Hotels often pride themselves on their white glove service. When a guest goes up to a staff member or the concierge, they will answer any question, concern, or request as promptly as possible. Most hotels feel that this hand-holding is indicative of great customer service.
What such hotels fail to think about is the opportunity cost. A guest with a simple question, such as what the operating hours are of the gym, will have to get dressed, go downstairs, and wait in line to obtain the necessary information. Instead of enjoying their vacation, they must waste time on a simple question-and-answer. Alternatively, they may call via the in-room phone, but the line will sometimes be busy from guests doing the same thing. This is not great customer service.
Hotels must rethink how great customer service can be achieved. Instead of manually answering every customer inquiry, they should provide digital, self-service tools that enable guests to more efficiently get the help they need.
This assistance can be rendered through an AI-powered Aiello Voice Assistant (AVA). A device like Aiello Voice Assistant addresses all the issues associated with manual guest servicing.
Improve response times
When you need information about showtimes for a recently released movie, you go on a search engine like Google and find the schedule. You don’t drive down to the theater to ask the receptionist for the upcoming showtimes. As absurd as this analogy may sound, this is what hotels regularly force guests to do: Wait, wait, and wait some more for the necessary information.
A voice assistant can help exponentially improve response times. If the average hotel question previously took between five and 15 minutes to answer, depending on how long the queue is, a solution like Aiello Voice Assistant can cut it down to seconds.
The way it works is simple. The guest prompts the device equipped with Aiello Voice Assistant, asks their query, which is helpfully displayed on the screen to corroborate, and then the answer is given to them. In this way, guests get to experience the convenience of self-service that they have grown accustomed to from tools like Google, Siri, and ChatGPT.
Enhance information accuracy
Without self-service tools like Aiello Voice Assistant, guests may bypass the hotel altogether and try their luck with another tool. A guest wondering what time the breakfast buffet opens may type the question into Google and get an outdated answer, or get a completely wrong one from ChatGPT – the generative AI tool is famous for hallucinating, after all.
Both situations would result in a bad guest experience. The customer may work up an appetite from a morning run, get showered and dressed, and proceed to the hotel buffet only to find that it is still closed. The error was arguably caused by third-party tools, but the effect is the same: The guest has a negative experience that they associate closely with the hotel.
The best way to prevent this poor guest experience is through a voice assistant like AVA. Because this is trained on company data, it will always provide accurate information on any hyper-local question, such as where the hotel pool is located or whether the tennis court has an available instructor. Aiello Voice Assistant even has a broader radius, capable of answering questions about the surrounding neighborhood, such as recommendations for a specific type of restaurant.
Improve overall customer satisfaction
Hotel guests will already be delighted by the ability to have their questions answered through a voice assistant like AVA. But these solutions are not only a knowledge hub: They can act as a servicing center as well.
Since the voice assistant integrates with other smart devices, the guest can make relevant in-room requests. For example, a guest may request to play some relaxing music if they want to relax with a bottle of wine, or turn the television onto a movie. They can even prompt the voice assistant into night mode, so they can sleep without any interruptions.
Voice assistants are perhaps most impressive with their out-of-room capabilities, beginning from the moment they book a stay through your call center. From there, a guest can handle both check-in and check-out through a voice assistant, giving them a seamless ingress and egress from the hotel. There are also ecommerce functionalities: A guest could order local souvenirs entirely through the voice assistant. The voice assistant is also context-aware: When it is raining, a guest can get a provision for an umbrella.
Each one of these features is notable on their own, but in the aggregate they create a powerful effect: Guests will be attended to with an unprecedented level of customer service. The hotel also gains numerous advantages from employing a voice assistant, such as reducing man-hours on rote tasks, allowing staff to focus on higher-level functions, and improving their branding as a customer-centric organization.
A paradigm shift
To embrace powerful digital technologies like Aiello Voice Assistant, hotels need a paradigm shift. They need to move beyond the thinking that face-to-face customer service is the best and only way to deliver an amazing guest experience. Relying on this kind of interaction for every inquiry, concern, and request inconveniences guests, takes away time that they can spend on relaxing, and adds to their stress.
Hotels instead need to realize that digitalization can be tantamount to great customer service. With a voice assistant at their beck and call, guests can pose queries and requests, and get each handled accurately, successfully, and efficiently. A voice assistant is the kind of hub depicted in some science fiction movies with one caveat: The technology is available for forward-thinking hotels today.