Best Western reservations boosted by generative AI with iAdvize. Can we help?
Best Western, iAdvize and the reservation agent. As simple as a phone call?
It's wise and brave to try out new technologies, as Best Western is doing with iAdvize, a conversational start-up based in Nantes. But in a hotel, the desk agent still works quite well.
This morning, at around 7am, I wanted to book a hotel room in Montreuil-sur-Mer, a pretty town in the north of France that has unfortunately been hit by severe flooding. On the reservation website of Best Western Hermitage, the hotel chain that owns or operates a hotel in Montreuil-sur-Mer, I was offered an automated conversational tool that would provide me with one or more personalised responses, 24 hours a day.
I asked whether the Hermitage hotel in Montreuil-sur-Mer was open, given the flooding. The chat, provided by iAdvize, told me that it didn't understand my question but that it would get back to me. In 48 hours, via a customer service agent. So is it modern to send my query to customer service and offer response times worthy of Wells Fargo in Lucky Luke (in the famous comic strip, the stagecoach often arrives late)?
I picked up the phone and called the hotel on 03 21 06 74 74. A member of staff at the reservations desk replied very quickly, despite the early hour, and positively: "Yes, the hotel is open and there are only a few inaccessible streets left in the city". Generative AI infused into a badly programmed callbot: 0/ Early morning reservation agent in the city of the hotel he serves: 1.
I reread the press release received yesterday from the chain and its marketing director, Laetitia Thiel (see photo) "The successful integration of generative AI into voicebots and callbots last June was remarkable. With 100% understanding of requests instead of 80% and 65% resolution of calls instead of 45%, these promising results have confirmed our decision to implement this technology in chatbots".
Locatel, who remembers Locatel, now Hoist?
The company equips thousands of hotels, including Best Western, and thousands of hospital rooms with television sets. Discreet but well-established in France, the former Locatel plays an important role in customer service in France, in hotels that it equips with PMSs, a kind of CRM adapted to hotel management and enabling customer knowledge to be incorporated into invoicing. But it is also involved in equipping hospitals and clinics with television sets, a service offered on a subscription basis.
The company, which was previously owned by a Swedish group, changed shareholders two years ago: Advent International, an American group, and Eurazeo became the new owners. The group presents itself as a Hospitality Leader Journey. At the same time, the former shareholders created Infrateq Group, which will set up the IT infrastructures on which the Hoist Group's services and software will be grafted.
The latest news is that by 2023, Hoist Group's customer service will be a disaster. At Purpan Hospital (Toulouse), it takes three hours to change or dispose of the telephone in your room. When investment funds take over a company and legitimately seek to make their asset more profitable, do they automate with morality and conscience, and with an eye to the long term? Read an instructive investigation in issue 130 of En-Contact.
Tunstall is just as discreet, but much more effective in the service it offers to elderly people for whom it provides home tele-assistance, sometimes under its own name, sometimes on a white label basis. Headed up in France by Alain Monteux, this specialist call centre company is one of the few to offer a 24/7 service, due to its specific activity. To improve the efficiency and orientation of its agents, it called on Caretocare, a specialist in purchasing decision logic and individualised training for front-line agents. Alain Monteux recounts how the investment in training and rethinking the way people talk has paid off.
By the En-Contact editorial team