Just when you think you have introduced enough technology and automated almost all possible services and operations in your hotel, there’s always something new that pops up and makes our head go round! And this time-- it’s chatbots. With new technology coming up every year, chatbots are the new hype in the market. With more brands, businesses and hotels are using chatbots, there’s ample reasons why a hotel should leverage the unimaginable and untapped potential of bots.
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 engaging 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.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is dramatically changing business, and chatbots, fueled by AI, are becoming a viable customer service channel. The best ones deliver a customer experience (CX) in which customers cannot tell if they are communicating with a human or a computer. AI has come a long way in recognizing the content – and context – of customers’ requests and questions. Typically, customer service chatbots answer questions based on keywords. The most basic systems are actually document retrieval systems.
Sometimes this is frustrating. Think of the times you may have asked Siri or Alexa a question and received the wrong answer. The computer recognizes keywords but may not recognize the context in which they are being used. In other words, the computer doesn’t recognize the way people naturally speak. This causes the customer great frustration. However, these systems (including Siri and Alexa) have come a long way and continue to improve.
In adopting chatbots, a hotel can more efficiently service typical guest requests, especially the more routine ones (a request for more towels, reporting a maintenance issue, ordering room service) or when accessibility for taking such requests needs to be on a twenty-four/seven basis. In the hotel context, chatbots afford much of the functionality that mobile apps provide, because they don’t require guests to hunt-up and install an app; they are actively running on the hotel’s website or on the customer’s Facebook interface.
The consumer desire for speed of information is greater than ever. An entire generation of guests prefer not to pick up the phone to call the reception or talk to a human being. They are also not accustomed to waiting for someone to answer a simple question or to wait for something to be distributed, as simple as hotel wi-fi password. Chatbots can provide a single product solution, which addresses this type of guest across multiple different scenarios in multiple languages with very limited resources required from the hotel point of view therefore delivering a better experience whilst saving on staff costs.
From a customer experience perspective a chatbot can increment and enhance the correspondence with visitors and visitor engagement. Undoubtedly, as a messaging application, chatbots can speak to another reservation channel, which will enable customers to effortlessly discover and book their stay by means of a chat interface. Personalization options are endless, so the hotel can deliver tailor made offers or options instantly and directly to the guest via chat at any point before, during or after their stay.
Obtaining customer reviews post stay or getting guest feedback is going to be much less invasive via a chatbot compared to traditional email marketing, which is often ignored. To be able to respond with one-click to a question will undoubtedly improve the customer engagement response rate. Customer loyalty can be increased with a mixture of personalized, relevant content delivered by the bot in conjunction with integrations to the best communication platforms. Now, let us see how a chatbot can make guests’ stay more fun in hotels.
1. 24*7 Available Customer Service Chatbot: Customer service is all about convenience, which includes 24/7 customer support. A cost-efficient, yet powerful way to provide basic support is through the never-sleeping chatbot. We are sharing an excellent example of this. In the hotel industry, Marriott’s chatbots are trained by using historical conversations and can perform some of the same tasks as a live support center rep such as correcting an invoice, answering basic questions about room availability and more. Customers receive the same level of service they would get from the support rep. The chatbot can recognize human emotions such as anger, confusion, fear and joy. And, as mentioned above, if the chatbot detects that the customer is angry, upset or frustrated, it will seamlessly transfer the interaction to a human to take over and finish assisting the customer.
They can serve as 24/7 front-end customer care specialists and they are capable of totally transforming visitor servicing in destinations after hours. Frequently asked questions and inquiries can be answered any time of the day or night, including when travelers are arriving at a hotel and the visitor information centre / welcome centre is closed. With chatbots, the check-in/out is a cakewalk because you don’t have to wait for the staff to solve your query.
2. Hotel Check-in/out with AI Chatbots : 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. From check-in to check-out, chatbots can send a regular stream of helpful updates related to a guest’s stay. A chatbot, rather than the front desk clerk, can notify a guest when his or her room becomes available, or conversely remind guests of the property’s check-out policy.
The chatbot can even be used to set wake-up calls and notify guests of any dinner, spa or golf reservations they may have made. For hotel personnel, this automation reduces the volume of simple queries directed at human staff and tying up the front desk phone. It also cuts down the manpower waste associated with missed reservations and appointments. Mobile check-ins are a major win-win for both hoteliers and guests. Staff time is freed up and can be invested in engaging with more important things — the guests. Exhausted travelers are saved from the trouble of standing in queues for the check-in process and can head straight to what they were promised — a delightful experience!
3. Personalization for Hotel Guests : When it comes to customer experience, the best experiences are tailored and personalized - but that is not easy for most brands. This is part of the reason customers are so attracted to the sharing economy - because it allows for the scalability of tailored, personalized interactions. For example now you can get someone to help you with a task of your choosing on Task Rabbit, or have something homemade specifically for you on Etsy.
Chatbots are ideal for customer centric-businesses and destinations. They can serve as 24/7 front-end customer care specialists and they are capable of totally transforming visitor servicing in destinations after hours. Frequently asked questions and inquiries can be answered any time of the day or night, including when travelers are arriving at a hotel and the visitor information centre / welcome centre is closed. With chatbots, the check-in/out is a cakewalk because you don’t have to wait for the staff to solve your query.
Chatbots can also render you hyper-personalized recommendations based on your behavior and preference by promoting relationship management. This may sound as a contradiction, but bots are really great at managing relationships with human beings. With thoughtful pre-programming, chatbots can supplement the entire travel/stay experience in a hotel, beginning with automated pre-arrival reminders, to suggesting nearby entertainment spots and transportation facilities at destination. The best part of chatbots- they stay connected with the guests right from the pre-arrival stage to post-departure.
4. Multilingual Hotel Chatbot : We comprehend that sometimes, language is a barrier and we can’t do anything about it. Let’s take a scenario where a foreigner comes to your hotel and starts conversing with the front-desk but the receptionist is unaware of the language and communication-gap arises! For obvious reasons this is not good for your brand, so what you can do is - have a chatbot on your website and the guest can talk with the bot! Since, the bot is not human and is built on NLP, it can understand any language without breaking a sweat. Now language is not a barrier; it’s just another mode of conversation.
If your hotel is in a busy metropolitan area, then you’re likely to have guests from all over the world. And while some of your staff may be multilingual, more than likely that’s not going to cover all of your bases. Such language barriers can open up the door for miscommunication, and leave your international guests feeling awkward. After all, mutual comprehension is the foundation for a pleasant and collaborative experience. Luckily, hotel chatbots can help you translate and can even be programmed to speak several different languages.
So, now you know how a chatbot can make your stay more fun and hassle-free in hotels! Schedule a demo with us and we will tell you more on AI-backed bots. Also, we will tell how can you redefine your existing guest experience by boosting the already set norms for customer engagement via voice and chat-based services. It’s not too late! Join hands with us to feel the change in hotel and skyrocket your hotel bookings and revenue, instantly!