A survey conducted by Duetto revealed that approximately 78% of hoteliers were expected to increase their hotel tech investments in the next three years. This surge in technology adoption within the hospitality industry indicates the sector’s readiness to embrace digital transformation. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) will be a crucial link in the journey. RPA can lower the cost of the entire itinerary and transaction processing, saving hospitality companies a lot of money in the long run.
What is RPA in Travel and Hospitality?
Robotic Process Automation in the travel and hospitality sector involves deploying software bots to perform repetitive and manual tasks that traditionally require human intervention. This technology empowers human representatives and management teams to redirect their focus toward tasks that demand personalized attention, ultimately enhancing customer experiences.
Seven key use cases of RPA in the hospitality industry
Many hotels rely on hospitality software to manage their operations comprehensively. However, when such software is unavailable, RPA bots can step in to automate various operational tasks, ensuring a smoother workflow. Let’s look at some popular use cases.
Responding to Room Availability Inquiries
RPA-enabled chatbots are capable of efficiently handling guests’ questions regarding room availability and room features. By transforming the interaction into a conversational one, these chatbots simplify the process, offering guests quick and accurate information.
RPA bots can automate the entire room reservation process. They can access real-time room availability by exchanging data between the hotel’s website and database, creating guest profiles, reconciling online payments, and reserving rooms automatically. It not only streamlines the booking process but also eliminates the need for regular human intervention, which reduces the net occurrence of errors in reservations.
Automated Check-Ins and Check-Outs
RPA bots can track check-in and check-out times for hotel guests and send reminders through various channels, such as mobile apps, SMS messages, WhatsApp, or email. This helps prevent misunderstandings and additional charges due to overstaying while also optimizing room preparation for the next guests.
RPA can enhance marketing efforts by filling missing data fields in hotel CRM applications with third-party services like travel APIs. This consolidation of guest information facilitates sales, marketing, and customer success activities.
Dynamic hotel pricing can involve adjusting room rates based on seasons, days of the week, special events, or competitor prices. RPA bots can scrape competitor websites for pricing data and automatically update a hotel’s room rates according to predefined rules, offering more competitive pricing.
RPA can assist in monitoring and analyzing customer reviews. Bots can extract and rank reviews based on importance, legitimacy, and sentiment using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and Natural Language Processing (NLP). This ensures that genuine complaints are addressed promptly, improving customer satisfaction and preventing fraudulent reviews.
In finance, RPA in the hospitality industry extends beyond industry-specific processes to encompass general financial tasks common across various sectors. These include revenue reconciliation, payment approval, report preparation, automated discounts for frequent guests, and real-time addition of room service charges to guest bills.
RPA is definitely working as a process enabler in the hospitality industry that automates highly repetitive tasks. For hotels, optimizing operations means they can look beyond operations and save human resources more tangible tasks and create differential through CX in this rapidly evolving market.
The significant investments in hotel technology underscore the industry’s recognition of RPA’s potential to drive efficiency and innovation, ultimately placing human attention back at the heart of the travel and hospitality experience.
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