As leading hotels begin engaging their guests with in-room voice automation, below are 8 things every hotel industry professional needs to know to ensure their properties aren't left behind.
1. Voice is the Future
It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Voice-controlled technology is the future, enabling people to interact with the environment around them in an intuitive, hands-free way. With the introduction of Apple’s Siri in 2011, the American public got a taste for the ease of hands-free searching and virtual assistants. In 2015, 5 million Americans purchased the Amazon Echo. With Google entering the market in fall of 2016 with the Google “Chirp,” by 2020, voice automation hardware will be as commonplace in American homes as television. Successful hotels will lead, not follow, in this revolution.
2. Voice is Intuitive
With voice automation, guests engage in the most natural way possible, conversationally. Many guest service systems burden guests with downloading an application or learning a complicated interface (like tablet- or television-based platforms). Voice-enabled tools and software are so intuitive to use that guests will actually understand them and know how to use them.
3. Voice is Always Ready to Help
Voice automation devices are always on - 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Voice systems provide a consistent, friendly experience for your guests with no sick days, holidays, or waiting at the counter. Guests skip the line at the concierge or front desk during peak times and get immediate answers to their questions.
4. Voice is Non-Intrusive
Voice-enabled devices like the Amazon Echo take up very little space and can be skinned to align with your property brand. Simple and sleek, the Echo has an appealing aesthetic that will fit seamlessly into any hotel room, allowing guests to engage on their own terms - your guest won’t know it’s present unless he or she chooses to engage it. The “pull” experience that rewards discovery, rather than “push” experience that feels like marketing, ensures that guests are delighted by the interactions and interested in, even excited by, any offers they may receive.
5. Voice Supports Your Staff
Voice automation provides additional support to hotel staff, becoming an extra resource to guests for common questions and routine tasks. The conversational interaction of voice automation makes guests feel like they’re getting personal attention, while your staff is freed up to handle the situations and issues that require a more human touch.
6. Voice Increases Revenues
Voice automation is the first in-room hotel technology that will subtly drive your customers to engage in your high margin guest services. Unlike static advertisements and brochures placed in the room, voice can be updated instantly to fill off-peak lulls in services and unused capacity, increasing guest spend across your property.
7. Voice Can Protect Your Reputation
Voice devices in your guest rooms provide an immediate recourse for guest complaints. We’ve all seen it - a guest, preferring to be non-confrontational, shares a complaint on a site like TripAdvisor that wasn’t brought to your attention during their stay. Once negative reviews are online there’s very little you can do to control the situation. A voice-enabled device acts as a natural intermediary for a guest who may not feel comfortable bringing an issue to the attention of the front desk. By providing an immediate outlet to report issues, you can address and resolve customer complaints before they hit the web and prevent poor ratings for your hotel.
8. Voice will create raving fans of your brand!
In-room voice automation is amazing, fun and new. From handling day-to-day interactions with the property, to entertaining guests with hotel trivia games, scavenger hunts and custom wedding greetings, voice automation is an interaction sure to delight your guests. Voice automation is a unique and novel experience in the hotel setting and is sure to get guests talking about their stay at your hotel.
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