Edwardian Hotels London has launched a new ‘virtual host’ service to its hotel guests, designed by Aspect Software.
The artificially intelligent service, called ‘Edward’, is designed to deliver exceptional experiences for guests who prefer digital brand interaction. Available at 12 Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotels, including Heathrow and the Vanderbilt in South Kensington in London, the new Interactive Text Response (ITR) mobile SMS service will allow guests to check and request hotel amenities – such as towels or room service, get information about local bars and restaurants and even express complaints – simply by sending a text message. ‘Edward’ will respond within a few seconds.
The hotel’s chatbot is a new service and part of a wider project to digitally transform the way that Edwardian Hotels London engages with guests across every touch point, by using Aspect’s cloud-based technology.
Edward works by using automated and intelligent text-based interaction, via a self-service interface that is accessible 24/7 and powered by Aspect’s Customer Experience Platform (Aspect CXP). Guests can use the service to message their requests and get immediate responses.
The natural language understanding (NLU) interface enables guests to use natural, conversational language rather than remembering cryptic commands, though the application is backed up with live assistance when needed. Complaints or requests that need a follow-up by hotel staff can therefore be immediately addressed. Guests can even ask explicitly for an immediate callback should a human touch be desired.
The program has been designed to cohesively join existing in-house developed software systems, to ensure a seamless response to queries. This will permit a swift response time for users.
“Edwardian Hotels London places a high value on our brand and it is imperative that we evolve our guest experiences to meet growing consumer demand for more digital interaction. The hotel’s recent rebranding is indicative of this initiative, and Edward is a fun and personalised way for our guests to enhance their experience and engage with us,” says Michael Mrini, director of information technology. “Having already been an Aspect customer, we are very excited to work with them to give our guests a truly unique and modern experience.”
Joe Gagnon, senior vice-president and chief customer strategy officer at Aspect, says: “Texting and messaging will very soon become the simple and central entry point for the entire customer service ecosystem, since it’s quick, private and easy to use. It’s already a part of most smartphone owners’ everyday lives; it is much more convenient for us to order room service, or get recommendations from Edward on the local tourist hotspots – all with a simple text. Aspect’s self-service technology can be designed for one channel and then used across others, which will enable Edwardian Hotels London to provide consistency of service across interactions.”