Volara adds accuracy engine for Alexa

Volara’s accuracy engine leverages robust data sets, contextual awareness, AI and machine learning to sharply reduce errors and increase guest satisfaction. Photo credit: Volara

Volara has developed a patent-pending technology that will help Amazon’s Alexa excel in the complex hotel environment. As hotel guests bring their own colloquialisms, accents and verbally convey their intents to hotels in myriad ways, Volara’s new accuracy engine enables Alexa to satisfy their commands appropriately and with greater precision. Volara’s accuracy engine leverages robust data sets, contextual awareness, artificial intelligence and machine learning to sharply reduce errors and increase guest satisfaction.
“Volara’s technology does not process what a guest says. Volara interprets what Alexa hears,” Volara CEO David Berger said in a statement. “For example, our data shows that Alexa sometimes hears the word ‘shuttle’ as ‘shudder’ or even ‘should hill.’ With our accuracy engine, ‘shudder’ will trigger the appropriate action or integration, like calling the hotel shuttle. Volara’s accuracy engine provides a translation layer between what Alexa hears and what action a guest is asking of our client hotels.” 
Volara’s software benefits from what it calls SmartSlots, which represent common terms used across hotels (e.g., in-room dining, dental kit, valet). The data on what Alexa hears when a guest uses one of these terms informs and improves the SmartSlots across all properties in each portfolio. 
“Volara’s accuracy engine with SmartSlots is ideal for hotels that are part of a larger brand or portfolio,” Berger said. “When a SmartSlot is updated at one hotel, the interaction models driving the conversations will be updated across all hotels within that group or brand. As Volara’s client base continues to grow, so will the frequency and granularity of these updates, thereby improving the likelihood that a guest will be well satisfied by his or her interaction with Alexa.”
Berger explained that Alexa users in the home train themselves to speak with Alexa in a way that minimizes disappointing responses, such as “Sorry, I don’t know that one,”  “Hmmm, I don’t know that” or “Sorry, I’m not sure.”
“Hotel guests tend to have less patience and expect technology to adapt to them rather than the other way around,” Berger said. “Hoteliers are even less patient, especially when Alexa’s failure to understand voice commands can cause lost revenue, complaints, and overall customer dissatisfaction. Volara ensures that no matter how a hotel is using voice technology, whether it’s for service requests, concierge recommendations, personal greetings, compendium information, loyalty programs or a host of other applications—the spoken word is being recognized and translated accurately.”

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Hotel Optimization Part 3 | January 27, 2021

With 2020 behind us and widespread vaccine distribution on the horizon, the second half of the new year is looking up, but for Q1 (and most likely well into Q2) we’re very much still in the thick of what has undeniably been the lowest point of the pandemic. What can you be doing now to power through and set yourself up for a prosperous 2021 and beyond? Join us at Part 3 of Hotel Optimization – A Virtual Event on January 27 from 10am – 1:05pm ET for expert panels focused on getting you back to profitability.