Use an AI-powered virtual agent to stay ahead of customer wants and needs |

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

By John Smallwood, CEO of Travel Outlook – 16.08.2022

A good hotel is always a step ahead of its customers. Any experienced concierge will tell you that it pays to anticipate guests’ needs before they are even aware of them.

If a guest is checking in for an overnight stay, make them feel welcome by offering a later check-out time to better fit their schedule. If a family arrives around dinnertime, hand them their room keys with a list of restaurant recommendations and offer the concierge to call ahead and make reservations if needed. Simple anticipatory actions like offering an umbrella to customers heading out when the forecast suggests rain can go a long way and help retain customers who come back for life.

It is also important to remember that the hospitality industry is a global industry. Hotel staff are likely to encounter dozens of languages ​​per month. While many hotels strive to have bilingual and multilingual employees on staff, communicating across language barriers can be difficult for most hotel employees. When your staff does not speak the same language as your customers, it is difficult 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 guest’s wants and needs as the very first robot AI-powered voicemail designed specifically for the hospitality industry.

Bella helps hotels bridge the language gap. When a guest calls and Bella answers, she understands whatever language he speaks. Bella was programmed with a new natural language understanding software model based on human conversations, resulting in a powerful new way for her to understand what customers are asking and for her to provide the right answer.

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

Additionally, the solution is specifically programmed to address key hospitality industry FAQs to help your hotel better meet guest needs.

In a recent study, a hotel chain with over 800 hotels found that 91% of emails/messages contained one of the same 18 questions. Another chain of 30 hotels found that 63% of emails/messages contained one of the same 8 questions. Additional research found that more than 50% of pre- and during-stay inquiries from online travel agencies such as 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 even arrive by answering their most pressing questions when they call.”

Beyond Bella’s ability to respond to customer FAQs, she has an unparalleled 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 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 take their attention away from phone lines and focus on current guests.

Bella answers up to 60% of front desk calls. Bella taking on 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™ allows hotels to collect valuable caller data without revealing the identity of the caller and use this data to better predict and meet each guest’s needs.

Virtual agents represent the next generation of hotel-specific technologies. Given the high cost of labor, Bella is quickly becoming the most efficient 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 at AT&T, gaining invaluable knowledge and experience during the early years of the data revolution. His technology and hospitality experience 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 first contact center for the B&B industry, and with the creation of Visit Bella™, The Virtual Hotel Agent™, the first voice-powered robot by AI for the hospitality industry. .

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