As customers seek more self-service options and personalization at every turn, expectations among hotel guests are no different.
For most hotel owners, though, concierge and front desk staff are already stretched thin. Responding to, “What’s the WiFi password?” for the fifth time in an hour taxes their limited time and resources, despite the fact that curious guests expect and deserve a rapid response.
Enter Ivy, from Go Moment.
With speed and ease no human can replicate, Ivy uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to understand and respond to guest questions via text message. She can shift checkout times, answer commonly asked questions, give recommendations for activities, promote on-site amenities, and connect guests to live human help when she’s unable to complete a task.
Guests get the instant service they expect, while hotel staff are free to spend their time and energy more wisely. Go Moment built Ivy and partnered with Twilio to ensure she’s able to reach guests at the pace they expect.
The Go Moment team powers Ivy with an in-house combination of artificial intelligence and machine learning that automates as much as 50% of a hotel’s average inquiries, often leading guests to assume Ivy is a real person. They ensure Ivy’s messages get through, and guest messages are received, with Twilio.
“When it came time to choose an infrastructure-level provider, because Ivy is essentially built on top of programmable messaging, Twilio was the first name that came to mind,” explained Go Moment CEO Raj Singh. “It was clear to us, and to our development team, that Twilio would enable the fastest time to market and the best experience for our developers.”
For Singh, Ivy fulfills a mission to create one billion unforgettable experiences. Ivy also supports hotel owners, as well as other hospitality providers such as casinos, to better utilize their staff’s time, increasing employee satisfaction across the board.
“We have a lot of empathy for every stakeholder involved, especially the hotelier making the decision to adopt Ivy; we truly understand the hotelier mindset. We’ve enabled hotels and hospitality providers to integrate Ivy with their systems of record, as well as their contact centers, and we can do so in just a few days,” Singh said. “Once we’re set up, we can provide an analytics report that acts as a GPS for unhappy or dissatisfied customers, so they can fix any issues and ensure every guest leaves with a smile on their face.”
Twilio was the first name that came to mind. It was clear to us, and to our development team, that Twilio would enable the fastest time to market and the best experience for our developers.
On the guest side, users sign up by simply providing their phone number; the rest is seamless, Singh explained.
“By the time you get to your room, you have a welcome message saying, ‘Hi, welcome to Caesars Palace. I’m Ivy, your smart concierge. If you need the WiFi password, water or towels, would like to make a reservation at the restaurant, or anything else, just let me know in your own words and I’ll take care of it.’ And from then on, they can respond and get a response back in a single second,” he said.
Ivy learns quickly. For example, if a guest only speaks French, Ivy will recognize and engage with that guest in their preferred language. She can provide thoughtful suggestions, knows when to pipe up and when to give a guest space, and has a built-in etiquette layer to manage sensitive topics. Because messaging is such a personal medium, it’s important that Ivy is always respectful, Singh said.
For staff, using Ivy means that not only are they able to automate repetitive tasks, but they also receive insight and context when a guest request reaches them, allowing them to respond more effectively.
“We did a study with Cornell University, who surveyed hundreds of front agent staff on our platform,” Singh said. “Staff report they feel less robotic when they are able to utilize Ivy, and overall, staff engagement goes up 8 percent every year that they use Ivy.”
With concerns around COVID-19 and the rapid spread of coronavirus, Ivy is also lending a digital hand to ensure guests and staff are able to maintain safe distance without sacrificing service.
“Today, guests can control their entire hotel experience via text messaging in real-time,” said Singh. “Given what we know about COVID-19, using Ivy is safer for guests than touching the in-room phone or having a face-to-face conversation, while still allowing hotel staff to deliver exceptional service.”
Ivy makes it easy for hoteliers to offer contactless hospitality, proactively engaging with guests to let them know what staff at the hotel are doing to ensure a safe environment. She reduces face-to-face interactions by automating check-in and can manage many inquiries without requiring an in-person conversation, eliminating any opportunities for transmission.
She can also check in with guests mid-stay to see how they’re feeling and give hotel staff powerful, timely information that allows them to take appropriate action from a safe distance. Hotels across Go Moment’s portfolio have already seen Ivy play a vital role in their response to COVID-19, and they’ll continue to rely on Ivy to alleviate pressure on the staff during the travel boom likely to follow the pandemic.
Today, guests can control their entire hotel experience via text messaging in real-time. Given what we know about COVID-19, using Ivy is safer for guests than touching the in-room phone or having a face-to-face conversation, while still allowing hotel staff to deliver exceptional service.
As the hotel industry navigates the complexities of business in the time of coronavirus and beyond, Ivy stands at the ready to help, Singh said. The company is exploring new ways she can provide value, like connecting with other services to facilitate rapid show reservations and ticket buying, for example. The company is also offering its technology to other businesses that benefit from automation and AI, including contact centers that may be experiencing high call volumes.
Wherever Ivy goes, Singh hopes to continue to enable hotels and other providers to create experiences and services that leave guests smiling:
“We’ve had lots of guests try to leave Ivy tips for going above-and-beyond in her service. One particularly attentive guest even messaged Ivy to make sure that she was okay after a few hours of not hearing from her. The guest said: ‘...my friends and I were just concerned because no one had heard about you since last night...we are happy you are safe. Good night Ivy.’ A number of guests have even asked Ivy to marry them!”