Facebook introduced Messenger for Business at its F8 conference in March to facilitate communication between customers and businesses. Now, Hyatt Hotels is one of the first brands to start using it. The international hotel chain now employs of a team of 60 across three global locations to help guests with their customer service needs via various social channels, including Messenger. Besides real-time conversations with its customers, Hyatt is looking to securely share transaction receipts and booking details via Messenger in the future.
What Brands Need To Do
By moving its customer service to a text-based platform like Facebook Messenger, Hyatt makes it easier for customers to reach out and start conversations. Moreover, it also gives Hyatt a voice – a personality, even – that resides inside the Facebook ecosystem and adds accountability to its customer service. As texting and messaging apps take over phone calls as the primary means of modern communication for a growing population segment, brands need to adapt to the changing consumer behavior and start to use messaging apps, such as Messenger, as a tool.
Guests at Marriott Hotels can now order a “VRoom Service,” which offers visitors virtual tours of Chile, China, and Rwanda, powered by Samsung Gear VR headset. The hotel created these distinct global travel experiences in partnership with Framestore VR Studio, marking it latest foray into developing original VR content to bring immersive experiences for its customers. Previously, Marriott also offered visitors virtual tours of London and Hawaii with the help of the Oculus Rift headset.
What Brands Should Do
Similar to Birchbox’s experiment with virtual reality earlier this year, Marriott joins a handful of early-adopting brands that are producing original VR content for the VR platform to bring added value to the customers. For brands that seek to immersively engage with the audience, now would be the time to start experimenting with VR content creation.
Header image taken from Marriott’s YouTube Video “VR Postcards“
Peek today expanded its service to the East Coast, with service now provided for New York, Miami, and Orlando. Peek started as a service to take the pain out of travel plans by helping travelers efficiently find things to do in their destination with services like the “Perfect Day Builder,” that shared tips and ideas from other users and the web. Though the service was initially limited to the San Francisco Bay Area, San Diego, and Hawaii, the company has reported over 100% average monthly growth in bookings since October, and is so popular that it’s offering users micro-level integration with its cities: for instance, it offers tours of Brooklyn’s breweries, the High Line’s food trucks, a red-carpet experience at TriBeCa Film Festival, a “Sleep No More” package, and more. The real advantage is its curatorial edge, and in response the company has raised over $1.4 million from investors including Twitter and Square co-founder Jack Dorsey, Google’s Eric Schmidt, SV Angel, and Khosla Ventures.
The MTA is rolling out a pilot program that will feature 90 touchscreen kiosks in select subway stations around the New York City. Working with interactive shop, Control Group, the OOH displays can incorporate third party apps, navigation, and more leveraging wifi, cameras and mics. There is tremendous opportunities for brands as the network looks to work with advertisers to reach consumers on the go. The initial test will reach 2 million travelers a day.
Expedia has figured out a clever way to engage their community around the photos they take when travelling the globe. As part of the “Find Yours” campaign, Expedia has developed a Facebook app that leverages Facebook and Instagram images in addition to Google Maps, music and other filters to tell the story of their travels. These travel albums are easily shareable via Twitter and Facebook and engage people around the moments they create.
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