How AI Translation Technology Can Boost Hospitality
The hospitality industry is a global sector providing customers from all nations and walks of life services such as hotel stays, transportation links, and entertainment. Hospitality businesses will understand the pressure and importance of having multilingual staff to aid their International customers at all times. Language barriers has been one of the biggest challenges faced by the hospitality industry. Combine this with the exceptional customer service required by customers, you have an extremely short list of potential workers fit for the job. To aid hospitality businesses, AI translation technology can easily be implemented to improve revenue, customer satisfaction, and keep your business thriving.
What Are The Advantages Of AI Translation Technology In The Hospitality Industry?
Reduce Labour Costs
Successful businesses will aspire to attract customers from all over the world to generate as much revenue as possible. They will need to be prepared for customers of all nationalities. Previously, this preparation was in the form of recruiting and hiring multilingual staff to streamline communication to service customers. It’s said that only 17% of the world’s population can speak 3 or more languages, making multilingual staff a rare and sought-after commodity within hospitality. Therefore, workers with these skills ask for higher wages, in turn increasing your labour costs and overall business costs.
Data from Salary.com suggests that on average, bilingual employees receive between 5-20% more per hour than the position’s base rate. Labour costs already make up around 30% of hospitality businesses’ revenue, so these costs must be managed effectively. Businesses may want to prioritise 4 key languages their clientele speak and recruit bi-lingual staff to cater for them. For the other languages , AI translation technology can be integrated into check-in desks and AI devices can be used by the front of house staff like receptionists, bar staff, and concierges. This will reduce your labour costs while giving all your staff the desired skills needed to service your customers effectively. These savings can then be used to improve other aspects of your business, like providing more staff training or renovating your business property.
Improve Customer Service And Satisfaction
Customer service is one of the most crucial aspects of any business, as it cultivates customers that provide positive reviews for brand reputation and repeat custom and referrals for increased revenue. The ability to greet and service your international customers in their native language has been shown to affect both the customer’s satisfaction and their influence on your brand. Previous studies have found that visitors served in a language other than their first one are less likely to leave tips, give positive feedback, or go on to recommend your service to others. Without AI translation technology to provide next-level customer service and to comfort your international customers, you will see a butterfly effect that could hinder your customer satisfaction, customer retention, brand reputation, and flow of new customers.
A 2020 study by 3Gem found that 1 in 3 customers would ditch a brand after just one bad experience. One known difficulty within the hospitality industry is the variety of languages and dialects customers will use, and so even when employing multilingual staff for customer-facing roles there is a chance certain languages will be overlooked and not catered to. This could be detrimental to your business as miscommunication could be the one bad experience it takes to lose customers, resulting in loss of revenue. Integrating AI translation technology into your business will reduce the likelihood of miscommunication, which will improve customer satisfaction and customer service.
Boost Brand Reputation And Loyalty
Just like bad customer service can have a negative knock-on effect on your business, good customer service can create positive effects. When your customers are happy they’re more likely to share their positive experience and enjoyment of your brand with others through reviews and friend and family referrals. In fact, 72% of customers will share a positive experience with six or more people. Using AI translation technology to smooth out communication with international customers is more than likely going to result in positive feedback, as reports from CSA Research suggest that 76% of travellers prefer to buy in their native language. Making that effort to go out of your way as a business to cater to all your customer’s needs will have positive results.
Not only do these positive experiences make it more likely for your customers to return, increasing your customer retention and revenue, but these experiences are also associated with your brand name, boosting your brand reputation both through word of mouth and online reviews which will help you build trust with potential new audiences. A study by booking.com found that 34% of travellers believe they are being held back by language barrier struggles to find accommodation and over a quarter of these travellers are left feeling anxious. Those looking for hotels that can speak their language are going to research into accommodation before booking, so having multiple loyal customers leaving positive reviews and experiences around this service will bring in more customers looking for this added feature.
Increase Sales And Profits
With an increase in customer retention and a boosted brand reputation, you’re going to see an increase in your sales and profits. Your average Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) will increase, too; this represents the total revenue you can expect from a single customer account. Even just a 5% increase in customer retention can equate to an increase in profit of 25%. This is because loyal returning customers are 300% more likely to spend more with your brand than new first-time customers. If you’re using tools like AI translation technology to communicate to your customers, you are instantly lessening their mental load which will help them to relax and feel at ease with your business, which is what will keep them coming back and referring others to your business.
While it’s cheaper to retain customers than it is to acquire new ones, this shouldn’t be overlooked. Positive reviews and brand reputation from your customer service efforts will make new customers more trustworthy of your business. This will allow you to secure new customer bookings and open up upsell and cross-sell opportunities, as customers are more likely to buy products and services from brands and businesses they trust. It’s also a fact that 67% of customers are willing to pay more to get a better experience. Having AI tools to make the customer journey more interactive and pleasant means that customers will pay more for your services and so you can increase your profits.
Choosing The Right AI Translation Tool
It is vital that the translation technology you choose will seamlessly integrate into your business without interruption on the customer’s end. AI translation technology has progressed to the point that there are many different tools and services available. From translation apps that readily translate text and messages, to earbud translators that translate real-life speech, there are plenty of translation tools to suit your business needs.
Having speech translation tools for front of house staff like receptionists and waiters will be most beneficial, while less customer-facing roles like cleaners and janitorial staff would benefit from cheaper translation alternatives like apps so that customers can communicate effectively to any member of staff if need be while still keeping your costs low. Using AI translation services online to translate your website will also help with bookings, and this type of technology can be implemented when it comes to the documentation at the check-in stage.
In such a diverse industry, hospitality businesses have the opportunity to stand out from their competitors and ease known stresses their customers have. Removing the confusion of language barriers for customers will immediately start your customer’s experience off positively. Implementing AI translation technology to do so, guests will feel taken care of and in turn, you will see the many positive effects this will have on your business.