Yelp unveils AI Assistant and upgrades platform to enhance user and business connections

Yelp unveils AI Assistant and upgrades platform to enhance user and business connections
Yelp Assistant

Yelp yesterday announced its Spring Product Release. This update introduces a suite of new features designed to improve user experience and streamline connections between consumers and service professionals.

A key highlight is the launch of Yelp Assistant, a new conversational AI feature powered by large language models (LLMs). This technology allows users to interact with Yelp in a natural, chat-like manner to find service professionals. Yelp Assistant understands the user's project or problem and asks clarifying questions to gather details. It then leverages Yelp's extensive dataset, including business information, user reviews, and Request a Quote data, along with OpenAI's LLMs, to identify and connect users with suitable service providers.

Benefits for Consumers

  • Simplified Search: Yelp Assistant eliminates the need to browse through countless listings. Users simply describe their project or issue, and the AI handles the search and selection process.
  • Expert Matching: Yelp Assistant's AI capabilities ensure that users are matched with qualified professionals who can address their specific needs.
  • Reduced Stress: The AI simplifies the process of hiring service professionals, eliminating the guesswork and potential confusion involved in traditional search methods.

Benefits for Businesses

  • Targeted Leads: Yelp Assistant provides service professionals with detailed project requests from qualified leads, allowing them to focus on projects that are a good fit for their expertise.
  • Improved Efficiency: The AI streamlines communication by automatically collecting essential project details from users, minimizing the back-and-forth communication often required during the initial inquiry stage.
  • Increased Conversion Rates: By connecting businesses with highly relevant leads, Yelp Assistant has the potential to improve conversion rates and project acquisition for service professionals.

Yelp Assistant is currently available on the iOS Yelp app within the "Projects" tab, with an expansion to Android planned for later in 2024.

Yelp Fusion AI API: Empowering Third-Party Platforms

The Spring Release also introduces the Yelp Fusion AI API, a solution that allows third-party platforms to integrate Yelp's trusted business data and user reviews into their own applications. This empowers these platforms to offer natural language search functionalities related to local businesses. For instance, users might ask questions like "Find a dog-friendly park with a playground near me" or "Recommend a highly-rated Italian restaurant open late tonight." The Yelp Fusion AI API would then leverage its understanding of natural language and Yelp's extensive local business data to provide relevant and informative responses.

Benefits for Third-Party Platforms

  • Enhanced User Experience: By integrating Yelp's data and AI capabilities, third-party platforms can offer a more natural and intuitive way for users to discover local businesses.
  • Reduced Development Costs: The Yelp Fusion AI API eliminates the need for third-party platforms to build and maintain their own local business databases or develop complex AI solutions.

Yelp Guest Manager enhancements for restaurants

Yelp's Spring Release also includes updates to Yelp Guest Manager, a comprehensive front-of-house solution designed to streamline operations for restaurants. New features include:

  • Improved Analytics: Restaurant owners can gain deeper insights into wait times, table usage, and other key metrics, allowing them to optimize their operations for efficiency and profitability.
  • Enhanced Waitlist: Updates to the Yelp Waitlist system improve wait time accuracy and communication with diners, reducing overall wait times and enhancing customer satisfaction.
  • Redesigned Kiosk: The Yelp Kiosk, a self-service check-in system for restaurants, has been redesigned to provide a more user-friendly experience for diners.

Overall, the Yelp Spring Product Release represents a significant investment in AI and innovation. By introducing new tools like Yelp Assistant and the Yelp Fusion AI API, Yelp is aiming to transform the way users discover and connect with local businesses, while also empowering service professionals and restaurants to improve their operations and customer experiences.

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