Late-night room service: the entire point of staying in a hotel even though there's a twice cheaper AirBnB just across the street. Devoted fans of full hospitality experiences will understand. In case you're one of them, you too will rejoice the idea of having a personal hotel concierge that fits in a box.
Hotel technology spent decades catering exclusively to the staff's needs. Thanks to the commercialization of advanced tech such as AI, hotel guests finally get to enjoy the same treatment, benefiting from latest solutions in terms of both efficiency and luxury. All hail the Amazon's Echo Dot.
Here's how Amazon has charmed its way to the hospitality industry top.
The Echo Family
The super-cool AI devices that the rest of the world calls Alexa are actually all members of the Echo family. Developed by Amazon, the original Echo is a Bluetooth speaker powered by artificial intelligence that acts as a digital personal assistant, conversing with its human owners in Alexa's voice.
Omitting the Bluetooth approach, Amazon has made younger members of this family more convenient and modern-looking. Dot, Plus, Show and Spot ' as they were named ' all represent a smarter generation of Echo devices that make conversation smoother with IoT, AI, NLP, and machine learning.
In 2017, Echo Dot has found its way to the hospitality industry, tempting hundreds of hoteliers to install this hockey-puck-size device into their guest rooms. Thus far, the response has been overwhelmingly positive, with only a handful of guests asking for Alexa to be removed from the room.
And this is not just any Alexa.
Both the conversational interface and the artificial intelligence embedded in the Echo Dot belong to the newly developed Alexa for Business, which was created in partnership with Volara's software. Together, they help hoteliers to build an experience that is equally engaging, helpful, and convenient.
Alexa for Hotels
Technology in hospitality has a straightforward purpose ' to assist management in organizing daily tasks and to make the experience more convenient for guests. Alexa for hotels is intended to do both, and the early use cases showcase not only a satisfactory performance but also a game-changing one.
Because, Amazon Alexa is capable of much, much more.
mycloud, a great hotel software solution, now interfaces with Alexa. The software is voice activated, and guests can simply ask Alexa for any service. In return, Alexa and mycloud will raise the request with the dedicated department and get the service delivered.
For the first time ever, hotel technology has actually managed to replace staff in meeting guests' demands. As Amazon's CTO Werner Vogels states, Echo Dot is currently automating an average of 240 item and service requests and 700 guest questions about the hotel per 1,000 occupied room nights.
The result: not reduced, but a completely eliminated need for the front desk services.
Needless to say, the Echo Dot integrates seamlessly with modern-day hotel PMSs, thus enabling hoteliers to put concierge service on auto-pilot but still stay on top of guest requirements. Alexa boasts a knowledge base that's as large as the internet itself but also mediates between guests and the staff.
For a majority of manual tasks that can be automated ' such are turning the room lights on and off, drawing the curtains, or adjusting the heat ' Alexa needs no human help. For anything else that requires an actual concierge, a guest can address her with a voice command, and she'll notify the staff.
The Assisted Experience
It's not very hard imagining all that Alexa can do for hotel guests.
In general, her range of services includes answering questions about the hotel and the surrounding area (Alexa, where should I wine and dine tonight?), receiving and routing item and service requests (Alexa, I'll need a triple cream latte first thing in the morning!) and providing recommendations from the concierge (Alexa, what can I do around here to relax after lunch?). But these are still just the basics.
Savvy hoteliers are using the Echo Dot to personalize the experience even more ' arrival greetings, custom-tailored games, and preferred entertainment are just some of the most creative examples of what Amazon Alexa can do personalization-wise. AI enables you to discover new, unique applications.
Echo Dot for Hotel Staff
The benefits of introducing Amazon Alexa hotel technology to your business are as exciting as they are numerous. Voice automation obviously reduces the staff’s workload, delegating all minor requests to Echo Dot, while also acquiring a competitive edge that comes with flawless hospitality experiences.
The only potential drawback: concern about privacy issues.
Luckily, Amazon’s research on current use cases clearly shows that guests are not bothered by this despite recent data scandals that are still shaking the internet. The company’s CTO advises hoteliers to inform guests how the Echo Dot works and that it can be muted, unplugged or removed if need be.
Technology in hospitality is yet to become omnipresent and omnipotent. Thanks to the Amazon Alexa and the likes, smart devices are gaining popularity among hotel guests and being embraced by hoteliers across the world. Soon enough, they will take over the industry and re-tailor the experience.