Royal Caribbean: Improving Customer Experience with AI and Amelia Cognitive Computing

Royal Caribbean: Improving Customer Experience with AI and Amelia Cognitive Computing


I’m Michael Krigsman, an industry analyst
with CxOTalk. And, we are here in New York City at the IPsoft
Digital Workforce Summit. I’m speaking with Mike Giresi, who is the
Chief Information Officer at Royal Caribbean. Hey, Mike! Hey, Michael! Nice to see you. Likewise! So, tell us about Royal Caribbean. We operate in almost 47 different countries. We have 50-plus ships, and we are currently
in the process of undergoing a significant transformation. You’re running data centers that are floating
around the world! We have 50-plus floating data centers that
operate ships that can support anywhere from 2,500 – 7,000 guests at a time. You’ve been undertaking this major program
of digital transformation. So we are in the process of creating a frictionless
and immersive vacation experience for our guests. So, what does that mean: “frictionless and
immersive?” Our intent is to make it as simple as possible
for you to understand the product, to be able to select what the product represents to you,
and ultimately experience the product once you’re on the actual, physical ship. How do you use technology? Well, technology more or less provides the
entire guest experience. What we’re doing with our technology is modernizing
it in a way that enables the guest to have much more control and direct selection of
what they want to do with the product itself; moving from reservation being the center of
our universe, to the guest being the center of our universe, and then building capability
services integration points. [We are] enabling technology to move with
the guests versus the guests having to traverse different monolithic and antiquated systems,
and ultimately feel like nothing is purposely put together. So when you say, “enables the guest to have
more control?” The more we can do with the product, in terms
of enabling both guest and customer experiences, if you will, but doing so in a way that broadens
the ship. Like, how do we expand the vacation experience
beyond the ship, so that you’re not constrained by the physical limitations of the ship? That’s the design around the technology
strategy. Can you give an example of that? So, using augmented reality, or virtual reality,
to bring experiences onto the ship that you would not be able to see; where you would
not be able to experience because the ship has physical limitations, so people can understand
what’s happening with the ship, doing interesting things with social. Enabling people to self-select opportunities
to go on excursions that may not have been available to them in personalizing that information,
so they can get to the things that are of most interest to them. We believe we are in the business of making
tremendous memories. The better we can provide that information
to you, the more successful we’re going to be in providing the product. Where are you in the process of rolling this
kind of technology out? So, we’re fairly early days. We’ve gone through a lot of the heavy lifting
from a foundational capability perspective. And when you think about a ship, you have
a bunch of people, obviously guests on the ship, but there’s a lot of crew on the ship,
and there are a lot of supply chain processes. I mean, what it takes to run one of these
floating cities is no different than what it takes to run a city. You’re just running it at sea. So each time that ship comes into a port,
each time it does something, there’s an opportunity to change and/or impact the experience. So, how do we make sure we maximize our processes
and people in support of this program so that people feel like it’s something of value? So, your broader business strategy, then,
relies on all of this technology and the goal of the technology is to, as you say, broaden
that guest experience. We want people to feel like coming to a cruise
is not an overwhelming or intimidating experience. We want people to feel confident that as soon
as they get on the ship, their vacation begins. In fact, we’d love their vacation to begin
before they arrive. But once you enter into the port to walk onto
the ship, we want it to be as seamless as humanly possible. We want you to enjoy it, feel relaxed, be
excited; you have your itinerary, you have your agenda, if you will; you know all the
things you’re going to do. If you learn of new things, how easy is it
to change that, and be able to swiftly and agilely adapt to whatever is available to
you so you maximize that experience. So, Mike, I know you’re working with Amelia
and AI. Yes. What are you doing? So, we are looking at two aspects of AI. One is our actual workforce, and how we can
provide better information, and help them ensure that they are making every guest interaction;
whether it’s in our call center, whether it’s in our crew interacting with our guests; that
those interactions are of high quality and that we’re driving a great experience. We believe there’s an opportunity to provide
guests with more personalized information, with more options that are relevant to their
interests, and the more authentic it feels to someone, people will be more friendly to
it and they’ll feel less intimidated by the overall process. Where is the AI component? How does that fit? AI enables us to quickly move those issues
to a point of solution much faster. As we’ve been able to train the system, we
can proactively resolve issues before they become issues. When we turn a ship, it’s much like a plane. It’s just a lot more complicate. So our ability to disembark people off that
ship, invite the new guests onto the ship, and do that in a successful and high-quality
manner, is critical to the success of the journey. So, IPsoft is helping us see the status of
our systems, how healthy our systems are, what the likelihood of having a problem is
during that process, and to disable these issues from happening. Where we’re looking at AI, in terms of taking
it, is around the consumer experience. When you come to a cruise site, the amount
of data that’s available to you is voluminous, I mean, there’s so much information. If we know a little bit about you, and we
kind of understand what you’re interested in, we can deliver that information in a much
more personalized manner; call center, crew … How do we get better information to people
so they can service the guests and help the guests maximize their interaction with the
business? Obviously, we think we can help convert and
acquire people more effectively by understanding behavioral trends and historical activities. And for our crew, it’s really about them having
the right information when they most need it to provide the right level of service to
our guests. Great! Mike Giresi from Royal Caribbean. Thank you so much! Thank you, Michael! I enjoyed it.

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