A new real-time hotel feedback service aimed at keeping bad reviews off TripAdvisor is due to go on trial in London.
Two significant accommodation providers in the capital are due to start using RoomComment, which is being touted by London Brand Management, within weeks.
The system is text or app-based and uses artificial intelligence to determine the content of the hotel guests’ message to ensure it is directed to the right person or department.
That recipient can then be tasked with sorting out the problem quickly before the customer has the opportunity to air their gripe to the world on TripAdvisor or some other review site or social media network.
The technology is the brainchild of the Russian 20-year-old founder and chief executive of London Brand Management, Dmitry Aksenov, who wrote the software when he was just 16.
Stephen Roberts, of London Brand Management, said: “This technology is only just being made available but the response has been tremendous because a lot of people are struggling with this problem of negative reviews on TripAdvisor and want to deal with them before they get on there.
“This is a simple and cost-effective way of doing this, particularly today when everyone wants to use mobile. It’s very much an idea whose time has come.
“There are programmes and people out there who offer brand management but that’s usually too late; once it’s online there’s not a lot you can do.
“We want to get to the great mass of people who have not had a bad experience but a few irritating problems that they did not feel they wanted to complain about at the time.
“This gives the hotel the opportunity to do something when there is the opportunity. Guests can send a free form text and the system uses artificial intelligence to understand the context. It will disseminate that message intelligently so the hotel does not have to spend a lot of time looking at messages – it automatically goes to the right person.”
Roberts said RoomComment also has some other potential applications for hotels like enabling guests to carry out more day to day tasks like ordering room service.
The technology behind the service is being adapted for use in the NHS allowing cancer patients to report symptoms they do not necessarily need to go to the time and effort of making an outpatient appointment for.
There is also a system which allows employees of large firms to report issues around energy use and conservation.