Imagine a world where every hotel concierge is named Alice: “This is Alice. How can I help you?” It sounds like fiction, but it’s not far off.
Mobile hospitality platform ALICE, which allows guests and staff to manage requests, has just secured an important round of funding to expand and build out its white label service solution and create, in effect, a virtual concierge and back-end infrastructure to help hoteliers create a seamless customer experience.
While personably in line with real-name brands such as Oscar, ALICE isn’t a reference to, for instance, the housekeeper on “The Brady Bunch.”
It’s an acronym for “A Life Improving Customer Experience,” and was created in 2013 after its founders were consistently frustrated with the low-tech methods used by hotels to handle guest requests.[more]
Its developers’ ability to spot and solve a service hiccup has boosted its brand among hospitality’s biggest names: Shangri-La, Bespoke Hotels, Standard Hotels, Gansevoort Hotel Group, The Setai Miami Beach and Sixty Hotels.
“We started as a mobile concierge platform for guests,” stated Alex Shashou, Co-founder and President of ALICE. “But we quickly realized there is an equivalent, if not greater, need in efficiently managing the fulfillment of that request.” In other words, placing the request was easy but managing it was complicated.
After evolving its business model to focus on building out back-end platforms, ALICE closed the circle between need and fulfillment, and just completed a $3 million round of funding. “We think the game changer is the back-end,” investor Nnamdi Okike of 645 Ventures commented.
By integrating discontinuous platforms and focusing on front-of-house-friendly interfaces, ALICE syncs and simplifies the service loop. And it does it all through a guest’s mobile phone. At check-in, guests are prompted to download the app.
App in hand, customer inquiries and requests circumvent the front desk, the bedside phone and the clunky housekeeping computer, and jump straight from guest to staff. It’s a simple streamline—but essential in the service industry.
Memorably named, boldly branded, ALICE is always at your service.
—Corey Lewis is a writer and consultant in New York who is really bad at talking about herself in the third person. Follow her @hewey_lewey on Twitter.