The world’s largest serviced residence provider, The Ascott Limited (Ascott), is trialling artificial intelligence to create more efficient operations and better customer experiences.
Tests conducted by Ascott in China involve the use of service robots and if those trials are successful, the technology could make its way to the Middle East. Service delivery for its guests is at the core of Ascott’s philosophy and automated services can play a role in improving operations in the hospitality industry.
Ascott is now actively looking for Middle East partners to provide robotic expertise in the region after noticing improvements in its operations at Chinese properties as a result of the robot trials.
“We are following the progress at our Chinese properties with interest and as automation becomes an integral part of business, Ascott is leading the way in exploring new technologies across the serviced residence sector,” said Vincent Miccolis, Ascott’s regional GM for the Middle East, Africa and Turkey.
The robots can move around independently within the properties, including the use of elevators. Perhaps most usefully, they can be used to deliver items to apartments, such as slippers, charging cables and groceries, while also collecting items such as laundry. They can also provide information about facilities within the property and its surroundings, essentially playing the role of concierge, including greeting guests as they arrive.
So, how successful are the robots? Out of 165,000 service tasks carried out by the robots at trial properties, 98.64 per cent have been successful. Certainly, Ascott sees them as potentially beneficial in delivering menial tasks or in carrying out particularly repetitive work.
“One of the key takeaways that we are finding from the robot trials is that they are efficient at carrying out simple duties, so that our human colleagues can focus on providing individually tailored services for our guests and really delivering service from the heart,” explains
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