To meet these guest service objectives, hoteliers have experimented with solutions like self-service check-in, mobile key room entry, and customized guest communications. With Skift estimating that there would be 3.6 billion global users of messaging by the end of 2018, many hotel groups like Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, Virgin and Starwood now offer messaging services delivered through an array of platforms, from Facebook Messenger to WhatsApp to their own native apps. These apps may provide functionality like booking and room selection, pre- and in-stay guest communications, upgrade and special request submissions, and loyalty program and guest folio account review. But these apps often lack the kind of intelligence, automation, and data to more completely fulfill the promise Forrester's Leggett described.
Intelligence is the key. Emerj, an AI market research firm, forecasts the top consumer application of AI over the next four years in the travel and tourism industry will be virtual assistants and chatbots. Analyst firm Gartner speaks of automated "intelligent agents that are going to be working on our behalf" in its Top Technology Trends for 2019. They, too, are talking about AI. The most robust of these hotel AI solutions, smartconcierges, go beyond mere messaging apps. Of the 19 relevant total digital initiatives for the hotel industry detailed by global consulting firm Roland Burger, the smartconcierge can fulfill half in its one tool.
Smartconcierges not only provide conversational, intelligent, customized and instant responses to guests, thereby improving the guest experience, they also provide more overarching organizational benefits:
What was a nascent tool not that long ago, the smartconcierge continues to go mainstream. Smart hoteliers look to smartconcierges as a sensible and accessible AI solution, one that takes them ever further into the modern digital age. Smartconcierges not only provide better guest experiences, but they're proving to be valuable to the whole organization. Here's my bold sweeping prediction about smartconcierge hotel adoption: over 25,000,000 hotel guest interactions will be handled by smartconcierges in 2019 alone.
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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 • HITEC • Phocuswright Conference • CWT VIP Summit • Plug and Play Ventures • Hotel Interactive BITAC • IBM Insight