As artificial intelligence grows in power by leaps and bounds, the challenge now is for companies to find ways to best leverage the advances to enrich customer experience. Officials at Hilton Worldwide believe they’ve answered that question with “Connie,” an entirely digital concierge powered by IBM artificial intelligence.
Connie is being piloted at the Hilton McLean in Virginia (site of Hilton headquarters), but might just be the future of customer experience for the brand.
The innovation is a huge step forward for Hilton’s customer experience, offering guests information about local restaurants and attractions, as well as hotel amenities, services, and hours of operation.
Connie is powered by IBM Watson, which made headlines in 2011 for easily winning a round of “Jeopardy!” against former champions. The technology has come a long way since then, and is now able to understand the world through senses, learning, and experience—much in the same way humans do. Connie is a product of several Watson APIs including Speech to Text, Dialog, Text to Speech, and Natural Language Classifier.
“Our partnership with IBM is centered on a goal of personalizing the guest experience – both now and in the future – and empowering travelers with information. If we can ‘wow’ our guests and enhance their stay in a meaningful way, we can drive their satisfaction and loyalty,” Jonathan Wilson, Hilton Worldwide’s VP of Product Innovation and Brand Services, told Loyalty360. “Yet Connie is just the beginning of what’s possible. In the future, cognitive reasoning in hospitality could make meetings more impactful through fielding on-the-spot research requests, or make trips more personalized through shaping a guest’s itinerary based on when certain museums or attractions are open, when traffic is anticipated to be light or which specialty shops have daily deals. We’re testing and learning now so that we can continue to make travel easier for our guests in the future.”
The system also leverages data from WayBlazer to enhance location data and make suggestions based on proximity to the hotel.
“WayBlazer is excited to bring Watson’s cognitive computing capabilities directly to the traveler as a way to improve the in-destination experience,” said Felix Laboy, CEO of WayBlazer. “We believe providing personalized and relevant insights and recommendations, specifically through a new form factor such as a robot, can transform brand engagement and loyalty at the Hilton.”
The development of Connie has opened up a world of possibility for the future of personalized customer experience at Hilton. The power of Watson allows Connie to learn as customers as more questions, allowing the program to offer more precise answers based on tone and sense of urgency. The program will also record customer questions and provide the audio to the Hilton brand, allowing them to easily access customer insight and adjust customer experience accordingly.