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News Briefs

  • 7/14/2024

    Boom Launches 24-Hour AI Sales Agent for Short-Term Rentals

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    Boom, an AI platform for the short-term rental sector, announced the launch of the world’s first AI Sales Agent as the platform continues to revolutionize operational efficiency in short-term rentals.
     
    The sales agent is the latest in Boom’s AI workforce and is able to autonomously respond to inquiries, negotiate with prospective guests, upsell, and adapt to customers’ languages and cultures, operating 24/7. 
     
    Vacation rental managers often struggle to balance customer service, sales, marketing, and the operational aspects of running their business, which can lead to missed opportunities and potential revenue loss. Boom is addressing this issue by creating a virtual workforce with the ‘best sales person you’ve ever met’. This allows property managers to focus on more strategic work while the agent works to secure high occupancy and revenues on their behalf. 
     
    The AI Sales Agent can be trained on each property manager’s policies and real past conversations, enabling it to handle inquiries with a deep understanding of the property manager’s portfolio, policies and needs. 
    It also ensures guests receive accurate and comprehensive information in a timely manner, delivered in a style that meets their cultural expectations. By employing a structured sales process customized to the property manager’s needs, the AI maximizes each interaction to ensure a high conversion rate.
     
    A standout feature of Boom’s AI Sales Agent is its ability to negotiate and upsell additional services, such as early check-ins, late check-outs, and airport transfers - and even attempt to fill orphan days by upselling existing guests. This flexibility allows property managers to increase revenue while providing tailored options to guests. If a property is unavailable, the AI can seamlessly offer the perfect alternative accommodations, ensuring no booking opportunity is lost. 
     
    Boom’s AI Sales Agent operates 24/7, providing support through text, voice, or video. Its ability to adapt to various negotiation styles and communicate in multiple languages makes it a versatile tool for property managers around the world. The AI Sales Agent maintains human compassion in interactions, ensuring guests feel valued and comfortable making their booking. 
     
    Shahar Goldboim, CEO and Founder of Boom, said: “Sales is a function that many property managers struggle to prioritize, often overshadowed by the immediate need for cleaners, maintenance staff, and revenue managers. This gap can lead to missed opportunities and lost revenue – but our AI Sales Agent will make these challenges a thing of the past. 
     
    “Boom’s AI agent is the best sales person you’ve ever met. It closes the best possible deals, speaks every language, and never needs a break or vacation. We have programmed it to handle the complexities of sales negotiations and customer interactions with unmatched efficiency and consistency. By automating these workstreams, property managers can redirect their focus to more strategic initiatives that simply can’t be accomplished without human creativity and insight. 
     
    “Boom’s Sales Agent represents just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to implementing an AI virtual workforce. This is just the beginning of a new era in hospitality management, where AI and human expertise work hand in hand to create exceptional experiences and drive business success.”
  • 7/14/2024

    Predictive Analytics Company Forwrd.ai Acquires LoudnClear.ai to Empower RevOps Teams with Advanced Data Science Platform

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    Forwrd.ai, pioneering data-science automation platform tailored for RevOps leaders, announced today that the company acquired LoudnClear.ai to broaden its product offering of no code data science automation for RevOps. The acquisition of LoudnClear.ai, a multi-layered conversational AI platform for customer service teams, marks a strategic step for Forwrd.ai, adding data enrichment capabilities that unlock new customer signals to fuel its predictive models to support customer success and support use-cases.

    With the acquisition, Forwrd.ai adds new integrations to customer support platforms such as Salesforce Service Cloud, Zendesk, Intercom and others. Using LoudnClear.ai’s technology, Forwrd.ai will allow RevOps executives to build no-code models which connect the dots between marketing, sales and support data and patterns. Allowing RevOps managers to analyze, predict and act upon growth trends effectively. 

    “Our technology enables RevOps leaders to create and deploy predictive models seamlessly, without depending on data science teams, to drive operational efficiency and proactive business strategies,” said Kobi Stok, CEO and Founder of Forwrd.ai.

    Forwrd.ai already has native integrations with Salesforce, Hubspot, Snowflake, Mixpanel, Oracle Eloqua, Marketo, Redshift, Big Query and others, and is accelerating the transition from traditional BI to AI driven predictive analytics. “With Forwrd.ai, we were able to rapidly build and operate an AI-based, predictive lead scoring model,” states Claas Wallrodt, Senior Director, Marketing Operations, Deltek, Inc.

    In 2024, AI is "eating the world" and emerging as a pivotal force for predictive analytics among other fields of revenue operations. The maturation of AI and machine learning technologies, and the increasing availability of big data, is influencing companies to actively seek sophisticated predictive modeling and broaden their customer data infrastructure, learnings, and data science teams. These advances are not without cost - while data science is key for growth & operational efficiency, the complexities in building a data science team are both expensive and require recruitment of qualified talent leading to 87% of data science projects to fail.

    Forwrd.ai provides organizations an AI-based data science platform that does not require a “full-on” data science team, and saves time and resources - solving a problem which costed organizations $104 Billion in 2023, and is forecasted to grow to $776 Billion by 2032.

    “We are extremely proud to join Forwrd.ai’s team. The acquisition will allow LoudnClear.ai to continue building on its vision of enabling revenue operations and business teams to easily analyze unstructured data and better understand customer sentiment using NLP, machine learning and AI,” says Shaked Izrael, CEO & co-founder of LoudnClear.ai.

  • 7/11/2024

    Tock Teams Up with Curator Hotel & Resort Collection to Enhance Guest Experience at Independent Hotels

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    Tock, a reservation, experiences, and events platform for the hospitality industry, announced its partnership today with Curator Hotel & Resort Collection. The collaboration will offer Curator member hotels and resorts access to Tock’s solutions suite, which will enhance its food and beverage operations and provide additional experiential amenities to their guests.

    As Curator's newest platform partner, Tock will empower member hotels and resorts to streamline their operations, drive ancillary revenue, and elevate guest experiences all on one system. Through its integrated suite of reservation, event, and guest relationship management tools, Tock delivers seamless, innovative solutions for the hospitality industry.

    "Tock provides a holistic solution that empowers our customers and we're thrilled to bring that to Curator's elite network of independent hotels and resorts," says Patrick Venn, Head of Hotels and Enterprise at Tock. "This partnership aligns with our mission to empower hotels of all sizes with forward-thinking technology focused on revenue management. Together, we aim to help these properties not only in navigating today's competitive landscape, but also setting new standards in delivering extraordinary guest experiences."

    Tock’s unique and innovative platform has capabilities that can be tailored specifically for hotel operators. Curator member properties can transform guest experiences far beyond simple dining reservations by monetizing underutilized spaces and selling diverse experiences such as brunch buffets, fire pit gatherings, seasonal activations, afternoon tea, cabana rentals, and more. The collaboration will also provide member hotels access to unique features like Tock’s Concierge Program to book reservations on behalf of their guests, and strategic integrations for CRM, reporting systems, point-of-sale systems, and loyalty programs to help operators deliver better hospitality and increase sales.

    "By partnering with Tock, we are supporting our member properties with a world-class reservation platform built to improve their bottom line,” says Brent Hayhurst, Vice President of Program Development at Curator. “Tock’s incredibly powerful suite of tools will be instrumental in helping our members who are looking to enhance their guest reservation capabilities and confidently deliver more innovative dining and event offerings.”

    To learn more about how Tock is powering hotel food and beverage operators, from streamlining reservations to creating unique guest experiences, please visit exploretock.com/join/hotel-restaurant-reservations/.

  • 7/10/2024

    Trip Affiliates Launches Hotel Switch for Travel Agents

    Hotel Switch by Trip Affiliates Network

    Trip Affiliates Network has announced the launch of Hotel Switch, an advanced connectivity tool designed to provide seamless access to a broad network of hotel affiliates. Hotel Switch significantly enhances travel agents' ability to offer a wide range of accommodation, manage bookings efficiently and improve overall customer satisfaction. Hotel Switch integrates multiple features including access to static and dynamic room rates, instant booking and confirmation, and complimentary VCC payment support.

    Seamless Connectivity and Broad Network Access

    Hotel Switch maps to over two hundred thousand hotels linked to the Trip Affiliates Network, offering travel operators access to diverse regional and global hotel inventories through TA Network’s booking solutions. This instant connectivity allows agents to provide clients with a wide range of accommodation options, catering to different preferences and budgets.

    Static and Dynamic Contracts

    Real-time updates on allotments and/or blackouts when rooms are unavailable are automated, ensuring that agents have access to the best available rates 24/7.

    • Efficient Management of Room Allotments: Automates updates to prevent overbooking or blackout issues.

    • Real-Time Rate Access: Provides flexibility to access the best static and dynamic rates anytime.

    • Maximized Profitability and Customer Satisfaction: Ensures competitive pricing and availability, enhancing customer satisfaction and boosting agent commissions.

    Tactical Hotel/Package Promotions

    Enables agents to earn higher commissions like OTAs and offer competitive deals and promotions.

    • Increased Sales: Attracts more customers through appealing promotions.

    • Higher Commissions: Like those earned by OTAs, enhancing agent profitability.

    Instant Booking and Confirmation

    This automated 24/7 feature streamlines the booking process.

    • Immediate Confirmations: Ensures clients receive instant booking confirmations, reducing wait times and enhancing customer experience.

    • Reduced Workload: Automates the booking process, allowing agents to focus on other tasks and improve productivity.

    Direct Hotel Bookings

    Book directly with hotels instead of using third-party online hotel suppliers.

    • Elimination of Check-In Issues: Avoids common problems associated with third-party bookings, such as check-in discrepancies.

    • Enhanced Customer Experience: Provides a smoother, more reliable booking experience for clients.

    Comprehensive Suite of Benefits

    The Hotel Switch tool is designed to significantly enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of travel agents. By leveraging these solutions, agents can:

    • Increase Inventory: Access a broad network of hotel affiliates, offering more options to clients.

    • Boost Sales and Commissions: Utilize tactical promotions and direct bookings to enhance profitability.

    • Improve Productivity: Automate booking processes and manage room allotments efficiently.

    • Reduce Errors: Minimize overbooking and blackout issues through automated updates.

    • Deliver Superior Customer Service: Ensure instant booking confirmations and avoid third-party booking pitfalls, leading to higher customer satisfaction.

    TA Networks Managing Partner, Josef Foo, said: “Hotel Switch has been built by our technical team and we are thrilled to announce this new service. Hotel Switch is a vital tool for travel agents aiming to stay competitive and meet the evolving demands of their clients. By providing seamless connectivity, real-time rate access, and automated booking features, this tool enhances agents' ability to manage their operations efficiently and deliver exceptional customer service. With the comprehensive suite of benefits offered by Hotel Switch, travel agents can significantly improve their productivity and profitability.”

  • 7/10/2024

    Spectrum Enterprise Completes Fiber Network Expansion and Technology Upgrades at Wilderness Resort in Wisconsin Dells

    Wilderness Resort in Wisconsin Dells

    Spectrum Enterprise, a part of Charter Communications, Inc., today announced the completion of a fiber network expansion and technology upgrade at the Wilderness Resort in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. The initiative will improve the resort’s guest experience by providing high-speed managed WiFi access throughout its 600-acre property along with enhanced TV options for the resort’s 1,174 lodging options that include hotel rooms, condos and cabins.

    “We’re focused on meeting and exceeding expectations, and today’s guests expect to connect to their personal devices from any of our resort locations—whether in the guestroom, at one of the restaurants or while enjoying the waterparks,” said Joe Eck, Chief Operating Officer at Wilderness Resort. “Providing visitors with five-star WiFi service is key for us and handing over the management of that service to Spectrum Enterprise has freed up our internal teams to focus on elevating other customer service experiences.”

    Wilderness Resort has experienced continual growth and now encompasses four indoor and four outdoor waterparks, five restaurants, an award-winning golf course and numerous nature paths. Because of the scale of the property and terrain, guests sometimes had trouble accessing WiFi in certain areas. To improve overall connectivity, Spectrum Enterprise installed 1,400 WiFi access points and increased the resort’s internet bandwidth with download speeds up to 10 Gbps (gigabits per second), enabling Wilderness Resort’s guests and staff, which can be as many as 10,000 people, to access fast, reliable WiFi wherever and whenever needed. Spectrum Enterprise also manages each WiFi access point with 24/7/365 customer support as part of a managed WiFi solution so resort employees can focus on other business priorities.

    “Seamless WiFi and diverse TV entertainment are not just amenities—they are essential to the guest experience and driving repeat customers,” said Rajat Mukherji, Vice President, Vertical Markets for Spectrum Enterprise. “We’ve partnered with Wilderness Resort to implement new solutions that not only address the current needs of their visitors but can flex and scale to support future business growth.”

    In addition to benefiting from enhanced connectivity throughout the resort property with Spectrum Enterprise Fiber Internet Access and Managed WiFi solutions, guests this year will enjoy more in-room entertainment options. All hotel guest rooms, condos and cabins are now using Spectrum Enterprise Fiber Connect Plus TV, which provides high-definition TV viewing with more than 120 channels. With no equipment to purchase, the video experience is delivered through a private and dedicated fiber connection, which reduces maintenance costs for the resort.

    More information can be found at Spectrum Enterprise Case Studies: Wilderness Resort.

    Photo Credit: Wilderness Resort

  • 7/10/2024

    Restaurant Brands Re-Prioritize Digital Solutions in 2024

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    Checkmate, a restaurant ordering solutions provider, published a new report revealing how restaurant brands are re-prioritizing digital solutions to meet the demands of digital-first customers and accelerate revenue growth in 2024. Based on a survey of 1,000 industry executives, the report highlights several key trends:
     
    • Digital Ordering Dominance: Over half of the brands report that digital channels account for more than a quarter of their sales, with 36% stating that online ordering contributes over half of their total revenue.
    • Optimistic Growth Projections: Nearly half of all respondents expect digital sales to increase by 20% or more.
    • Technological Constraints: More than 60% of executives feel restricted by inflexible technology, facing integration challenges and inefficiencies.
    • Infrastructure Overhaul: 74% of executives are exploring options to streamline their digital infrastructure, showing significant interest in kiosks and voice AI technologies.
    “Our survey found that most leaders feel restricted by inflexible tech that forces them to adapt to the solution’s limitations rather than having a solution cater to their unique business needs,” said Checkmate CEO & Founder Vishal Agarwal. “Brands that don’t course-correct risk losing ground to more agile competitors focused on enhancing their digital ordering experience at every touchpoint.”
     
    Checkmate’s report underscores the importance of prioritizing custom, integrated ordering solutions to deliver the hyper-personalized ordering experiences customers expect while supporting revenue growth amid rising operating costs and inflationary pressures.
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