How Advancements in AI can
Revolutionize a Caller’s Experience

As consumers, we all know the immense frustration that comes with dealing with call center voice bots. Whenever you pick up the phone, you expect to hear another human on the other end, when that’s not the case, it’s not only disappointing but inconvenient. That inconvenience increases tenfold when the voice bot sends you into a cyclical conversation with yourself without addressing your needs as a customer.

As we have detailed before, there are many problems with current IVR models (Interactive Voice Response Systems). For starters IVR systems typically have long menus and rigid redirecting that leave you talking in circles without addressing the reason for your call. For many corporations, IVR systems are a necessary evil. IVR systems are implemented when call volumes are so large that manpower alone cannot meet the demand of your callers.

In 2021, with all the rapid advancements in Artificial Intelligence and smart devices, is there an IVR system that can meet the needs of today’s consumers? If so, what does that system look and sound like? To find out how to fix the Hospitality Industry’s Voice Bot Problem, continue reading below.

A solution to IVR’s many problems

While IVR has technically been around in some form or another since the mid-1970s, it was widely implemented in the 2000’s. IVR limited functioning is proven to actually deter business. It’s time we embrace modern voice bots as the solution to IVR’s numerous issues. So, what sets a modern voice bot apart from traditional IVR systems?

A humanized call experience and rapid redirecting

Over annunciating is one of the more infuriating aspects of dealing with IVR systems. Modern voice bots use artificial intelligence-powered tech to better recognize varying patterns of speech. This technology, known as Natural Language Processing (NLP), has customizable accents to make customers from all over the world feel like they’re having a normal conversation. These bots will be able to answer simple questions. For more complex queries, they can identify which customer service representative is needed and quickly redirect the call.

Utilize existing data

Unlike IVR systems that are limited when they collect, store, or use valuable caller data, modern voice bots will take advantage of existing data and will identify caller sentiment and other valuable insights to help your company gain important customer information.

A voice bot that can sell?

Modern voice bots are able to understand caller preferences and anticipate their demands due to their interconnected back-end systems. Additionally, voice bots have unlimited access to customer context, which allows for personalized sales opportunities. When a voice bot can identify a specific caller immediately, they can sell them on specific products related to their personal customer journey.

Your voice channel is the gateway to your business

If your hotel is using outdated IVR technology to greet current or potential guests, they won’t feel welcomed. Where IVR falls short in terms of personal ability, instructiveness, and quick redirecting, modern voice bots excel.

Next-gen voice bots will be the ultimate AI-driven tool for your hotel

Of all the modern AI call bot systems, only one system will be designed specifically for the hospitality industry. A hospitality-specific voice channel will have rapid call routing capabilities, boast a personalized experience, be able to troubleshoot, and answer FAQs.

As hospitality insiders know, customer service is paramount in our industry. Only a voice bot with the most advanced Natural Language Processing system could excel in a service-driven industry.

Embracing the wave of change that technology will bring

Unlike today’s callous IVR systems, IVR’s of the future will boast a warm, friendly, and uniquely human experience for callers. They’ll be able to accurately understand callers’ requests and needs, even when they speak in long-winded sentences. They’ll learn terms and phrases that are specific to your hotel’s branding. And they’ll allow callers to interrupt and immediately change topics without having to repeat the same cyclical call menu.

As we roll into the new year, we’ll be introducing readers to the next evolution in AI-powered voice bots. Designed specifically for the hospitality industry, key features will include call routing, personalized call experiences, transfer to extensions, ability to communicate in any language, ability to send follow-up texts, connect via API, answer FAQs, and much more. Best of all, this innovation will allow you to control your front desk labor expense by answering 100% of your calls and seamlessly transferring them to the appropriate extension. Yes, the next-gen of IVR systems is here – are you ready?

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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

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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