Industries

The Voice Tech Trend takes over the Hotel and Hospitality Industry

Finally, as the COVID-19 pandemic appears to become less threatening, the tourism industry is able to pick up again. While hotels and other accommodation facilities are gradually filling up again, the hospitality industry is seeking new solutions to innovate and better accommodate guests.

Many hospitality executives are looking at voice technology, as a new route to support their internal operations as well as offering an improved customer experience.

There are many ways voice can support businesses, particularly in the hospitality sector: improving customer support, increasing customer loyalty, improving speed and efficiency and working on some of the most recurring pain points, e.g. lengthy checkout procedures.

In this article, we will discuss the benefits of voice technology for hospitality on both the business and customer side, reflecting on some success stories of the caliber of LEGOLAND® Hotels and Wynn Las Vegas.

How does voice technology “work” in a hotel?

We’ve acknowledged that many hotels choose to go the voice route to improve customer experience and deepen guest engagement through seamless voice-first experiences. But how exactly is voice technology implemented in hospitality facilities?

Both Amazon and Google have created their own programs to support businesses in the hospitality sector in the process of implementing voice technology. 

Alexa Smart Properties for hospitality provides device fleet management to build Alexa capabilities at scale. Hotel employees and guests alike can easily interact with Alexa through the various Echo displays that are integrated throughout the various areas of the hotel.

Similarly, Google offers a new hotel solution, that allows travelers to use a Nest Hub smart display in their room, equipped with the Google Assistant voice AI to do things like playing music, ordering fresh towels and, even, checking out.

Hotels can choose to integrate either of these hospitality-dedicated voice systems, to allow their guests as well as their employees to access a number of services via voice. All devices will be accessible through a centralized console, which can be deployed by a variety of solution providers.

The AI will also be fully integrated with property management systems, guest requests and engagement platforms and can be fully personalized to match the hotel’s identity and character. 

Naturally, having their systems integrated into hotels is an interesting business opportunity for smart speaker manufacturers, like Amazon and Google, to foster new adopters of their devices. Guests who were unfamiliar with voice assistants might consider buying one, after experiencing the benefits during their stay.

The benefits of voice technology for hotels and guests

Hospitality leaders are choosing voice technology for the benefits it offers to their guests as well as their internal team. Some of the most significant advantages of implementing a voice system in hotels are, as summed up by SoundHound:

  1. Improved customer support, leading to increased customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. A voice assistant is able to offer 24/7 customer support, fulfilling guest requests or directing them to a staff member when necessary.This leads us to our second point.
  2. Taking a load off staff. While the voice assistant is always there to respond to requests and claims, staff members can focus on other, less trivial tasks, contributing to a better overall service experience.
  3. Personalization. Guests are able to have their experience tailored to their preferences, tapping into one of the key trends for hospitality: personalization. Being able to reproduce their favorite songs, set an alarm and control connected to devices, all through voice, allows them to live an experience that is perfectly tailored to their needs.
  4. Removing language barriers. Naturally, AIs can speak many different languages, allowing every guest to feel at home and talk to them in their mother tongue.
  5. Differentiation. Many customers appreciate innovative hotels that offer new hi-tech solutions. A voice assistant is a hi-tech perk that many will want to experience and might prompt some travelers to pick one structure over another.
  6. Giving a voice to your hotel. Along with things like the lobby and the hotel uniforms, in-room voice technology can contribute to creating a 360 experience, allowing the hotel to show off its brand identity.
  7. More hygienic stays. More voice means less touching around. Things like light switches and remote controls in hotel rooms are prone to being targeted by germs and voice control could allow guests to be completely touch-free. 
  8. Monetization, e.g. by making ordering room service easier. There is no doubt that voice technology can prove its ROI. Along with being able to monetize the experience, voice systems allow hospitality structures to decrease operational costs, better understand their needs, all while encouraging guests to return.

Sounds good, right? Let’s see how some hospitality giants like LEGOLAND Hotels and Wynn Las Vegas are leveraging voice technology in their structures.

Case studies: LEGOLAND® and Wynn Hotels

Many hotels have already successfully implemented voice technology into their management system. LEGOLAND® Hotels is one of the pioneers of the Google-powered hotel solution, whereas Wynn Las Vegas is a great case study of Alexa Smart Properties for hospitality. Let’s see how these two hospitality businesses are operating with voice technology.

Merlin Entertainment, the company behind the LEGOLAND brand, is known as one of the world’s largest family attractions operators. In August 2021, they started using Google Nest Hub, integrated with Volara’s conversation management software, in their accommodation facilities. Nest Hub has allowed them to reimagine the in-room guest experience, completely eliminating the need to interact with high-touch surfaces, like light switches and telephones. 

Guests at LEGOLAND Hotels have made large use of the voice assistant, with over 76.8% of Nest Hub devices being used every day. What’s more, they estimate a saving of 10 hours of staff time a day, thanks to the automation of greetings, recommendations and information sharing.

Wynn Las Vegas, on the other hand, relies on Alexa Smart Properties for hospitality. Guests can ask Alexa to turn on and off the lights, set temperature, open and close curtains, ask for housekeeping and much more. In the first two months, they registered 49,000 utterances of customers interacting with Alexa.

From a survey conducted across over 40,000 guests, Wynn Las Vegas gathered that over 85% of their customers find the system easy or very easy to use and 66.8% prefer a room with Alexa integration.

Many hotels in the U.S. have adopted Alexa already for a while, but recently Alexa Smart Properties for hospitality has also been brought to Europe and in the U.K., in particular.

Do you want to know more about implementing voice technology in a hotel? Let’s talk about it together: email us at hello@vocalime.com or send us a voice message.

Curious to know about the many ways voice can help businesses? Check out also our guides to voice tech for digital brands, healthcare, automotive, industrial sectors and, banks, financial services and insurance.

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