BETHESDA, MD—Marriott International Inc. is creating additional points of engagement for guests, powered by artificial intelligence (AI).
Recently, Aloft Hotels launched ChatBotlr, a new chatbot available via text message that gives guests an additional way to make service requests. Aloft’s ChatBotlr empowers guests to request basic hotel services right from their own smartphones.
Aloft introduced the first generation Botlr, a robotic butler, in 2014 as an inventive pilot program to allow front desk associates to respond more immediately to guest needs, one-on-one. This next evolution of Botlr, the ChatBotlr, is available to all guests on their phones, anywhere and anytime they have a request. With ChatBotlr, guests may text to request services, information about the hotel, listen to the brand’s #AloftLive playlist and connect with the front desk team during their stay, even when the guest is not on-property. By leveraging natural language understanding and machine learning, ChatBotlr gets smarter the more it interacts with guests, according to the brand. Early findings by Marriott show that two out of three Aloft guests are interacting or making requests with ChatBotlr and the service has a five-second response time.
“By embracing emerging messaging technologies, we can expand service to our guests on their terms and through communication channels they increasingly prefer and feel comfortable using,” said Stephanie Linnartz, global chief commercial officer, Marriott International. “The delivery of on-demand service enables Marriott to simplify travel, remove friction and power up even better service for our guests at more moments throughout their travel journey.”
Aloft’s ChatBotlr joins Marriott’s other newly implemented service innovations powered by technology. Marriott Rewards chatbots are available on Facebook Messenger, Slack and soon, WeChat and Google Assistant, and serve loyalty members before, during and between stays. Marriott Rewards members on Facebook Messenger and Slack can research and book travel at more than 4,700 hotels, link their Marriott Rewards and SPG accounts, plan for their upcoming stay with articles from the digital magazine Marriott Traveler, and chat directly with Customer Engagement Center associates. Of Marriott Reward members using Marriott Rewards’ Facebook Messenger this year, 44% received stay-related customer service such as changes to their reservation and 53% found assistance related to their rewards account such as how to redeem points for stays.