If you check into Village Hotels later this year, you’ll discover your very own virtual concierge in your room. She can’t carry your bags but she can help you make the most of your stay.
British hotel brand, Village Hotels is integrating artificial intelligence with its multi-channel customer experience strategy by rolling out virtual assistant Amazon Alexa in all of its 28 UK hotels, with the help of creative agency Equator.
The devices are currently being piloted in two flagship sites in Glasgow and Warrington. The plan is to roll out the virtual concierge to all sites by the end of 2017. Village is the very first in the country to install the Amazon Echo Dot in its guest rooms.
The Amazon Echo Dot has been customised by Equator’s Innovation team to allow guests to ‘Ask Village’. The virtual assistant will answer questions and perform tasks to enhance the customer experience. Examples include sharing restaurant, pool, gym and spa opening times, things to do in the local area, checkout times and delivering wakeup calls.
Simple instructions on the device inform guests not to ask the virtual concierge about next week’s winning lottery numbers, if Donald Trump’s hair is real, if their bum looks big or to explain infinity.
The hotel brand is focused on creating a multi-channel experience for its customers in other ways too. In May, Equator installed Village’s first ‘totem screen’ at the Warrington site. These 70-inch customisable, interactive digital screens will inform customers about different offers and events taking place at the hotel as well as useful information including gym class times and the weather.
The technology is being developed by Equator ahead of Village launching its 29th hotel in Portsmouth this year, which is slated be its most high-tech yet, integrating every aspect of the room experience from entertainment to air conditioning. “As technology continues to evolve, customers expect a consistently seamless service. That’s why we have chosen to invest significantly in giving guests a truly multi-channel experience where they have access to all the services and information they require, right at their fingertips,” Rob Paterson, Commercial Director at Village Hotels, said. “We’ve worked closely with Equator to create that experience, first with our intuitive website that makes booking a simple and speedy process for customers, and now with the roll out of the Amazon Echo Dot and interactive screens.” According to Paterson, the response to the technology-led integrated experience has been overwhelmingly positive.