Categories: Tech News

Using an AI-powered virtual agent to stay ahead of guests’ wants and needs |

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

By John Smallwood, CEO of Travel Outlook – 8.16.2022

A good hotel is always a few steps ahead of its guests. Any experienced concierge will tell you that it pays dividends to anticipate guests’ needs before they may even be aware of them.

If a guest is checking in for a one-night stay, make them feel welcome by offering a later check-out time to better accommodate their schedule. If a family is arriving at dinner time, hand them room keys with a list of restaurant recommendations and offer to have the concierge call ahead and make reservations if needed. Simple proactive actions, like offering guests an umbrella as they head out the door when the forecast suggests rain will go a long way, will help ensure repeat customers for life.

It is also important to remember that the hospitality industry is a global industry. The hotel staff is likely to encounter dozens of languages ​​on a monthly basis. Although many hotels strive to have bilingual and multilingual workers on staff, communicating across language barriers can be difficult for most hotel employees. When your staff doesn’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 ahead of their guests’ wants and needs as the first intel-powered voice bot artificial intelligence designed specifically for hospitality. industry

Bella helps hotels overcome the language gap. When a guest calls and Bella answers, she understands the language they speak. Bella has been programmed with a new natural language understanding software model based on human conversations, resulting in a powerful new way for her to understand what guests are asking and to give the right answer.

Bella has API interfaces with many common hotel software platforms, and its ability to work in different languages ​​is an added advantage that will help hotels curb labor costs and address language barriers in the front desk and reservations department .

In addition, the solution is specifically programmed to answer the most frequently asked questions in the hospitality industry to help your hotel better meet the needs of guests.

In a recent study, a hotel chain with over 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. An additional study found that more than 50% of pre-stay and during-stay requests from online travel agencies like Expedia go unanswered.

“Hotels can program 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 arrive by answering their most pressing questions when they call.”

Beyond Bella’s ability to answer frequently asked questions from clients, she has an unmatched 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 manner of conversation, they don’t hear a robotic voice bot, they hear a familiar voice with a conversational tone.

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

Bella answers up to 60% of the reception department’s calls. By taking over most of the front desk work, Bella allows properties to refocus their staff on 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 data about callers without revealing the identity of the caller and use that data to 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 quickly becoming the most effective solution to consider for your property’s voice channel.

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

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