Can Artificial Intelligence Replace The Front Desk Agent?

by Ed Water CEO of Ask Blue

The front desk is one area of the hotel that must always be manned. Hotel guests can arrive at any time, day or night, and someone needs to be there to greet them.

Yet the front desk is one of the most problematic areas of a hotel. If a guest arrives when the desk is understaffed, they’ll have to deal with a long wait time. If they’re trying to phone from their room during a busy period, they may have trouble getting their request fulfilled.

Long wait times, failure to fulfill requests, and an unpleasant experience can lead to a bad review of your hotel. As you know, bad reviews hurt your bottom line.

Bad Experiences Lead To Bad Reviews

When your hotel is running well, you never get bad reviews. But it only takes one evening outside the norm when you aren’t there for a series of unusual events to impact your guest and leave you with a scathing review. Consider this highly unlikely scenario: A guest arrives at 10:30 p.m. after a four-hour flight. There is only one person at the front desk. The second is on a smoke break. There are two people in line ahead of this guest, and your front desk agent is moving about as fast as the sloth from Zootopia.

When the guest finally makes it to the front of the line, your front desk agent is short with him because her dog is sick/she’s fighting with her boyfriend/her coworker takes extra long cigarette breaks and that irritates her.

The first impression this guest has of your hotel is a negative one. He’s a reasonable man though, and very tired, so he heads to his room and falls asleep. When he wakes up the next morning, he realizes he forgot his toothbrush. He calls the front desk to ask for one to be sent up.

However, it’s peak time at the front desk. All of the agents are busy. After several rings and a five-minute hold time, he’s transferred to housekeeping. No one answers. He has a meeting to get to and doesn’t have time to chase down someone from the hotel. He begrudgingly throws his pants on and heads to the nearest CVS to grab one. When he walks back into the hotel, your front desk agents are standing around, laughing with the bellhop.

This hotel guest’s empathy for your staff has just run out. He hops onto TripAdvisor and leaves a 1-star review of your hotel. And we all know that enough bad reviews of your hotel lead to a huge loss of income.

Why Choose Ask Blue Over Hiring An Additional Front Desk Agent?

Save Money

Ask Blue leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to offer a cost effective replacement to hiring additional front desk agents and other hotel associates that are responsible for receiving guest requests. Glassdoor estimates that the average front desk agent makes about $25,5000 per year. That’s over $75,000 for three full-time employees, not to mention benefits, paid time off, insurance, and overtime. AI solutions like Ask Blue are a fraction of the cost of hiring additional employees. Cost savings for a 100-room hotel can easily reach over $97,000.

Works Harder and More Accurately

Not only does Ask Blue offer a huge savings, but it works harder than a full-time employee. Ask Blue never calls in sick. Unlike human employees, Ask Blue works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year without taking a single day off. Ask Blue doesn’t get lazy and isn’t apathetic to guest needs. The system is set up to continually follow up with a request that a guest has made until it’s been fulfilled, which dramatically improves customer service.

Better Ratings

Nearly 78% of travelers say that online reviews are very important when choosing a hotel to stay in. With AI solutions, guests don’t have to deal with the variable moods of employees. Ask Blue is always respectful and can’t say anything that will upset a guest.

The guest experience is greatly enhanced because they don’t have to suffer through long hold times on the phone or deal with unnecessary wait times at the front desk to ask a simple question. Thus, AI makes it more likely that a hotel guest will leave a positive rating, which will drive even more revenue to hotel operators and owners that deploy Ask Blue in their hotels.

Not only can Ask Blue eliminate the need to hire additional employees, but it can do so while improving the guest experience and reducing costs. You no longer have to rely on your employees always being model citizens who never get upset or have a bad day. Ask Blue can help bring a more consistent experience to your guest no matter what time of night they need assistance

Discover how Ask Blue can reduce costs at your hotel while improving your guest’s experience.

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