If you’re wondering about how to incorporate promising Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies into your loyalty marketing platform, try this example on for size. At the recent Loyalty Academy Conference, we dove into this subject and the audience was thrilled to have the perspective of Dr. Rachel Royal of Owens Corning as she led the group through a series of AI constructs that have the potential to transform loyalty marketing. This case study synopsis demonstrates how one forward-thinking casino and hotel operator is putting AI to work to enhance customer relationships.
(as first reported by Mitra Sorrells in PhocusWire)
The gaming industry has long been a leader in designing and implementing loyalty marketing programs. Slot clubs, table game rating systems, concierge services and total enterprise tracking systems (gaming, hotel, F&B, entertainment and retail spend) have all been featured characteristics that have enabled casino operators to learn more, do more and increase the yield from their best customer programs while constantly serving their patrons.
The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas has had a virtual concierge chatbot in place since January 2017 and reports that more than 20,000 guests have interacted with the platform since it was first implemented. The virtual concierge can help guests with everything from requests for more towels or restaurant recommendations to playing games. The service is delivered with a customized persona named “Rose,” whose characteristics and personality totally mirror the Cosmopolitan’s edgy positioning in the crowded Las Vegas market.
The hotel reports that chatbot interactions are driving greater satisfaction for guests – those who have used the service rank their stay at least an 8.8, while those who do not give an average ranking of 7. A 25% increase in guest satisfaction can lead to longer stays, increased spending and more return visits, all of which make “Rose” a winning hand for the Cosmopolitan. From the engagement perspective, 69% of the guests that use Rose text her three or more times during their stay!
Now the Cosmopolitan is making Rose even smarter by updating it with an artificial intelligence-powered platform that uses natural language processing to understand the user’s context and sentiment. New opportunities are emerging from the AI framework to provide an enhanced, personalized experience that goes beyond transactions, especially for members of its Identity loyalty program.
According to Mamie Peers, the Cosmopolitan’s vice president of digital marketing:
“What we are able to do now which is unique to us and new to the casino industry is she’ll be the first bot to individually serve casino customers and loyalty customers.”
The key to the AI approach at Cosmopolitan is the ability to integrate the chatbot operating system with all the other platforms and databases required to run the property. This is an extensive integration with disparate systems running the casino, the spa, reservations and property management, the loyalty program and much more. As Rose accesses the required data, she can directly interact with the user on a personal level, learn from that interaction and increase the relevance and understanding of the guest experience. Accessible via standard SMS text messaging, Rose can handle loyalty program balance inquiries, redemption functions, or deliver soft benefits such as a priority reservation at one of the Cosmopolitan’s finer restaurants.
Moving one step further, AI is also performing sentiment-analysis for guests’ queries in the chatbot. In a property of this size, with so many functional departments and customer touchpoints, it is extremely important to resolve guest issues by routing them to the staff members who can correct the situation. This is especially critical to preserving the relationship with upper tier loyalty program members.
Commenting on the sometimes sassy and slightly impish personality served up by Rose, Peers adds:
“As we move into a voice-based world, and as we are moving into channels that are more conversational, I think we need to ensure the digital channels are not just personal to the customer, but they are reflective of the brand and who you aim to be as a company … and that you spend time on your tone of voice and your style of interaction.”
We agree. The hardest soft benefit to replicate in any loyalty marketing competitive environment is the one that is intrinsically connected to the unique characteristics of the brand. AI can bring it all together, but delivery must remain true to who you are.
Mike Capizzi is a Certified Loyalty Marketing Professional™ and the Dean of the Loyalty Academy. A member of at least a dozen casino and race track reward programs, he can’t wait to visit Rose on his next trip to Vegas.