Today, brands are essentially collections of experiences. We’re in an era where people remember moments and experiences, not ads or logos. In this age where “CX is the new UX,” there are six common objectives in the digital transformation of travel’s customer experience that hotels need to consider as part of their strategy to build their brands through personal interaction. These objectives include frictionless interactions at every touchpoint, the ability to communicate through preferred/multiple channels, personalization, reducing problems while improving wonder and delight, inspiring loyalty, and accommodating the needs of the new generations of travelers. This is all in addition to delivering traditional standards of exceptional hospitality like welcoming guests by name, responsiveness, affability, following up on requests, creating ambiance, and so forth. It’s a tall order to sustain essential guest service levels while crafting the ideal digital experience.
However, there is a technology that can assist with both. The hotel smartconcierge effectively serves all aspects of great-service-meets-digital-transformation equation, and in doing so, it improves all facets of the guest journey. Let’s look at why and how.
Making Every Moment Matter
Today’s hotel guest has high expectations. They want top-notch service without the wait. They want customized and personalized experiences based on past stays and known preferences. And they want everything enabled at the touch of a screen. Guests like these may even bypass an old-world 5-star luxury hotel for a 4-star one if they know the 4-star one is going to accommodate their expectations for a new-world experience better. These demands have placed evermore pressure on hotels to meet guests where their expectations lie, and in response, hotels have begun to turn to solutions like artificial intelligence (AI).
Integrating AI into a hotel guest experience isn’t as far-fetched as it first may seem. Today’s guests are already using some form of AI, whether that’s speaking to Siri or Google on their phone or personal home assistant or posing questions to a chatbot while researching a room reservation. In fact, daily, consumers unwittingly use more AI than they realize: While only 33% think they use technology with AI, 77% actually already do without being aware of it. Of those aware they’re interacting with AI, 69% were satisfied with their AI-enabled interactions and see significant benefits from AI-powered exchanges, such as greater control over their interactions, faster resolution of support issues, 24/7 availability of AI technologies, increased efficiencies, increased accuracy over human-only or online-only solutions, and an improved use of their personal data better to provide more relevant recommendations.
By providing all these benefits, the AI-powered hotel smartconcierge swiftly and positively elevates the guest stay. Guests’ interactions with their hotel’s smartconcierge feel human-like in their conversations, frictionless in their deliveries, personalized in their recommendations, and most certainly modern. Inarguably, this is great hospitality service at its finest.
Recommendations at the Right Moment
Through the power of its machine learning, the smartconcierge further transforms the hotel guest experience the way Amazon does for the online shopper. And as with Amazon’s recommendation engine, which makes shopping easier for the buyer and adds to the shopping cart revenue for Amazon, so does the smartconcierge’s upselling abilities help the hotel. For instance, on a resort, when a guest asks it the gym hours, the smartconcierge may invite them to try a unique gym or yoga class…that has a cost, of course. Alternatively, at a ski resort, when the guest asks the smartconcierge to request their skis from the valet, the smartconcierge may also ask if the guest would like a guide for a special excursion or a lesson. Likewise, the smartconcierge at a sophisticated New York City hotel with a chic bar or restaurant can be programmed to set aside a block of table reservations in order to offer them up to guests, so the guest feels like a priority.
These AI-enabled superior experiences promote quantifiably greater guest advocacy and loyalty: More than half of people share their positive experiences, demonstrate greater degrees of loyalty, and place higher trust in the brand, all as a consequence of a beneficial AI experience.
It’s pretty clear to see how the key to transforming guest journeys is to use machine learning and AI-powered smartconcierges to create holistic, personalized experiences that boost guest satisfaction, drive revenue, and increase loyalty.
Product design expert Raj Singh is CEO at Go Moment®, a Google-backed company dedicated to making customer service instant. Go Moment’s award-winning smartconcierge Ivy®, as seen on NBC, is the world’s largest guest engagement automation platform for hotels.
Singh brings cross-discipline design, technology, and marketing experience from hundreds of large-scale technology projects for leading brands like Virgin, Lady Gaga, and HEB Grocery Company. Blending his deep expertise in UX and market research, Singh works alongside leaders in hospitality to address the industry’s needs in using next-generation technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and labor automation. In partnership with IBM Watson, Go Moment’s Ivy platform, which utilizes text or voice messaging and leverages human expertise and automation to resolve requests instantly, is currently available to millions of hotel guests. Singh’s select speaking engagements and panels include:
- HEDNA Innov8
- Oi Summit
- BLLA Stay Boutique Live
- Phocuswright Conference
- CWT VIP Summit
- Plug and Play Ventures
- Hotel Interactive BITAC
- IBM Insight
Ivy®, powered by Go Moment®, is the world’s first smartconcierge for hotels. Ivy brings together human expertise and machine intelligence in a seamless experience for the guest. Via messaging, Ivy answers routine guest questions like “What’s the Wi-Fi password?” in less than one second, reducing calls and disruptions to the hotel staff. Ivy provides conveniences like fulfilling guest requests, booking restaurant reservations, and accessing offers that enhance the guest experience from anywhere, at any time. Ivy has served tens of millions of guests, and she’s often recognized in TripAdvisor reviews for providing exceptional service.
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