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Are your customers ready for a virtual concierge?

April 10, 2017

Are your customers ready for a virtual concierge?

Whenever we see virtual concierge solutions portrayed in the movies, they’re usually shown in a science-fiction setting as some far-out futuristic technology.

The protagonist enters a sterile lobby void of humans and approaches a kiosk.

A face appears on the screen and asks how they can be of assistance.

What happens next is a conversation between human and computer attendant (or, virtual concierge), where the computer is capable of providing information, making appointments or reservations, connecting the human to other humans, and more. 

The reality is that virtual concierge solutions are available now. There’s no need to wait for the future. However, there are some things to know before you attempt to offer such solutions to your customers.

Virtual concierge solutions can be complex

Depending on the type of concierge capabilities your customers desire, integration levels can be quite complex. For instance, consider a large office building containing multiple tenants. It’s possible to create a virtual concierge solution that acts as a directory for guests, allowing them to check if someone is in the office, available to meet, accessible for a call, and more. To make such functionality possible, you’d need integrations with whatever platform each tenant uses for email and scheduling, as well as integrations into their phone systems. This is not for the faint of heart.

Don't try to replace humans to save money

At this point in time, virtual concierge solutions aren’t fully capable of replacing humans. They might never be ready. There are just too many cases where people need to speak to other people, and a computer, for all its capabilities, simply can’t handle complex conversations or requests or read a person’s emotions to be able to handle all interactions. Also, many business owners aren’t necessarily keen to the idea of replacing a personable long-standing employee with a machine.

Find the ROI

At this point, you might be wondering why you should ever consider selling such solutions or in which circumstances your customers might want one. What you need to do is sell the solutions based on less tangible ROI factors.

For example, within hotels, virtual concierge kiosks can be used not to replace human workers, but to augment them during busy times when lines are long. Additionally, since they don’t need to rest, these kiosks can be used to create an after-hours presence when traffic is usually very light.

Perhaps your customer operates a business where visitors come from all over the world. A virtual concierge can easily provide multilingual support when organizations lack a staff with the necessary language fluency.

What you see in the above examples are ways that we can leverage the power of technology to help humans and improve customer service. In all cases, selling these solutions requires you to have a deep understanding of your customers’ needs and capabilities. However, with the right customer and the right application, virtual concierge solutions can provide amazing benefits and boost your bottom line.