Hotel Voice Assistants: The Complete Guide [2024]

Anuj Punjani
2 min read
April 15, 2024

Is your hotel business suffering because of short staffing? Or is it the lack of talent that’s causing customer service issues? Whatever its central cause, the shortage of skilled staff is a massive problem for hotels all over the world. 

Hotel voice assistants can help. A voice assistant for your hotel can help you automate everything from concierge services to quick resolutions to small guest problems.

So, in 2024, getting hotel voice assistants implemented into your hotel marketing strategy is a no-brainer. But how? 

In this article, we address these and other important questions. We’ll cover, for instance:

  1. What is a hotel voice assistant?
  2. Why is it essential for your hotel?
  3. All the benefits of using hotel voice assistants

So let’s jump right in.

What Are Hotel Voice Assistants?

Hotel voice assistants are software that use generative AI capabilities to automate or act as hotel assistants. 

Here’s a short video of hotel voice assistants in action:

As you can see from above, they can do all the small tasks that would otherwise take up the time of a hotel assistant or front desk specialist. 

So, small things like confirming check-in and check-out times, changing the booking details, answering quick questions like “Where’s the pool?” or “What are the spa timings in the evening?” and the like–a smart hotel voice assistant can handle them all.

And, as it turns out, even before the ongoing frenzy brought on by generative AI, big brands were already adopting hotel voice assistants in droves. 

Disney and Amazon, for instance, launched a custom hotel voice assistant for Disney Resorts way back in 2021, as this piece by Travel Weekly explains. 

This raises an interesting question though: How do hotel voice assistants help us anyway? In other words, why pay for a voice assistant when you can hire a real human who would probably do different tasks, too?

Why Are Voice Assistants Important for Hotels?

As we said above, hotel voice assistants have become an important, strategic addition to every hotel brand–and they are here to stay. 

In fact, if you go by countless pieces online, it wouldn’t be wrong to call them the next PMS for hoteliers.

Here are just a few ways they can help:

  1. They are good tools to assist your front desk and other related staff by answering simple, repeated questions. Essentially, they free your staff from basic tasks, letting them move to more important things.
  2. A hotel voice assistant can converse with a diverse group of people in different languages; in other words, they can effectively act as a personal translator. This is especially the case for generative AI-powered voice assistants. 
  3. By offering tailor-made responses to your guests–based on their data–they can provide a superior experience.
  4. Their 24/7 availability makes them a great addition to your guest service team–especially when you’re low on staff during nights.

Now that we have understood their importance let’s look at all use cases in a bit more detail.

5 Best Use Cases of Hotel Voice Assistants

While generative AI is still in the growth phase, and new features and capabilities are still being built as we write this, the list still isn't going to be the most exhaustive. 

But some of the ways voice assistants have already made a splash include:

1. Use It as a Concierge 

The job of a concierge is anything but easy. From handling guest arrivals and handling calls for booking issues to fixing a problem that’s out of place–your poor concierge has to juggle it all.

By adopting an AI-based hotel voice assistant, you can relieve a significant burden off your concierge's plate.

A generative AI voice assistant hotel works on the latest language models (I will mention them here, briefly). In plain English, this means it can comfortably take and handle almost all the simple requests offered by your guests.

This will free up your concierge’s schedule to handle more urgent matters, ultimately leading to a better and more seamless guest experience. 

2. Provides 24/7 Customer Service 

Your customer care team has to log out from work eventually–a hotel voice assistant doesn’t.

Even if you have a 24/7 customer service team available, they’d most likely be short-staffed at night. This, as research shows, can make for a sour guest experience.

Getting a voice assistant in your hotel can help tremendously. It can handle everything from late-night calls about booking or room issues to answering common questions your guests ask.

If the chatbot is trained in generative AI, it can understand the guest’s intent behind the words and respond in a calibrated way. 

3. Respond to Sales Calls from Travel Agents and DMCs

Domestic Management Companies (DMCs) and independent travel agents are your important partners in bringing in new guests. It's no wonder then that you need to be responsive to their sales calls or messages to keep getting the best booking. 

However, since many DMCs or travel agents work in different time zones (this will apply to you if you’re in an international or business destination), responding to all the calls or deals can be difficult. 

While this is understandable, it doesn’t make it any less of a threat to your revenue. 

In case of excessive delay, the DMC or TA can, for instance, take the deal to a competitor. 

A hotel voice assistant can come in handy here—they can respond and record simple booking prices or package details for a hotel sales agent to look over later. 

Moreover, if the voice assistant comes powered by generative AI, it can also carry on the call without much difficulties or troubles–leading to a better experience for your partners as well.

4. Can Assist You in Reservation Bookings 

A hotel voice assistant can also parlay as a reservation booking assistant. All your prospective guests have to do is dial into your hotel, as they usually would, and the hotel voice assistant will pick up the call. 

From there, it can carry on the booking call like any other live agent.

If you’re using a gen-AI-based voice assistant, there’s more. It can, for example, ask you cross-questions, adapt to what your guest is saying, change its tone of voice as per the guest’s intent, and more.

Again, this frees up tons of time for your hotel front desk agents too–letting them take care of other things.

5. Provide In-Room Hotel Services 

Many of your guests are already used to voice assistants in one form or another. 

From Amazon’s Alexa to Apple’s Siri, voice assistants are as common a part of people's lives as smartphones. They use them to play their favorite songs, turn off the lights, and even snooze their alarms. 

In other words, people are used to employing voice assistants to turn their homes into smart houses through voice control.

Hotel voice assistants will do the same, but your hotel rooms.

Here are a few ways they can improve your guest’s experience in your hotel:

  1. Your guests can turn on or turn off their room lights simply through voice commands.
  2. They can confirm the timings of all hotel amenities, or any changes to it, all through a simple hotel voice control.
  3. Order any food or request changes in their rooms without picking up a phone.
  4. Address other common FAQs about their room or your hotel in a few seconds.   

In other words, they make your guests' experience easier and fluid by reducing their effort and troubles–giving them more control.   

The 4 Benefits of Using Hotel Voice Assistants in Hospitality

Now that we have skimmed over all the use cases of hotel voice assistants, let’s quickly go over what benefits they could offer you.

1. Massively Cut Down Your First Response Time

First Response Time (FRT) is the time it takes for a customer service agent to respond to a customer complaint or query. 

As it turns out, it's very important for the hotel industry too, and ignoring or delaying action can very well lose you your guests or damage your reputation through bad reviews. 

An AI hotel voice assistant can help you here.

With a combination of voice recognition, artificial intelligence, and natural language processing (NLP), an intelligent hotel voice assistant can hold basic human conversations with your guests.

This will come particularly handy when you’re short on staff–usually nights, weekends, or holidays–letting you avoid any delays in answering your guests.

2. Saves Your Time and Resources From Call Handling

Since a hotel voice assistant can perform all the basic human conversations, it can also be handy for many hotel tasks that were previously the domain of a dedicated agent.

Carrying out hotel bookings, listening to customer complaints or requests, confirming check-ins or check-outs, and even upselling or cross-selling–a smart hotel voice assistant can handle all of them.

This then frees you and your staff from repetitive tasks and lets you focus on things that require more creativity and complexity.

3. Helps Your Personalize Guest’s Experience

If the hotel voice assistant runs on the latest AI models, it can personalize conversations with guests.

In fact, when it comes to personalization, voice assistants in hospitality not only make the conversation more relevant to your guests (through both past booking data and real-time decision-making using machine learning), but they also adapt to the tone of voice and other voice gestures as the conversation goes on.

In other words, by the end of the conversation, your guests won’t even feel they spoke with an AI assistant at all.  

4. Connect With Your Guests in Over 100+ Languages

Miscommunication is its own can of worms. It can lead to many misunderstandings with guests and, in some cases, even long, scathing online reviews.

So extreme caution is necessary. 

This can be particularly difficult to implement when you’re dealing with people from different languages and cultures, where the chances of misinterpretation or confusion are incredibly high.

A hotel voice assistant is an obvious solution. All you need to do is train it on a specific language model, and the assistant will become conversational in that language.

Depending on which voice assistant you use in your hotel, you can support up to 100+ languages.

All About Hotel Voice Assistants, in Brief

Hotel voice assistants, when used strategically, can do wonders for your hotel business. 

They can automate major chunks of your work, which right now must be eating up tons of your hotel resources–everything from concierge services and front desk to sales calls and in-room services comes under this.

There used to be a time when over-the-phone bookings were a modern technology; now, they are an essential aspect of all hotel bookings. 

Hotel voice assistants, particularly those powered by generative AI, are the over-the-phone bookings of today. So, adapt to the times, involve hotel voice assistants in your hotel strategies, and you will do well.   

Anuj Punjani

Anuj Punjani co-founded Brance and leads its engineering team. He studied at NSIT and the University of Michigan before working at Apple for about four years, where he worked on products like the iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

He's an avid trekker and enjoys playing lawn tennis and cricket in his free time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is First Response Time important in inside sales?

First Response Time holds a great importance in inside sales because it influences customer satisfaction. Ultra-fast responses improve the chances of potential leads getting converted into paying and loyal customers.

What are the consequences of a delayed first response in inside sales?

A delay in First response time can result in missed opportunities, customer frustration, and a negative impact on conversion rates. Potential leads may lose interest or shift to competitors when experience a delay in response time.

What role does technology play in reducing first response time?

Technology plays a vital role in reducing first response time through automation. AI-driven chatbots streamline the communication process and enables faster interactions.

Why is First Response Time important in inside sales?

First Response Time holds a great importance in inside sales because it influences customer satisfaction. Ultra-fast responses improve the chances of potential leads getting converted into paying and loyal customers.

What are the consequences of a delayed first response in inside sales?
What role does technology play in reducing first response time?

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