Satisfi Labs’ ‘COVID-19 Assistant’ beacon of hope for venues


Satisfi Labs Covid-19 Assistant Image: Satisfi Labs

COVID-19 has the whole world in its grip today. Worldwide, cases have reached one million-plus.

The virus has also impacted the staging of sporting events around the world. The financial fallout from canceled or postponed sporting events is likely to be significant. With coronavirus bringing all sporting events to a screeching halt, the ramifications are huge. In the US alone, more than 23,000 events have got canceled, postponed or rescheduled. In such a scenario, fans would like to know about the refund policies of venues, venue facility changes, event cancelations and event rescheduling.

Against such a backdrop, the New York (US)-headquartered Satisfi Labs – a conversational AI platform for sports venues, attractions and live events – launched a free ‘COVID-19 Assistant’ on March 13th to help sports, tourism, and live entertainment clients answer their customers’ coronavirus-related questions in real time on their websites.

Satisfi Labs is the member of Coliseum, Global Sports Venue Alliance and one of the sponsors for the Coliseum Summit Europe to be held at Ascot Racecourse, UK, on September 2-3, 2020.

Matt Rothman, Business Development, Satisfi Labs (Europe), explained to ‘Coliseum’ what made them launch the ‘COVID-19 Assistant’, “The ‘COVID-19 Assistant’ is the result of receiving 10,000 queries in the first two weeks of March this year from across our clients in the US centering on events being canceled due to coronavirus. In the two-week period, 98 percent of questions revolved around four major categories – ticket refunds, event cancellation, rescheduling of events and venue-related questions like changes to the facility for health and safety. This led us to create this virtual assistant on March 13th to answer the four categories of questions in real time and it is free. Prior to the launch of this AI-powered device, we had 2,000 percent increase in questions.”

How is the response? “The response to this whole ‘COVID-19 Assistant’ device is huge, and it is helping our clients immensely in the US. Right now, we are working on 100 appointments for our clients in North America. We have modified the AI-powered Assistant twice. As circumstances change, the venues will be able to modify the answers on their own. It is very important for venues to understand their fans,” Rothman further informed.

He added, “We have also developed ‘Knowtify’ – the alert feature to get updates with SMS or email by which fans or visitors will stay updated as to when tickets will be sold and event rescheduling.”

Rothman also put in, “We have 230 clients in the US – sports teams, venues, stadiums and attractions like museums. As far as the security and safety of the venue is concerned, it pertains to ascertaining that the stadiums are squeaky clean before any events are held in the future once the coronavirus dust settles down.”

The COVID-19 AI-powered Assistant helps answer all questions put forward by customer and fans in real time, and it expedites the whole process. He explains, “With the help of the COVID-19 Assistant, clients are able to rapidly adjust their answers in real-time as their responses to the situation changes by using the self-serve Answer Editor.”

What about the whole natural language angle? “Our normal Answer Engine uses natural language processing, but the COVID-19 Assistant is a guided-flow experience which doesn’t allow customers to ask natural language questions. The buttons chosen were based on data we collected from our natural language bots though. Our traditional Assistants use a ‘natural language processing’ engine that takes a fan’s question – ‘What times do the doors open?’ and matches that with a possible answer in our knowledge-base for the venue. What the fan sees as an answer is ‘Doors will be open at 7 pm’, but the underlying answer is likely under ‘Opening hours: Doors open at 7 pm’ in the knowledge base. So, the answer we deliver is as if a human wrote it, not as if it was a short instruction in a database. Hence, natural language,” sums up Rothman.

The COVID-19 Assistant can be installed with a simple snippet code on websites; links can also be included within social media messaging and/or emails.

Leading the development of conversational AI for major sports, tourism, and entertainment destinations, Satisfi Labs helps places discover new customer insights, increase sales, and improve customer experience.

The coronavirus pandemic has not only proved to be catastrophic for the global economy but also for the sports venue sector. In such a grim scenario, it is good to see platforms like Satisfi Labs go the extra mile to help their sports, tourism and live entertainment clients to steer through as well as look into the interests of fans.

Continue to follow Coliseum for latest updates on venues business news. Coliseum is dedicated towards building the best global community of sports and entertainment venue executives and professionals creating better and more profitable venues.

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