Using an AI-Powered Virtual Agent to Stay Ahead of Guests’ Wants and Needs |

When phone lines are handled by the hospitality industry’s first AI-powered virtual agent, hotel staff can shift their attention away from their current phone lines and guests.

By John Smallwood, CEO of Travel Outlook – 16.8.2022

A good hotel is always a few steps ahead of its guests. Any experienced concierge will tell you it’s helpful to anticipate guests’ needs before they’re even aware of it.

If a guest is checking in for a one night stay, make them feel welcome by offering a later checkout time to better fit their schedule. If a family arrives around dinner time, give them room keys with a list of restaurant recommendations and offer to call the concierge ahead of time and make reservations if necessary. Simple preventative actions, like offering guests an umbrella as they walk out the door when forecasts suggest rain goes a long way and helps protect lifelong returning customers.

It is also important to remember that the hospitality industry is a global industry. Hotel staff are likely to meet dozens of languages ​​monthly. Although many hotels strive to have bilingual and multilingual employees on staff, it can be difficult to communicate across language barriers for most hotel employees. When your staff don’t speak the same language as your guests, it’s hard to anticipate their needs.

The industry’s first AI-powered virtual agent

A next-generation solution, Bella ™, The Virtual Hotel Agent ™ (Bella), is designed to help hotel staff stay firmly in step with their guests’ wants and needs as the first ever voice robot based on the artificial intelligence designed specifically for the hospitality industry.

Bella helps hotels bridge the language gap. When a guest calls and Bella answers, she understands whatever language they speak. Bella has been programmed with a new model of natural language understanding software based on human conversations, which results in a powerful new way for her to understand what guests are requesting and for her to provide the correct answer.

Bella has API interfaces with many common hotel software platforms and its ability to work in multiple languages ​​is an added benefit that will help hotels reduce labor costs and address language barriers at reception and in the reservations department.

Plus, the solution is specifically programmed to answer the hospitality industry’s top frequently asked questions to help your hotel better meet guest needs.

In a recent study, a hotel chain with more than 800 hotels found that 91% of emails / messages have one of the same 18 questions. Another chain with 30 hotels found that 63% of emails / messages have one of the same 8 questions. A further study found that over 50% of pre-stay and during-stay inquiries from online travel agencies such as Expedia go unanswered.

“Hotels can schedule Bella to answer 100 property-specific FAQs,” said Kimberly Samuelson, Director of Digital Business Development at Travel Outlook. “Bella will help anticipate guests’ needs before they even arrive by answering their most pressing questions when they call.”

In addition to Bella’s ability to answer frequently asked questions from customers, she has an unprecedented ability to communicate naturally and effectively. The team behind Bella used social media, pop culture and movies to develop Bella’s flawless natural tone. When callers hear Bella’s voice and conversational way, they don’t hear a robotic voice robot, they hear a familiar voice with a conversational tone.

When phone lines are handled by the hospitality industry’s first AI-powered virtual agent, hotel staff can shift their attention away from their current phone lines and guests.

Bella answers up to 60% of calls from the front desk. Bella who takes care of most of the front desk work allows properties to refocus their staff around current guests to better anticipate their needs.

Bella can also anonymize caller information and collect questions for hotel management, providing a 100% accurate report on why guests are calling. Precise Guest Insight ™ enables hotels to collect valuable caller data without revealing the identity of the call and use that data to further predict and meet the needs of each guest.

Virtual agents represent the next generation of hospitality-specific technology. Given the high cost of labor, Bella is fast becoming the most effective solution to consider for your property’s voice channel.

A veteran in the hospitality industry, John has owned, developed and operated hotels for many years. After earning a BBA from New Mexico State University, he began his career at AT&T, gaining invaluable knowledge and experience in the early years of the data revolution. His expertise in technology and hospitality has merged into the development of Travel Outlook, the world-class hospitality contact center. More recently, it has branched out with the creation of ExpressRez, the premier contact center for the Bed and Breakfast industry, and with the creation of Visit Bella ™, The Virtual Hotel Agent ™, the first AI-powered voice bot for the hotel sector.

Are you an industry leader with a perspective on hotel technology that you would like to share with our readers? If so, please review our editorial guidelines and submit your article for publication.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *