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How Artificial Intelligence is Changing the Hospitality Industry

By John Smallwood, President of Travel Outlook
November 2022

If you were to ask 100 hotels what the greatest problem they face in their day-to-day operations is, they would all reply with a similar version of the same story— staffing issues.

Staffing shortages have become increasingly problematic for hotels around the world. These issues started before the pandemic and were made exponentially worse by the last two and a half turbulent years.

Despite a hotel’s best efforts, staffing shortages are noticed by guests and often negatively impact their stays. For most hotels, staffing issues stretch hotel employees too thin as they work tirelessly to man the front desk and phone lines for the reservations department. The result is a decrease in the quality of customer service and reservations made, which leads to a loss in profit.

Fortunately for hoteliers everywhere, developments in artificial intelligence offer a solution designed specifically for the Hospitality industry— Annette, The Virtual Hotel Agent™ (formerly known as Travel Outlook’s Bella).

Don’t choose between your front desk and your reservation department

Staffing shortages are no longer easy to solve issues that go away with a quick hiring spree. As workforce shortages continue to plague the Hospitality industry, hotels must think outside the box to offer the same service guests are used to with a fraction of the employees.

One of the biggest issues that arise from staffing shortages is that hotels must pick where to focus their attention between the front desk and the reservation department phone lines. With modern artificial intelligence technology designed specifically for the Hospitality industry, hotels can focus on current guests, while phone lines are covered by AI.

Annette, the Hospitality industry’s first AI-powered virtual hotel agent, is today’s solution for the hotel industry’s staffing shortage problem. She answers up to 70% of calls, allowing the front desk staff to interact with on-site guests, increasing hotel reservations and profitability without sacrificing service.

How AI can solve hotel staffing issues for good

The recent sharp rise in travel combined with the current widespread staffing shortages have forced hotels into a tough spot. But not anymore. Thanks to Annette, hoteliers can immediately address hiring and staffing challenges.

Beyond answering most of the calls for your front desk, Annette can answer hundreds of FAQs specific to your property, understand multiple languages, route calls, send follow-up texts, and much more. Annette will instantly and effectively improve your guests’ experience. And do it affordably.

Modern AI puts the personal touch back in the Hospitality industry

The Hospitality industry, at its core, is a service-oriented line of business. A hotel won’t get far if it doesn’t meet or surpass guests’ expectations when it comes to customer service.

John Smallwood, President of Travel Outlook

According to John Smallwood, President of Travel Outlook, “Annette doesn’t just free-up front desk staff to focus on on-site guests, she anticipates hotel guests’ needs as they arise while delivering quality customer service with each customer interaction over the phone. Instead of sounding like a run-of-the-mill call bot, Annette can be programmed using your hotel’s very own voice talent. When a customer calls and Annette answers, they hear a friendly familiar voice with an appropriate regional accent.”

Communicate with a global audience with modern AI technology

Travel is a global business, and effective communication is one of the core pillars of customer service. Annette, hospitality industry’s only virtual hotel agent, allows your hotel to communicate efficiently and effectively with travelers from around the world.

When guests call from other countries speaking different languages, Annette listens, understands, and replies in their native tongue. Customers don’t have to get frustrated to communicate with Annette by repeating themselves constantly and over annunciating every word. She communicates and understands conversational tones as well as local jargon. Annette represents the next-generation artificial intelligence technology designed specifically for the hospitality industry.

With the high cost of labor, Annette is hospitality’s most effective solution to consider. Find out how Annette, The Virtual Hotel Agent™, can improve your hotel’s voice channel, immediately eliminate problems caused by staffing shortages, and raise the bar for customer service.

Looking for ways to addresses hiring and staffing challenges and control front desk labor expense?

Learn more about Annette, the first AI-powered virtual agent dedicated to hotel guest service.

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John Smallwood, President

About John Smallwood, President of Travel Outlook

A veteran in the hospitality industry, John has owned, developed, and managed hotels for many years. After earning a BBA from New Mexico State University, he started his career with AT&T, gaining invaluable insight and experience in the early years of the data revolution. His experience in technology and hospitality merged in his development of Travel Outlook, the world-class hospitality contact center. More recently, he has branched out with the creation of ExpressRez, the premier contact center for the Bed and Breakfast industry, and with the creation of Annette, the first AI-powered voice bot for the hotel industry.

 
About Travel Outlook

Given its progressive approach to the voice channel – in terms of performance, training, transparency, testing and the tools used to measure performance – Travel Outlook Premium Hotel Call Center has become the premier voice reservations team in hospitality. Travel Outlook’s valued client list includes Viceroy Hotel Group, Outrigger, KSL Resorts, Proper Hospitality Group, Pacific Hospitality Group, Highgate Hotels, The Irvine Company, Catalina Island and many others. Travel Outlook’s team and approach increases sales conversion and helps to create more effective voice communication between hotels and their guests, resulting in improved social scores in addition to increased voice channel revenue. For more information, visit www.traveloutlook.com.

About Annette™, The Virtual Hotel Agent™:

Annette is an AI powered virtual call center agent that represents the next generation of voice bots designed specifically for the Hospitality industry. Annette has been programmed using a breakthrough approach to voice bots, a system built from human conversations. Using social media, chat forums, and movie dialogue, Annette learns from billions of casual human conversations to understand human inflections and multi-turn queries. This revolutionary approach means Annette understands callers no matter what they say, when they say it, or how they speak. Annette can answer FAQs specific to your property, understand multiple languages, route calls, send follow up texts, and more.

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