Written by Monscierge Software Engineer, Matt Owens.
Amazon’s Alexa is a cloud-based voice service that allows software developers to build natural voice experiences that offer customers a more intuitive way to interact with the technology they use every day. The Alexa voice service raises interesting questions about the future of artificial intelligence technology in the hospitality industry.
Monscierge makes connecting hotels with guests easy. Our Connect platform enables guests to make a request directly to hotel staff with the touch of a button on their smartphone. Alexa presents the opportunity to innovate the Connect platform in ways that have not been possible in the past. The development team here at Monscierge recently developed a proof-of-concept which allowed us to submit a staff request via an Amazon Echo, using only our voices. The program we wrote allowed our Echo to handle much of the communication that would normally require human input to interact. Here’s an example of requesting pillows:
Us: Alexa, tell the front desk I’d like some more pillows.
Alexa: Do you prefer soft or firm pillows?
Alexa: How many firm pillows would you like?
Alexa: Your request for two, firm pillows has been submitted to the front desk. Please allow up to five minutes for delivery to your room.
The Alexa service handled the entire conversation and then communicated with our system to create the request with the details about the pillows and sent it to the right person for fulfillment. Guests no longer have to unlock their smartphones to submit a request. Since Alexa assists in obtaining details about the request (i.e. how many, what type), the hotel staff gets the right information the first time. This allows them to focus more on the task at hand, rather than the fine details, resulting in better customer service.
It’s not hard to imagine a guest experience in which everything you could want or need is available at the sound of your voice. Artificial intelligence has the potential to create a personalized, care-free guest experience. Monscierge and Alexa will change the way hotels and guests connect.