Yelp Assistant 2

Yelp Debuts Generative AI Assistant to Link Customers and Businesses

Yelp is rolling out a new generative AI tool to help customers find and connect with businesses and services. The Yelp Assistant acts as an agent for curating and suggesting businesses to users, one of several AI upgrades announced by the platform, along with the new Yelp Fusion AI API and improvements to Yelp Guest Manager for restaurants.

Yelp Assistant

Yelp Assistant employs large language models (LLMs) from OpenAI and is trained on Yelp’s extensive data to create a conversational AI mimicking an expert in fields like home improvement and cosmetics, as well as local businesses. The AI is available on iOS under the ‘Projects’ tab but is expected to arrive on Android this summer. The idea is to exploit the AI and ultimately streamline the sometimes tedious search, compare, and reach-out process. Yelp also unveiled the new Project Ideas feature within the same ‘Projects’ tab to suggest home improvement projects and provide recommendations and checklists.

Yelp Assistant is designed to understand the specifics of a consumer’s request, ask appropriate follow-up questions, and match the consumer with the most eligible service providers. Users can describe their needs, choose from preset replies, or ask further questions to refine their query. After finalizing their request, Yelp Assistant generates and forwards a detailed project submission to the appropriate service providers. Yelp claims the assistant not only improves the efficiency of connecting consumers with service professionals but also enhances the quality of leads received by businesses, potentially increasing their conversion rates.

Guest Fusion

For business owners, Yelp has added new inbox enhancements to help manage communications and job acquisitions more effectively. The updated features, currently on iOS, include Saved Replies and improved organization tools that differentiate new leads from ongoing conversations, along with tags that identify service areas by city. Meanwhile, the new Yelp Fusion AI API enables third-party platforms to integrate Yelp’s local business content into their products with conversational inquiries. The company also upgraded the Yelp Guest Manager tool for front-of-house operations at restaurants. The improved platform has better analytics and improves the performance of =the Yelp Waitlist and Kiosk systems, thereby helping restaurants increase efficiency and accommodate more diners.

“Our new AI-powered Yelp Assistant will revolutionize how you discover and connect with service pros. For partners, the new Yelp Fusion AI API will allow third-party platforms to create natural language search experiences powered by Yelp content. For restaurants, enhancements to Yelp Guest Manager will help them seat more diners by boosting front of house efficiency; and more,” Yelp chief product officer Craig Saldanha explained in a blog post. “Our mission to connect people with great local businesses has never been more relevant. The introduction of Yelp Assistant and the enhancements across our platform are testaments to our ongoing commitment to innovation and delighting our users. By continually evolving and adapting to the needs of our community, Yelp is setting the stage for a future where every interaction is smarter, more intuitive, and tailored to meet the dynamic needs of consumers and businesses.”

Yelp Rolls Out Generative AI Features to Summarize Business Reviews

Amazon Introduces Generative AI Shopping Assistant Rufus

Walmart Unveils Generative AI Search and In-Home Refills