Revolutionizing Customer Relationships through Chatbots
By Mamie Peers, VP of Digital Marketing, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
Central to its mission was technology. Technology initially informed key components of the physical experience—powering dynamic digital art displays across the resort as well as LED lighting in the parking garage. As a result, the resort immediately appealed to digitally savvy customers and a strong social media following echoed the effect.
And in 2016, The Cosmopolitan expanded its exploration of new technologies. The intent is best summarized as a case for intimacy—through boutique level service—and an overall mission to provide unparalleled service.
How could the hotel leverage its engaging, charismatic staff to create more sincere, genuine interactions digitally? How could it bring old-school, Vegas-style service into new-school mediums?
The vision came to life through a quick-witted SMS chatbot named Rose and an online chat service powered by long-time call center employees. The company put humans, or human-like service, in the hands of mediums guests love most–their own personal digital devices.
The result is a direct, personal relationship with customers to combat against third-party institutions in the travel space who seemingly offer more benefits to consumers–luring them in with promises of lower rates and discounted vacation packages. But what consumers miss out on when they plan their stay through alternative methods is a premier customer experience.
Online Chat, With Humans
With more than 500,000 people visiting its online booking engine each month, The Cosmopolitan saw the value of giving those visitors a direct, real-time connection to live agents, who could not only help guests through the booking process, but also begin a relationship that sets the hotel apart from all others on The Strip.
By creating Rose, The Cosmopolitan added an additional digital touch point–beyond the website and social media
After integrating live chat into the booking engine using software from industry leader LivePerson, the results were immediate and significant. Guests who engaged in chat with humans booked at a drastically higher rate than those who didn’t—11 percent versus 0.94 percent—and they spent about 10 percent more on average than their non-chatting counterparts. Just a month into the launch of the new service, chat interactions led to more than $200,000 in additional room revenue.
But the chat conversation doesn’t end there. These direct engagements with guests also resulted in learnings. The Cosmopolitan didn’t anticipate. Call center agents now have the ability to see what visitors are seeing, thanks to the “co-browsing” capability of the software. They can pinpoint exactly what web browser and operating system a customer is using to troubleshoot technical issues. And they are gaining a greater understanding of common threads tying together disparate guests’ interactions.
As calls to the resort’s in-house teams diminish, web and mobile traffic continues to grow. Yet the highly-trained call center team adds great value to guests wondering which room rate is best, which room faces the sunset or the fountains, which is best for families—all questions that can be answered in seconds by actual human beings who are just one click or tap away.
The Chatbot, Rose
Working closely with its digital marketing agency, R/GA Chicago, The Cosmopolitan developed Rose—a savvy and quick-witted chatbot. Upon check in, guests receive Rose’s phone number, and via SMS, she guides them through The Cosmopolitan, making it easier for them to experience everything the resort has to offer. Rose can tell guests about its 21 restaurants and bars or let them know the hours of the pools, spa and fitness centers. She delivers towels and sets wake up calls. For the more curious, she gives art tours and even plays games. Two Truths and a Lie, anyone?
Described by one guest as a “sultry siren,” Rose’s style is what sets her apart–she’s adventurous, playful, and sometimes even a little impatient. Her lighthearted, tempting approach to Vegas life and The Cosmopolitan makes staying there irresistible. Guests often ask her to join them for drinks, or send her selfies. In one case, a guest proposed marriage.
While most of Rose’s responses are auto-generated based on keyword triggers, she is backed by live Guest Services agents who help troubleshoot issues that might arise during a guest’s stay the moment they happen.
By creating Rose, The Cosmopolitan added an additional digital touchpoint— beyond the website and social media. For this hotel, SMS was perfect. For its tech team, there was no app to develop, no server to house, no authentication required. For guests, there’s no download, no new UI, no account creation. In Vegas, people want to hit The Strip and go.
And with Rose, the best time in Vegas is only a text away.