While room service is one of the things most of us look forward to while vacationing, often it comes with its own hassles and frustrations. Whether it’s making unnecessary trips to the front office, or having staff completely misunderstand your requests, these are problems we’d all like to avoid. Fortunately, the solution seems to have come sooner than expected. Thanks to startup AavGo, all this may soon be a thing of the past.
AavGo is making efforts that will make communication in and around the hotel much more efficient. Utilizing the convenience of iPads, the service intends to keep the lines of communication open, by allowing hotel guests to easily get in touch with hotel staff, letting them communicate among themselves.
CUSTOMER/ GUEST BENEFITS
The hotel based communication service officially made its debut last week, and so far there seems to be progress. As of now, AavGo has enabled communication between staff and guests in the five hotel chains that it is currently active in. These hotels are equipped with tablets provided by AavGo. The tablets are placed in the hotel rooms, for guests to conveniently use them to request services or basic hotel supplies such as shampoo, extra towels, extra pillows and food.
Hotel guests will in future have an easier stay at a hotel when most of the services they need are in the palm of their hand. All they need to do is to ask as and when they need to, even from the comfort of their bed. Guests can also access real-time information and broadcasts updated by the hotel based on what they are interested in.
According to Mrunal Desai, the co-founder of AavGo, the aim of their service is to get rid of the need to make room service phone calls. He adds that rather than a hotel guest going to the front desk, the application gives them the advantage of easily requesting any kind of service the hotel provides via the tablet. The only prerequisite for this, however, is that the hotel has Wi-Fi access.
HOTEL INDUSTRY BENEFITS
The benefits of the platform are not only for the customers. The app provides the hotelier with a unique yet effective solution to improve customer service and enhance guest experience. AavGo activated hotels such as Hotel Strata and The Row Hotel can make use of the app’s communication tools to connect directly with the customers from when they check-in right up until they check-out.
Additionally, since communication and feedback between guests and staff is instant and without delay, a deeper level of engagement is maintained. This establishes loyalty
with customers, who are likely to leave a positive review and even recommend
others to the hotel.
Based on the app’s features, hotels can also cut down on operating costs incurred by telephone calls made to the front desk. AavGo ensures this by providing free tablets for each room, each integrated with a free app to keep guests and staff connected at all times. This means responses can be automated and the information is made readily available to guests.
Additionally, the hotelier can gain insight based on the guest requests received at the hotel on a daily basis. This helps them make better decisions and improve their service delivery
Furthermore, the hotel management has an easier job broadcasting outages, specials, and happy hours directly to guests. This allows them to save time, effectively sell their additional services and broadcast promotions. Considering the app is on every tablet in every room, hotels are able to reach all its guests, even those who have no time to stop by at the front desk, or who don’t like being bothered in their rooms. As a result, this ensures that the hotel makes additional revenue while remaining professional in their announcements and marketing strategies.
COMPETITION DIFFERENCES AND SIMILARITIES
AavGo isn’t the only start-up carving this gap. ALICE is yet another platform in this space. ALICE which actually stands for “A Life-Improving Customer Experience,” is software that focuses on solving most hotels’ operational problems. The system works to enable hotels to easily manage their operations, and complete guest requests across different service departments, all on a single platform. The app basically features a host of intuitive mobile suite features that help control organizational details involved in running a hotel.
Early last year, the company managed to raise $9.5 million in a Series A round of funding led by Expedia with participants such as 645 Ventures, Neuehouse and Laconia. In total the startup raised $13 million in funding. The company revealed via their press release that the funds were set to build and expand their team, product, engineering and account activities.
Even though plans are underway for the company to create a SaaS pricing model with hotel partners, ALICE is already touting customers. Some notable hotels partnering with the hospitality platform include Nylo Hotels, Sixty Hotels and Triumph Hotels. Although its benefits seem to fall on the management side, ALICE’s co-founder Alex Shashou revealed that on the customer’s side, the system allows guests to explore and communicate with their hotels for any service.
While these two apps may be similar, AavGo and ALICE are not the same. According to Desai, one thing sets AavGo apart – it doesn’t specialize only in boutique hotels. What’s more, AavGo includes in-room tablets as part of its service package.
While ALICE charges client hotels a price range of $500 – $1500 per month to access their platform, AavGo charges $5 per room every month, with the tablet included for free.
Only a few months ago, the AavGo startup closed a round of funding at $1 million. Now that it’s live in five hotel chains, AavGo has ambitious plans to launch its service in 50 hotels by the end of the year. Even though it’s still in the early stages the company hopes to reach its goal of 500 hotels by December 2018.