March 23, 2016

Constant Contact: How Technology is Evolving The Customer Experience

Technology advancements have made it possible for consumers to communicate directly with companies, and for better or for worse, this creates an opportunity for constant, real-time feedback. We sat down with James Geneau, Benbria's director of marketing, to discuss a couple major trends the company is currently keeping an eye on.                                                                                             

Text messaging with brands. There is already a shift in consumer behavior and how customers are interacting with brands, and it’s driven primarily by the millennial generation who prefer to send non-urgent service requests via text messages rather than calling a customer service number. Benbria sees hospitality and food being big early adopters of two-way messaging, primarily as a tool to resolve guest issues on-site to better serve customers. Marriott is currently rolling out texting as a major 1:1 engagement tool in all JW Marriot properties, which will likely put pressure on others in the industry to follow suit.

Increased capabilities of natural language processing. We’ll soon see increased capabilities of natural language processing (NLP), the scanning of keywords and phrases in text conversations that can be used to determine trends, areas for service improvement, and eventually drive operational improvements. Machine learning will be used to enhance NLP and the ability to auto-route texts to dedicated resources or departments. Say for example, a guest in a hotel who needs more towels in their room - something housekeeping might need to fulfill but may not be the initial recipient of the request. For most requests, deciphering the finer details around the request is something a human needs to be able to do today. Machine learning will help brands understand the context a customer's text message and assess the question or need so that it can be routed to the proper individual for resolution.

The ability to for people to constantly be in communication with service-providers and brands, allows companies to further understand the wants and needs of their customer.


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Tags: Andrew Der , Consumer