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How Easyway Uses AI-Powered Chat to Automate Communication for Luxury Hotels

May 31, 2024
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Learn how Easyway, a guest relationship management platform, used AI21 Labs LLM to streamline their operation and improve guest communications.

A luxury hotel that wants to provide exceptional hospitality must deliver a 5-star experience throughout the guest's entire journey, from the moment they arrive on the website until they check out.

But how can these hotels give personalized attention to guests with 200 and more messages a day without relying on gimmicky chatbots?

Asaf Ofer, CTO and Founder of Easyway, discussed their current use of AI and how he plans to scale it.

What is Easyway?

Easyway is a guest relationship management platform (GRM) that facilitates two-way communication between guests and the hotel through instant messaging apps such as Whatsapp, SMS, Telegram, and more. 

Using their technology, hotels are able to automate communication and streamline daily operations like check-in and check-out processes. 

Since Easyway serves mostly luxury hotels that cater to a 4- and 5-star experience, every touchpoint is crucial for delivering high-end customer service. Aiming to improve certain aspects of their platform, they turned to AI21 Labs to take their product to a new level.

Why They Chose AI21: An LLM Solution that Mimics Human Interaction

Since Easyway isn't a chatbot, but rather an AI-powered chat platform, they needed a solution that wasn't readily available on the market. They looked for an AI platform with enough scientific and engineering innovation to be able to understand and generate natural text. 

“The guest needs to feel like they're speaking to a human and not a chatbot,” says Asaf. “If we automate it in a human and customized way, hotels need less staff, and people feel like they're being treated like special guests every time.”

The Problem with Other Models on the Market

Easyway started out using other models that could answer common questions, but only if those questions were asked in the most common and simple form. A slight deviation would cause the entire model to fail.

“People had questions that it didn’t know how to respond to, because it never saw these questions [asked this way] before,” Asaf explains. “Sometimes it was wrongly confident about what was being asked because it didn't get a lot of examples to work with.”

AI21’s Personalized Customer Service & Assistance to the Rescue

With the assistance of AI21, the Easyway team was able to train their model using a few dozen custom-made prompts. “We had several calls, I showed them our results and they helped me clean up and set up the training data correctly,” says Asaf.

AI21 helped Asaf’s team break the process down to steps, translate it into code, and find discrepancies in the data. Finally, the Easyway team managed to arrive at their desired solution. 

It was through this level of support that Easyway was able to use AI21 to upgrade their application. 

Use Case #1: Intent Detection

With AI21's proprietary Large language Models (LLMs), Easyway was able to analyze intent with high accuracy. Easyway now uses a sentiment analysis model based on fifteen frequently asked questions.

“We gave the model a question and it gives us back 1 out of several possible intents,” says Asaf. He goes on to explain that if the model doesn’t exactly know that answer, then it’s okay not to respond at all – sometimes, it’s actually better for business not to. That’s due to the fact that inappropriately responding to an already frustrated or angry customer may only fuel the situation rather than alleviating it.

This feature will lead to even bigger things in the future, says Asaf. “Once we have a reliable solution for detecting sentiment, we’d be able to automate much more - If the system detects that a guest is angry, we could immediately notify the manager. If a guest is satisfied, we’d ask them to leave a review, etc.” 

Use Case #2: Automatic Translation

Every hotel is filled with travelers from and to various countries. The importance of having a staff with multiple languages cannot be overstated. However, knowledge of every language is not always possible, which is why translation apps are useful.

Easyway offers high-quality 2-way translation capabilities in 100+ languages. “A Spanish guest will speak Spanish and the staff will be speaking Hebrew and the conversation will be understandable for each side,” Asaf explains. “So each person can just use their native language, plus we use AI to respond to messages automatically.”

This feature was already in production before Easyway reached out to AI21, but there was much room for improvement. “One of the gaps we had to tackle was a varying level of grammar amongst our end users. The problem involved two aspects; the level of service that our clients provide their guests, and the efficiency of our translation feature. If a person writing on our platform didn’t write properly, the live translation wouldn’t work properly.” 

By incorporating the same technology that is used in Wordtune, AI21’s flagship AI writing assistant, this was made possible.

The Future for Easyway

What if you could not only automate away repetitive questions, but also begin to automatically set common responses to FAQs?

Easyway is currently running a pilot to embed a chat widget on one of their partners’ websites, gearing up for a possible new offer. “We’re [piloting this feature] with a customer in Europe that has a lot of visitors to their website - around 150K each month, and they don't have the staff to deal with it. So they just end up with thousands of emails asking basic questions that nobody responds to,” Asaf says.

With Easyway, hotels can automate and schedule messages based on events such as booking, arrival, and departure. 

A typical post-booking conversation could be:

  • “Hey Asaf, thank you for booking your stay with us. Do you have any questions?” 
  • Asaf may type: “How do I get to the hotel?” or “What are the Covid regulations?”

The chat platform is set up to respond automatically, helping hotels save time with quality AI.

The Result: Automated, Human-Centered Conversations that Save Time

Remember those 200 or more messages we mentioned hotels can receive each day? To reach success, Easyway will look at how many emails each hotel actually needs to personally answer after using their application powered by AI21. Asaf stated that a “10, 20, 30% [reduction rate] would be amazing.” 

Overall, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to use our NLP technology to help alleviate the administrative burdens that hotels experience on a daily basis – while still uplifting the 5-star experience guests want from their hotel of choice.

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