Technology has become an ever-increasing part of the modern consumer lifestyle, continuously raising guest expectations of their hotel experience. This growing demand can be a costly challenge for the hotelier, but can also drive innovation and create opportunity. Voice technology is one such opportunity that has the potential to impact the guest experience and the hotel’s bottom line. The global growth of voice-driven assistants and other interactive trends raises important questions for today’s hoteliers: Can these technologies improve the guest experience and encourage future bookings? Can they improve operational efficiency? The answer to both questions is “yes”—if it is done smartly. A smart voice-activated guestroom assistant that is purpose-built for hospitality and goes beyond simple voice commands can fulfill both of these goals, providing guests with a personalized, convenient, and memorable stay experience, while simultaneously addressing numerous property challenges to maximize ROI.
Increase Guest Satisfaction
As voice-based technologies are increasingly common in households, consumers are inevitably beginning to expect access to similar functionality in guestrooms when they travel. Studies have shown that guests want simple and quick access to information that’s relevant, timely, and easily understood. With voice-based in-room assistants designed specifically for this purpose, guests can easily personalize their stay, using just their voice to request information about the hotel, to set alarms, control the TV, play music, or even check the weather or their flight status. These devices can also make it easy and efficient for guests to communicate and engage with the property and enjoy revenue-producing amenities.
Increase Property Efficiency
In addition to enhancing guest satisfaction, a smart voice solution can also increase operational efficiency. When a guest makes a request using a voice-activated solution, it can be automatically and immediately entered into an existing hotel system or routed directly to the appropriate department or staff member via text, email, or voice, reducing response times, and helping to ensure resolution.
A smart voice guestroom assistant can also offer room control and occupancy sensors to enable a highly-efficient energy management system to help hoteliers control their largest operational expense. Hotels spend an average of $3.7 billion on energy every year. Smart voice solutions are cloud-managed with built-in occupancy sensors and integrated room systems to automatically dim or turn off lights and adjust the room temperature to pre-set, energy-saving levels when guest rooms are unoccupied. This feature on its own quickly delivers meaningful ROI for owners and operators.
Over the past decade, one guest technology has become an essential utility, just like water and power–WiFi. Guests don’t just want WiFi—they want fast, reliable, and secure connections. With numerous plans and access methods across brands and individual properties, connecting to WiFi can be complex and frustrating. In addition, recent security breaches have made consumers wary of unencrypted hallway access points. A smart voice guestroom device can act as a private and secure in-room access point, allowing guests to easily connect all of their devices. Using voice-based technologies that offer personal and secure WiFi connections increases guest demand for WiFi services, even for an added fee.
Many properties struggle to keep guests on site to maximize revenue from hotel amenities, such as spas, shops, and restaurants. While rooms typically account for up to 70 percent of revenue, F&B purchases continue to account for an increasing percentage. Voice-based guest room assistants provide a new way for hoteliers to directly connect with guests to showcase amenities, promotions, and specials. Guests can even make restaurant reservations or book their next stay, all via voice.
Ultimately, guests want convenient access to hotel amenities and service experiences that are personalized, efficient, and accessible. This increases loyalty and repeat stays that generate recurring revenue, critical for every hotelier. Smart voice technology is a highly effective way to improve the bottom line; it enables hoteliers to address operational challenges quickly and efficiently, while simultaneously generating additional revenue from new and returning guests. With its ability to solve multiple property challenges, smart, all-encompassing voice-based guestroom assistant technology is a sound investment for hoteliers that have the foresight to adopt it.
About the Author
Ted Helvey is the CEO of Angie Hospitality.