Maximizing Guest Experience with Concierge AI solutions

Think about your ideal vacation experience at a place you’ve never been. 

What sort of resources would you want? One of those might be a personal concierge – an expert who knows the area and details of the property where you are staying. This would be someone you could have a conversation with at any point on your trip. You could get quick answers about the property, and together you could decide on the best ways to spend your precious vacation time. 

We’re talking about the ideal experience, so having this personal concierge would be fantastic. It would prevent hunting across the internet for answers or scouring guidebooks for local information. Wait though… having someone tag along everywhere you go doesn’t really fit that ‘ideal’ description. That might get old in a hurry. Ideally, we want a conversational experience without the person! 

As it turns out, that combination is now available. A conversation without a person on the other end is now possible with AI solutions. It’s the benefit of a local expert, without the issues that bringing a human into the mix would involve. 

The hypothetical discussed above was all about the ideal vacation experience – but what do we actually do in real life? A guest’s choice often boils down to either:

  • Spending more time than they want doing research to find destinations and experiences.
  • Gambling on the unknown – a place looks good, but they don’t really know. They take a chance and give it a shot.

As vacation rental hosts, we try hard to help. We want guests to have amazing experiences. 

Now with AI, we have a new tool that can make a significant difference. When guests have questions or need a recommendation, an AI concierge can deliver the answer. Guests don’t need to do research. Information is available through a conversation.

Importantly, an AI concierge needs to be equipped with that information to do its job. The most valuable information is curated content provided by the host. The AI system should be capable of allowing a host to add content easily, across a wide range of topics. That means automatically generating recommendations for the host, and then allowing the host to curate that content. It could be as simple as approving the content, or tweaking it to fit a host’s personal preferences.

The next consideration is equally important. An AI concierge needs to be able to identify things that guests are asking about, and then provide that back to the host. That way, a host doesn’t need to ‘boil the ocean’ when creating content – they can specifically address those topics that guests are interested in. We’re all busy, so these analytics should be available both on-demand and as regular reports. This ‘Guest-Host-AI’ feedback loop allows the AI concierge to get smarter over time.

How about the curated content itself? Hosts should be able to equip the AI concierge with not only text, but also images, audio, and video. Take the example of a guest who is trying to figure out how to start a fire in the wood stove without smoking up the house. What if they could ask an AI concierge for help, and have a short video delivered in response? That would do wonders for reducing frustration and instead bring delight. 

Now consider how the guest gets access to the AI concierge. Some AI systems route all information through a unified inbox. That means the guest is either receiving an email or has access to the OTA mobile app (Airbnb/Vrbo). That design decision limits access to the specific individual who booked the stay. What about all the other people staying at the property? They are equally important. An AI concierge that is available through a web link and/or an in-property device allows access to all guests. 

This is an exciting time – AI-powered Concierge solutions are now available. Hosts can easily equip them with knowledge, and guests can reap the benefits. Plus, we are only getting started. Moving forward we will see solutions move ever closer to delivering that ideal ‘personal concierge’ experience we talked about. 

The takeaway? – there is an opportunity to get started now. You can begin to equip your AI concierge system with common FAQs and deliver value today. But that is just the beginning. Rapid AI development is underway. Add to that the ‘Guest-Host-AI’ feedback loop (equipping the AI concierge to get smarter), and you can see why real change is coming to how hosts handle guest engagement.

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