A hotel's success is highly dependent on customer's satisfaction and reviews. To provide an enjoyable guest experience, hotel processes have to run smoothly across many departments. The responsibility of successful hotel stays are heavily left on the shoulders of hotel managers.
When trying to find a way to improve hotel processes, how can conversational tech be leveraged to facilitate that improvement? Facilitating hotel employees to work and manage time better could be a factor in creating a better guest experience.
Tools and Methods
Competitive Analysis, Ethnographic Interviews, Affinity Mapping, Conversation Design
Cherie Cu, Nishchala Singhal
Exploring Hotel Management & Voice
Understanding the Hotel Voice Landscape
Initial research efforts included doing a competitive analysis of CUIs in the hotel domain & domain research for designing for CUIs. With the competitive analysis, we wanted to understand the key features, potential opportunities areas, and partnerships these services ran on.
Uncovering A DESIGN OPPORTUNITIY
We created a comparison matrix of different services and features and developed a list of key metrics. Creating this matrix helped us develop an understanding of the what differentiated products and what features users valued the most.
Many solutions existed to help guests, but none for hotel managers and staff!
Interviewing hotel managers
To begin developing an appropriate CUI for hotel managers, we wanted to learn more about the tasks and the daily responsibilities of this user group. My team and I did this by:
Phone interviewing hotel managers in the area (primary research)
Analyzing job description of job posts on websites (secondary research)
The questions we asked and data we collected was centered around understanding a hotel manger’s daily tasks and their major responsibilities.
Most hotel managers would like to be regularly engaged and informed about their daily responsibilities.
Learning How to Design a Conversation
Task driven dialogue
From the interviews & job postings, we consolidated a list of major tasks and responsibilities. We took this list and started to craft scenarios where engaging conversations could improve their workflow. Each of the scenarios highlighted the CUIs ability to:
notify the user
process a request from the manager
assist the manager to find more information for a task
Crafting a conversation
We wanted to understand how to leverage conversations in a hotel manager's daily tasks, what are the benefits & obstacles of CUIs, and how to build and implement a CUI. To understanding how to build conversation between machines and humans we had to study how to model conversations. We studied how Ruby would signal certain things like attention, processing, and responses to similar intents. We used our task driven model to build conversations around intents and key parameters for Ruby to recognize.
Creating use cases to test dialogues
We wanted to test the conversation we had built out, so we created some use cases and started having people talk through them. We took note about how the person held a conversation with the agent, moments of hesitation, or dialogue that seemed confusing. Here are a few sample use cases!
1. Improve the workflow of hotel managers
A hotel managers have many responsibilities from managing guests, providing tourist information, and leading hotel employees. We found that since they have so many tasks to perform regularly, a voice assistant would reduce some of their cognitive load
2. Easy to learn dialogue patterns and intuitive conversations
Conversations are easy for people to engage is and requires very little learning. Hotel managers will quickly be able to learn how Ruby works and integrate it into their daily workflow.
3. Provide relevant information with a user defined intents
Ruby would be able to provide the hotel manager with context relevant information in realtime. Just by speaking her name, Ruby let the manager know what is happening around important parts of the hotel, like front desk, lobbies, kitchens, bars, etc.