Benefits of IBM Watson in the Hotel Industry
What is IBM Watson?
The IBM Watson computer is a cognitive technology that processes information more like a human than a computer. Watson is able take in unstructured data and process it cognitively, then give an answer that has been analyzed through millions of documents.
The IBM Watson Story
Developed in the mid 2000s by IBM or International Business Machines, IBM Watson was developed on pure inspiration to achieve artificial intelligence with a machine. In 2011, IBM Watson played a role in the popular TV game show, Jeopardy, against 2 of the games players – Ken Jennings who, at the time, had the longest unbeaten win streak of 74 wins and Brad Rutter who had won over 3 million dollars from playing on the show. IBM Watson was developed only 5 years before its match against 2 of best to ever play. Three nights, 2 people and one machine later, IBM Watson defeated the 2 players with ease. This was a big step for the awareness of IBM Watson and its capabilities to process data cognitively and answer in human language, with speed of light response time over and over again.
How does it benefit the hotel industry?
Where does this benefit the hotel industry? Great question! With our industry being fast-paced and ever-changing, there are many variables and metrics that take place in guest experience management and the reputation you have with your customer. We know that understanding guest feedback is important but what is even more important is the lasting impression you leave with your response to the customer. There are billions of reviews left each year on platforms like TripAdvisor, Hotels.com, Booking.com, Kayak.com, Google, Expedia.com, Priceline.com, Travelocity and more. A survey done by Search Engine Land revealed that 88% of people trust an online review as much as they trust a friend’s recommendation. That number is growing more and more with the mass shift to mobile and the ease of access to review platforms as seen above.
What value does IBM Watson add?
IBM Watson has an API (Application Program Interface) that allows developers and companies with apps to connect with the IBM Watson and use its cognitive intelligence to better understand data. To understand data, you must be able to tell a story, then take action. What we have found with IBM Watson is that it understands the sentiment in text very well and can tell you, based on what someone has written in a review, whether it was a good or bad experience. IBM Watson can read text and depict the sentiment. IBM Watson never stops learning and receives data 24 hours a day, 365 days a year becoming smarter and smarter – even as you read this.
How IBM Watson & Guest Experience Manager Help Hotels Grow
IBM Watson is integrated with a platform called Guest Experience Manager. This platform allows hotels to analyze data on over 14 review platforms. With the value IBM Watson adds on this platform, all text data is analyzed by IBM Watson and then the sentiment is labeled positive or negative before any text is even read by you. With Guest Experience Manager being integrated with IBM Watson, it can highlight positive and negative keywords showing the trigger words for what made it a positive or negative review. Hotels that have, on average, higher recommendation rates also have higher customer loyalty and can see annual increases in revenue of 1% – 3%. With this kind of technology, a brand can reduce pain points in the customer’s journey for an overall better reputation with more customer retention, an increase in repeat guests and better reviews.
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