Marriott Rewards launched a chatbot in late September. Its focus is to make it easier for people to link their Marriott and Starwood rewards accounts, the two companies having recently merged. Amanda Moore senior director of social and digital marketing at Marriott talks about what the brand has learned on Facebook Messenger over the past six months, starting with its initial misfire.
In Spring 2016, we completed work on a pilot Interactive Text Response (ITR) system called Edward, a chatbot for the Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel chain in London helping with front desk, concierge, maintenance, and housekeeping inquiries. Edward responds to user texts over SMS, handling over 180 different questions, requests, and humorous interactions. Real customers first interacted with Edward starting this May.
Edward conversed with 491 unique guests in the first two months of slowly rolling him out; during that time they sent him 1,023 different texts. As a Data Scientist and one of Aspect’s Computational Linguists, I’ve spent a lot of time with these initial data to come up with some interesting facts about how real people interact with a concierge chatbot.
Two weeks ago, Macallan launched a chatbot that was the first in its category: Available on Facebook, it both educates customers (“what’s a cask?”) and also helps them pick the right whisky — and then directs them to a place they can buy it.
The chatbot is a Messenger iteration of its “Did you know?” series that demystifies what goes well with whisky, how to drink it, whether there’s an “e” in it (not in the case of “Scotch whisky,” for the record), and so on. Here is what they've learned.
The industry is falling over itself to make products ‘intelligent’ but what does that really mean to a user? As a Product Manager in this space, I’ve been thinking about intelligence and what it really means to users. There are many definitions of intelligence but they tend to be technical definitions of AI rather than intelligence seen through the eyes of a user. As we progress through the stages, what users once considered as intelligent, can become ordinary over time.