It’s not often I get excited about a hotel stay during a trade show, but this year for World Travel Market I am hoping to meet someone whom I’ve recently heard a lot about: Edward – the Virtual Host of Edwardian Hotels London.
Chatbots are something I have traditionally just thought were for millennials and those who like to avoid personal interaction. But that perspective changed in March, when I attended the Oracle Hospitality Connect EMEA event in Lisbon (read the day 1 and day 2 recaps) and met Michael Mrini, Director of IT at the Edwardian Hotels London. That’s when he gave his presentation about Edward, showcasing how the chatbot helped revolutionize customer service across the Edwardian Hotels London estate.
We’re forever hearing about guest personalization and interaction in hotels, but the reality of dealing with such volume of inquiries requires someone sitting at the end of a phone answering calls or being taken away from duties at reception. However, with the use of AI and chatbots, many hoteliers already are seeing faster response times and greater guest usage, allowing hotel staff to focus on delivering guest services – rather than answering the phone for someone in room 101 needing more towels.
Since its launch, Edward has helped more than 30,000 guests from 99 countries speaking 59 different languages, and so far in 2019, has managed 69% of all guest requests – saving approximately 95 working days. Such efficiency has enabled Edwardian Hotels London to assign those staff on other customer service related tasks, helping boost those all-important guest survey scores and reviews.
Edward is integrated with Oracle Hospitality’s OPERA Property Management System and Oracle Hospitality’s Simphony Restaurant Point of Sale using their open APIs, allowing Edward to reply to questions about your reservation or room. Edward also manages room service orders, which has resulted in increased up-sell revenue, and Edward also links into concierge services and bookings of services such as spa treatments. The more you use Edward at every stay, the more he learns about you to help tailor your stay.
I’m looking forward to giving this a go myself in November at World Travel Market in London; perhaps, he can suggest a great bar to unwind in after the tradeshow! But if you want to learn more about what Edward, AI and chatbots can deliver for hoteliers, join Oracle Hospitality’s David Meltzer and Michael Mrini at the TF conference