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Hotel Voicebot: FAQs

Hotel voice virtual assistants, or hotel voicebots, help hotels automate self-service for guests to resolve their issues quickly through a natural conversation without the necessity to talk to the front office staff.

Just like a chatbot in digital channels, HiJiffy’s voicebot provides assistance in the main social media channels and messaging apps, with more channels in the pipeline to be made available soon.

Whether we call it a hotel voice virtual assistant or a hotel voicebot, it all boils down to the same thing: it is an AI-powered Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system that lets guests speak in their own words, instead of choosing from a limited set of options, and have a natural bidirectional interaction to find quick solutions.

State-of-the-art voicebots can deliver personalised greetings, predict customer intent, and engage in human-like conversations that feel like talking to the front office staff. And if guests have a problem that the virtual assistant cannot solve, it routes them to the most suitable front office agent, along with all the context of the conversation so far.

Unlocking a new era in guest communications, HiJiffy’s multilingual hotel virtual assistant is capable of handling complex voice communication with guests in complete sentences, offering instant voice responses closely replicating a human-like interaction.

Including multiple personalisation options for the voice – from gender to accent, from tone to cadence, the solution allows hoteliers to customise it accordingly to their brand guidelines and preferences.

HiJiffy’s voice virtual assistant provides efficient, effective engagements, increasing self-service containment, improving guest satisfaction, and freeing the front office staff to handle more complex inquiries.

When guests get immediate results from a voice virtual assistant, it helps build trust and loyalty in the hotel while reducing call volumes at the front office or, if it exists, the call centre. And with the voicebot handling routine inquiries, the front office professionals can spend their time on high-value interactions or complex cases that require their skills and empathy -increasing employee satisfaction and reducing churn.

Most hotels have invested a lot of money, time and resources to build robust digital guest engagement capabilities, but that does not mean voice interactions are dead. In fact, call centres are seeing increases in calls as guests deal with uncertainty and need to make changes to their bookings.

For many guests, a phone call remains the main preference when contacting the hotel. And for those who favour digitalised interactions, a phone call is the last recourse when they cannot find solutions elsewhere.

Hotel guests still need voice channels, like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, and voice virtual assistants can only meet customer expectations if they are able to deliver intelligent conversational experiences.

Some voice bots are barely more than a talking FAQ page. But the technology behind HiJiffy’s voicebot is more advanced than traditional speech recognition technology in standard Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems, typically limited to processing simple ‘yes’ and ‘no’ commands.

Contrary to standard IVR systems that depend on manual inputs from the guest (e.g., press number X to select option Y…), HiJiffy’s voice assistant facilitates a free-flowing voice assistance experience since it is not bound by a pre-set menu script. This makes this new-gen communication system better equipped for steering a guest in the right direction within a completely self-service and personalised model, thus boosting guest satisfaction.

Yes, a new-gen voice assistant can ensure human-like interactions. When interacting with HiJiffy’s pioneering conversational solution, guests can describe their concerns or queries in detail. The virtual assistant will, in turn, offer voice responses closely replicating a human-like interaction.

In fact, HiJiffy’s voice assistant uses the most advanced Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) and Natural Language Understanding (NLU) to process conversations and interpret customer intent.

It makes use as well of Neural Text-to-Speech (TTS) to reproduce human-like natural prosody and clear articulation of words, reducing listening fatigue when guests interact with the AI system, thus making the interactions more natural and engaging.

On top of that, when developing the solution at the Aplysia Lab, HiJiffy’s team specifically focused on assuring the best performance of the voicebot in terms of latency (processing time) and word error rate (detection errors).

According to the official numbers that WhatsApp disclosed early this year, 7 billion voice messages are sent each day on their app.

Considering that WhatsApp is the most used messaging app in Europe, with 30+ million local users in countries like UK, Germany, Italy and Spain, the relevance of voice messaging for European hoteliers is undeniable.

Besides WhatsApp and other messaging apps like Telegram or WeChat, all the major social media, like Instagram or Facebook, feature voice messaging.

Being a rising trend among smartphone users, voice messaging is far from being just a reality only among young people.

In fact, according to a recent survey on the subject, in this case, led by Statista in Brazil, more than four out of five of the whole internet users sent voice messages in 2022, proving it to be a cross-generational practice. Similar results are expected in some European countries, namely Spain.

Thus, it is easy to understand that if hoteliers discard the power of voice, especially with regard to the younger generations, they will miss significant revenue generation opportunities, apart from not providing the best customer experience.

Hoteliers need to consider both their domestic and international guests when evaluating the relevance of implementing voice messaging to their business.

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