In late summer, EP in partnership with Softbank Robotics, will be opening a series of forums on the growing importance of robotics. Our aim is to build a strong conversation on how robotics will change customer service.
With all the debate surrounding talent shortages, it has opened the door to the advancement of robotics in a way which could not be envisaged even two years ago. It is a mark of the times that the consumer is today more comfortable to see robotics play a visible role in services as it is believed that it will offer stronger and enhanced service levels.
It is estimated that the size of the market for service robots in the healthcare and hospitality sectors is projected to grow by 942 million USD during 2020-2024. This is a market set to explode and also one which will impact across all operations within hospitality.
In a very short timescale, the view is that service robots will be equipped with different levels of artificial intelligence which will allow robots to start responding to high volumes of trivial human requests posed by guests & customers, as well more low skilled labour needs; from check-in to preparing produce in the kitchen, from delivery of food to tables to production of coffees, from room service to luggage management. In time, the belief is that robots will even be able to respond to people’s emotions which will allow for service robots to deliver socially and emotionally interactive services, the ultimate goal of service robotics. All this naturally frees up operations to provide a stronger and warmer guest perception level.
There has been recent research which has noted that robotics can free people from at least 30% of the roles which used to physically tire them. This will allow for new service levels to be reached, and in turn leads to the central change, as research is suggesting that the consumer is happy to see robots in use across all operations; from top hotels to office buildings, from restaurants to in stadia. In fact, they believe it would lead to far stronger experiences.
Research also suggests that many consumers feel they can trust robots more than human service, and, as a result, they will not just accept robotics, but feel comfortable and secure with the technology. The theory is that much has changed during the pandemic, and consumers have found their lives empowered by technological advancement. This, in their mind, relates to robotics too so, of course, the concept is viewed to be attractive.
It all ties in with the daily trust which is placed in mobile technology, and it is natural that consumers will be less concerned by being engaged with robots on a social level. A.I has changed the working week so can A.I now change the customer experience?
A.I is certainly redefining the world of work so it is natural that it will redefine the service experience. The exciting question is, how can humans and robots work as one to provide new service levels?
It leads to so many questions to be considered including:
● How will robotics and A.I impact upon society and the workplace?
● What are the real changes that can take place in hospitality services?
● Will teams accept robots as their friends in achieving better service?
● Can this be achieved?
All questions to be discussed and analysed in the forums. We hope you will be able to join us as we begin this important debate.