Just when you think you have introduced enough tech and automated almost all possible operations in a hotel, there’s something new that pops up. This time it’s chatbots. With new technology coming up every year, chatbots are the new hype in the market. With more brands, businesses, restaurants using chatbots, there’s ample reasons why a hotel should leverage the unimaginable potential of bots.
Let’s start with defining the term “chatbot.” As most of us are aware of Siri and Google Assistant, chatbots with a similar mechanism are built on messenger platforms and have the ability to mimic human conversations over texts. The emergence of technology in the recent years has been vast and with the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI), chatbots are capturing customers where they are most likely to be available on- Messenger Apps.
As stated by Christie Pitts, Manager- Ventures Development of Verizone Ventures, “We think that chatbots are the beginning of a new form of digital access, which centers on messaging.” according to Forbes.
While chatbots built on Facebook Messenger are gaining popularity, most businesses have made their bots to serve the purpose of a marketing channel along with revenue generation. Customers these days prefer to use messaging apps to stay connected with brands that they associate with. Coming to the hospitality industry, large hotel chains like Marriott, Hyatt and Starwood have contrived their bots as a channel for customer service.
Well who doesn’t like instant responses? That’s exactly what a chatbot does. Furthermore, chatbots have several call to action buttons along with rich images within chat bubbles in a single chat window. Customers can view hotel images, make reservations, opt for concierge services and a lot more on an unified platform. Most hotels drive in organic traffic to their website as compared to other large businesses. While the option for live chat exists, more often than not, the response time is high and customers generally move out to look at other hotel websites. This is something chatbots can solve with ease by engaging them in smooth conversations and delivering what they are specifically looking for before they can even think of leaving your website.
Without further ado, let’s outline the benefits of chatbots for hotels:
1. Increase Conversion and Reduce Bounce
The hotel industry is known for paying big bucks for the traffic they generate mainly through paid ads and promotions. Chatbots make sure that those bucks are not wasted by engaging the traffic that comes into your website and ultimately reducing bounce. What’s better? Chatbots can be used as a reservation channel to get direct booking. Be it on the hotel’s website or Facebook Messenger, chatbots can be integrated anywhere. And guess what? Nobody needs to manage this particular platform as the chatbot takes care of the entire process.
2. Bring in a new dimension to customer service
It’s rather common for guests to expect a brilliant experience for what they pay. A single bad experience can be dangerous. Therefore, it’s necessary to provide a personalized experience not just when the guest checks in but in all the stages of a guest cycle. Chatbots stay connected with guests right from the pre-arrival stage to post-departure. This increases guest loyalty and the number of repeated visits.
3. Check-ins and Check-Outs become a lot more simpler
Guests can check-in as well as check-out on the fly with the help of a chatbot. This reduces the long queues that usually occur during peak seasons, leading to guest satisfaction. Customers can easily check-in through their mobile devices without having to download the hotel app thereby providing a better user experience.
4. Solve Guest Enquiries and Complaints Effortlessly
Instead of calling the front desk and other related departments of the hotel, guests can seamlessly enquire or raise a complain through the hotel bot. The bot in turn resolves the complaints and enquiries without any human intervention. Of course, the bot notifies the hotel if a certain issue needs to be attended personally. This, from an operational view, benefits the hotel staff to carry duties that need a special human touch.
5. Prompt guests for other services of the hotel
Many a times, guests opt for in-room services as well as concierge services. For the same, they need to dial the various extensions of the hotel to avail these services. This can get a little annoying for them. A chatbot eliminates all of this and in fact prompts them by suggesting the signature dishes, chef’s special menu items, all in one chat window. Additionally, they notify guests about the places to visit, the tariffs for the hotel’s cars with exciting images and videos.
The scope for what a chatbot can do for a hotel is not limited to the ones listed above. As technology gets better and better, bots can be trained according to the number of services it needs to perform. Well, who knows maybe a bot could remove human interactions completely!
What’s The Buzz About Chatbots? This Is How They Can Help Hotels. was originally published in Chatbots Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
Source: Chatbots Magazine