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Refining Artificial Intelligence for the Customer Experience


The customer experience (CX) is prime territory for employing AI technologies. Built upon mobile use and location data, bot services help customers with a variety of services, ranging from in-room amenities and dinner reservations to event tickets.

Don Spaulding, business principal, experience innovation, Verizon, explored how enhanced customer experiences for hospitality consumers delivered via virtual concierge services provided resort guests with personal and contextual hospitality services, in his Data Summit 2019 session, “AI-Driven CX.”

Customers crave seamless, integrated, tailored and instant interactions, according to Spaulding.

“The challenge we are really trying to solve for is: How do we serve people with unique preferences?” Spaulding said.

Verizon assisted a hotel chain that wanted the ability to have a virtual assistant address customers concerns, questions, and complaints, Spaulding explained. The issue Verizon had was the adoption of an app.

“People don’t want more apps,” Spaulding said. “There’s an enormous proliferation around apps.”

To engage customers that don’t want a new app on their phone, customers could interact with this assistant either through a phone call or text.

Through natural language processing the bot can give a customer the information they desire. It’s able to go back and tap into different information and sources.

“The same platform that’s interacting is also managing the information on the back end,” Spaulding said.

Before creating the virtual assistant, Verizon had to figure out how to get to the information it would like to support. This entails some digging and analyzing data to find what’s important and what’s not.

The company also wanted the bot to interact with customers on social media such as Facebook Messenger. They looked for customer feedback and ways to improve on how interactions were running on social media.

The data that the bot gathers doesn’t retain certain customer information as the application is also running in the cloud with API’s that allow the data to be thrown out, Spaulding said.

Verizon also created escalation rules that would filter certain customer requests to summon a hotel employee.

“That same bot interaction now becomes the agent assistant for live support,” Spaulding said.

Spaulding’s presentation is available for review at http://www.dbta.com/DataSummit/2019/Presentations.aspx.


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