn’t the only generative AI technology available; it just happens to be one of the most popularly known, since it’s associated with OpenAI and is freely available to the general public.
It’s also common for travel and hotel industry businesses to create their own custom AI tools, training them on unique data sets and sources of information relevant to the hospitality industry.
How Travel Businesses & Hotel Industry Use ChatGPT
The best way to implicitly understand what ChatGPT is and how it works is to try it for yourself. Visit the OpenAI website and sign up for an account to get started.
Once you have an AI assistant and an account in place, start experimenting. Ask ChatGPT some questions about how the hospitality industry works, or ask it to come up with a name for a new business in the industry.
Once you find success with a handful of prompts, you’ll begin to see why so many hospitality and travel industry entrepreneurs are excited about this promising new technology.
With the right framing, you could use it to generate new ideas for products and services, provide more robust customer service, generate marketing materials, and even audit your past efforts.
Since generative AI is still in the early days of development and adoption, it’s hard to say what its limitations are in the long term. Already, hospitality businesses are using this technology to save money, increase productivity, and make customers happier – and in the coming years, this effect is only going to become more powerful.
ChatGPT Use Cases for Hospitality and Travel
But how, specifically, are hospitality and travel industry businesses using ChatGPT?
How can you use this tool and other generative AI tools to gain a meaningful advantage over your competitors?
Let’s take a look at use cases across a variety of applications.
Harnessing the power of conversational AI, ChatGPT is redefining customer service in the travel and hospitality sectors. It allows for immediate, personalized interactions, reducing waiting times and enhancing customer experiences.
Providing information on amenities, bookings, etc
When your customers visit your website or otherwise start the booking and reservation process, they typically require information. They want to know your pricing, available amenities, rules and restrictions, and room availability and location before they make a final decision.
Handling these types of questions and requests is repetitive and tedious, making it the perfect candidate for an AI solution.
Streamlining the booking/reservation process
ChatGPT may also be able to help you streamline the booking and reservation process. Facilitating customer requests, organizing information, and automatically carrying out specific instructions can expedite the process for both customers and your business.
Providing information to customers
Hospitality industry businesses can also use generative AI to provide information to customers in a simplified way that everyone can understand.
You might be responding to incoming customer questions, or you might be proactively preparing an email to notify customers of an upcoming change; whatever your motivation is, you can use your conversational AI interface to generate a draft of your communication.
Resolving customer problems
Countless businesses are already using sophisticated chatbots to provide excellent customer service and resolve customer problems. With ChatGPT and the modern wave of generative AI tools, you’ll have access to greater capabilities than ever before.
In addition to responding to common customer questions and walking customers through troubleshooting steps, you can use these tools to brainstorm novel solutions, understand customer needs, and more.
Translating and facilitating smoother communication
While it’s still not perfect, AI translation has come a long way. In the travel industry, you will be working with people who speak many different languages, so it’s important to be able to provide a universal customer service experience.
With the help of ChatGPT, even agents who speak only a single language should be able to interface with nearly all of your travelers and customers.
Drafting updates and notifications
When you have to update your customers on closures, schedule changes, amenity improvements, and other matters, it’s important to nail the wording.
ChatGPT and other generative AI tools can help you do it, providing you with outlines and drafts.
Processing customer satisfaction & sentiment
As a customer service agent, you probably know when a customer is happy and when they’re irritated.
But sometimes, analyzing customer sentiment based on written language is difficult. ChatGPT and its contemporary generative AI bots have become veritable experts in analyzing sentiment; processing a few paragraphs is all it takes to determine what a customer is feeling.
ChatGPT can also help you organize, review, and process data related to your hospitality industry and business operations.
Reviewing travel data
What are the latest trends in the travel industry?
How are things changing for businesses like yours? ChatGPT can provide you with high-level reports on the latest findings in the hospitality and travel industry (up through 2021, for now) and help you better understand the context of your own business data.
Analyzing guest requests & trends
You can also use these powerful AI tools to analyze trends among your guests.
By asking ChatGPT about your latest metrics (such as revenue per available room, average length of stay, guest satisfaction, or occupancy rate), you may be able to analyze some of your biggest challenges in the industry – and come up with ideas for how to address them.
Summarizing reviews, etc
Hospitality and travel industry businesses thrive or die based on reviews; if you have a large number of people leaving positive reviews, and few (if any) negative reviews, your business will have far greater visibility online content and much more persuasive power to new prospects and visitors.
However, combing through these reviews can be time-consuming. ChatGPT and other AI tools can help you analyze customer reviews at a glance, summarize them, and provide direction for how to respond.
Monitoring interaction quality
AI tools can also help you monitor the quality of your customer interactions. You can summarize and analyze the responses of your customer service agents, analyze the customer experience and sentiment, and process overall customer service data so you can cultivate better customer experiences.
Marketing and Advertising
Are you interested in seeing better marketing campaigns and advertising results? Generative AI tools can help you with this as well.
If you’re struggling to come up with a new angle for your brand or a new campaign to differentiate your brand from the brands of your rivals, ChatGPT may be able to help. Tell it, or a similar generative AI tool, all about your business and what you’re hoping to achieve in your latest marketing campaign. It may be able to help you find a new direction.
Are you interested in writing new pay-per-click (PPC) ads? Or include more persuasive calls to action (CTAs) throughout your website and social media accounts? ChatGPT can get you started, though you’ll still need to give these pieces of copywriting a final review before you publish them.
ChatGPT can also help you draft and generate email ideas for your loyal customers, subscribers, and prospects.
And if you’re stuck on a tough business problem, or if you just need more creativity injected into your organization, consider relying on ChatGPT for this as well.
New products and services
How can you serve your customers even better? Can you offer them new products, services, or extras that make their lives easier? Are there new ways for your business to generate revenue? ChatGPT isn’t an all-knowing business mogul, but it can help you come up with some new ideas.
New strategic angles and tactics
How can you outmaneuver your biggest rivals? Are there novel ways you can present your unique differentiators to potential guests? What marketing and advertising strategies could best benefit your business? Generative AI can help you answer these prompts and more.
New tools and resources
You can even use generative AI tools to introduce you to new tools and resources to use in the hospitality industry.
Advantages of Using ChatGPT in Hospitality and Travel
There are many inherent advantages of using ChatGPT and other AI tools in the field of hospitality and travel.
Business owners love that ChatGPT is free to use. If you’re only relying on this OpenAI platform, you won’t have to spend a penny to do it.
Of course, if you want to use a tool at scale, if you want to use a generative AI tool that’s trained on your specific data, or if you want a tool with greater capabilities, you’ll need to create a custom tool or purchase one that was designed for the hospitality industry.
Still, even if you’re building a tool from scratch, the value of this type of platform will likely far exceed what you pay for it.
Reduction of manual labor
Are the robots finally coming for jobs in the hospitality and travel industry? The answer is yes and no. ChatGPT and other generative AI tools have the power to replace certain human labor requirements, reducing the amount of work that your employees need to provide.
However, as you’ll see from the limitations of ChatGPT, you probably won’t use it to fully replace many people. Instead, you’ll relieve your staff members of their most tedious and repetitive assignments while expanding their capabilities in other areas.
ChatGPT remains up and running at all times, which is crucial if your business serves people 24/7 or typically operates during late hours. You’ll never have to worry about your AI platform not being available.
Experts and laypeople alike have concerns about the potential for artificial intelligence (AI) tools to take human jobs. But in most scenarios within the travel and hospitality industry, you won’t be replacing people; you’ll simply be augmenting their potential.
There are some significant limitations of modern AI, and there are significant limitations of human beings, but human beings and AI working together can provide the best of both worlds for the guest experience.
AI proponents love ChatGPT’s quality consistency. Every response or piece of content offered by this tool will be largely error-free, worded in a natural and easily understandable way, and presented with a professional and inoffensive tone.
Even the best customer service agents sometimes have trouble matching this quality consistency.
If you’re stuck on a tough logistics problem, or if you just don’t know how to respond to a particularly angry client, ChatGPT can give you some outside perspective.
It can help you analyze situations more objectively and rationally, it can give you conceptual tools to expand your mind, and it can even help you brainstorm ways to solve your problems more effectively.
Overall, ChatGPT and its close cousins facilitate greater productivity within your organization. Your employees can do more, they’re less overwhelmed by busy work, and everyone connected to your organization can communicate more smoothly.
More satisfied customers
In line with this, generative AI can help you improve your customer satisfaction (CSAT) metrics. You can take customer queries, provide them with more information, answer their questions faster, and offer them better solutions – all with consistent, professional quality.
Disadvantages of Using ChatGPT in Hospitality and Travel
So are there any disadvantages or weaknesses to using ChatGPT in hospitality and travel?
There are some limitations of this technology we need to acknowledge:
Lack of specific training
The biggest downside of ChatGPT, specifically, is its lack of focused training. This generative AI model was meant to be generic and universal, so it was trained on a wide variety of language sources.
It doesn’t have much training specifically relevant to the travel and hospitality industry, so if you want your tool to offer more, you’ll need to have it trained on documents and language examples that are more relevant to your niche.
When it comes to maintaining human conversation and answering simple questions, ChatGPT is amazing. But it’s not a true expert on any subject, including the travel and hospitality industry.
It’s perfectly capable of helping you come up with new ideas and helping you better serve your customers, but it’s not going to offer you the same thought leadership that an experienced mentor in the industry might.
Despite the waves of zealots insisting that ChatGPT is some kind of omnipotent God, this generative AI tool has limited capabilities.
If your prompt isn’t specifically worded, if you venture into unknown territory, or if you ask it a question about anything that happened after 2021, you’ll probably get nonsense back – if you even get a response.
Factually incorrect data
When ChatGPT provides responses and answers to prompts, it tends to word things very smoothly and intelligently. This makes it hard to notice when ChatGPT makes a mistake, which is more frequent than its biggest fans like to admit.
Don’t assume that generative AI tools always know what they’re talking about; it’s important to do some human fact-checking as a measure of security.
Cold, robotic personality
Generative AI may be at a level where it can replicate human language in a realistic way, but it can’t realistically replicate our personalities.
Travelers, guests, and other customers in hospitality want to have unique, memorable, human experiences; accordingly, you can’t rely on generative AI tools for everything.
Making your travel/hospitality industry business thrive in the modern world is challenging – but it’s much easier with the power of AI fueling your organization.