Chatbots have the power to impact and transform the hotel industry
Chatbots are the topic of discussion in every hotel conference and hospitality article. This is because of what they can accomplish for the industry. Listing it out, chatbots can –
- Completely redefine a hotel’s guest experience by engaging the guest in totally unique ways.
- They can make your brand more relevant by attracting millennials directly to your hotel.
- Chatbots make the customer’s experience smooth by giving them the ability to chat directly with the hotel. They can message via their own apps or on third-party channels like Facebook Messenger or Whatsapp.
Presently, there are thousands of hotels that are already offering messaging services to their guests, some are offering the option to text them directly while some have developed their own apps, and the rest are utilizing third-party messaging channels like Whatsapp and Facebook.
Looking closely at this technology trend, it seems like your next brand interaction will likely not be with a human being. In fact, Gartner Predicts, 85% of the interaction will be managed without a live person.
Seeing this percent, you can say Chatbots are quickly and seamlessly taking over the customer interaction process to deliver better experience.
The four top ways in which chatbots are changing the hotel industry for the better are:
1. A smarter booking experience
Chatbots in the hotel industry are changing the way booking inquiries are being handled and visitors being converted.
The front desk staff who previously managed these tasks alongside many others now can hand off booking queries to conversational bots. These AI-powered bots are programmed to develop conversation through Natural Language Processing, enabling concise, efficient, and controlled interactions.
Interactions for hotel bookings that are managed by intelligent chatbots can offer immense convenience to the guest. A 24/7 front-desk availability along with fast-paced delivery service lifts the pressure from the front-desk, making it a happy place to be and more responsive to the complex issues that arise and need real human input.
Also, the chatbot in combination with live chat agents can fuel digital reservations helping hotel businesses up their customer experience.
- Data reservoir for tailored recommendations
Customers engaging with chatbots for their queries means, “A mine of shining digital data”.
Although all this is in its infancy. Chatbots’ learning abilities and analytics combined with IoT devices can offer tremendous benefits for the hotel business. The data arising from a wealth of conversations allows a hotel to maximize revenue by leveraging the information given (with their permission, of course) of their recurring customers.
Personalization and on-premise recommendation
Hotel visitors can be assisted all the way along from their departure to their destination with personalized recommendations throughout the journey. And to provide exclusive and preferred recommendations it is important to garner heaps of customer data.
Predictive analysis and personality branding can help in spotting the customers’ future needs and please them by providing services before they ask for them.
Also, chatbot analytics ability makes hotels agile in recognizing the next set of trends when it comes to products and services. The chatbot’s data can be used to identify and evaluate customers’ goals and provide them with information about the relevant packages that the hotel provides.
The practice of providing highly personalized recommendations based on an individual’s taste can gain more effectiveness.
Interlinking predictive analysis and the customer’s geo-location.
Consider a customer who enjoys an early morning coffee and is traveling in the morning with a spouse, who is likely to reach the hotel in an hour’s time.
The Chabot can track their location and share a Buy One Get One coffee offer to the customer when they pass the hotel’s coffee shop. This can easily entice them with the ongoing offers and discounts.
- Increase booking conversions and reduce abandonment
A chatbot can quickly lay down the process of booking and reduce a hotel’s dependency on travel agencies, which in turn will increase direct non-commissionable booking revenue.
If you have integrated your chatbot on your website, your guests will start using this direct method to book their trips.
Why do guests abandon their bookings?
According to SiteMinder
- 13% found the booking process too complicated and were put-off
- 10% of bookings were lost for asking too many details
- 21% needed to check with others before booking
And there are a lot more reasons, such as time scouting for better deals, researching further, and technical issues.
Given the current technology is not achieving the objective for most of the hotel businesses, leveraging chatbots can push the process in the right direction. Chatbots can significantly reduce the booking path of a visitor. Its real-time interaction can seize the option to book the best room at great rates without any hurdles in between.
4. Guests sending on-property service requests via chatbot
The millennial guest does not prefer to pick-up hotel phone and talk to reception for their requirements. They also do not like to wait for a simple question to be answered. Here, chatbots can provide a solution, addressing the guest’s requirements across multiple levels.
With a chatbot, hotel guests can seamlessly send service requests. Laundry pick-up; the ordering of amenities; booking a spa session; leaving feedback: all can be done without picking up and dialling the hotel room’s landline.
The best thing about chatbots is that unlike humans, the chatbot never gets exhausted. It works seamlessly, and the guests will only require an internet connection for perfect customer experience. It connects brands with customers on everyday messaging platforms and understands whichever language they speak in.
As a hotelier, if you are still struggling to engage with millennial guests, then you need to integrate a next-gen customer experience provider: an AI-powered chatbot.
Chatbots can easily cross-sell and up-sell because of predictive analysis and machine learning algorithms. They can easily optimize any personalized messages accordingly as they converse. Every customer interaction will be helpful and informative, leading to more open up-sell and cross-sell opportunities!
It is a great opportunity for hoteliers and has also become important for them to keep up with the technologically savvy guest. This is why both text and voice chatbots are gaining prominence in the global market.
Ashok Sharma is a writer, professional blogger, Digital marketer, and social media enthusiast. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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