Hard Rock International’s latest hotel chain, Reverb By Hard Rock, is opening its first location this fall in Atlanta, GA with cutting-edge guest experience technology provided by Bigbuzz Marketing Group.
The New York-based agency originally landed an assignment to develop the hotel’s chatbots but the scope of work grew to a broader AI/voice experience designed to create a more engaging guest service offering.
This new offering will let guests check in virtually, order towels, learn about the music scene and favorite burger joints in the Big Peach. The agency is also overseeing the backend development and framework for these systems.
Bigbuzz CEO Kevin Kelly chatted with MediaPost about the assignment and challenges in creating an intuitive platform.
The chatbot serves as the know-it-all concierge, says Kelly. In addition to knowing and answering questions about the hotel itself, it can provide most answers guests have about the city and what’s going on during their stay.
Then, the agency “added personality” to “Eve” (playing off the brand’s R-EVE-RB logo ). This “persona” is designed to relate to the hotel’s targeted guest by responding to questions in a tone that balances snark and wit. Kelly says his team crafted Eve in the image of a female age 25-35 who maybe has tattoos but serves as the cool person in the “know.”
Moreover, her personality focuses on the “fan” experience. While Hard Rock proper typically concentrates on the rock star ethos, Reverb, by comparison, shines the spotlight directly on the fans - “those who live and breathe music can now eat, sleep and drink it too,” quips Kelly.
Next, as people do during the early stages of a relationship, Eve will be slowly building a profile that will allow a more customized and personalized experience for the guest. The chain’s second location is scheduled for Sonoma County, CA.
While this wasn’t the intent during the initial planning stages prior to COVID-19, Kelly says the technology’s ability to eliminate the need for face-to-face interactions and even pens and paper in the rooms is proving to be a welcome precaution for travelers post-COVID-19.
Concurrently, Bigbuzz and Reverb teamed with Volara, provider of custom voice-based solutions to the hospitality industry, to create an in-room speaker voice experience to serve as a complimentary partner to Eve. This smart speaker will be able to control smart rooms within the hotel. It assists with everything ranging from syncing the TV to Netflix and adjusting the temperature, to lowering the shades and changing the room light colors.