Following our last article about 6 Reasons why you should implement Chatbots for your Hotel, you’ve got to know what it takes to build one. However, if you’ve managed to miss out on what a chatbot is, then you’ve also unintentionally drifted past the hottest tech of 2017.
For the benefit of those, a computer programme backed by artificial intelligence is taught to mimic human conversations — and that’s what we call a chatbot! It lets you chat via text, show off images, promotions and get things done. They’ve been floating around the web everywhere and if you’ve come across Siri, Cortana or Google Assistant, then you definitely know what to expect of a chatbot.
Let’s dive-in right away and find out what things make up an incredible chatbot for your hospitality business.
1. Bot for Bookings
When thinking about a hotel, the most important feature would be to have direct bookings. While Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) and other third parties have been around for quite sometime, getting bookings and reservations for you, it’s time you take matters in your own hands.
Yes, chatbots are going to create a paradigm shift since they will let your guests book directly with you and save you from paying hefty commissions. Besides, all your guest’s valuable information lies with you as they go through the entire booking process.
So where do you start?
Ask the user for check-in dates, display room options with prices and set actions like “Book Now”. Make sure to be present where your guests are- so that they use it as a natural way to book their trips. Go for popular Messenger platforms used by millions of people every day. Show-off the best of what your hotel has to offer — add video tours of beautiful gardens or luxurious swimming pools, include menus and updated room images and past guest reviews.
2. Draw them with Discounts and Perks!
There is a dire need to create richer experiences for guests. Delighting your customer is important not only before their arrival on your property, but also during and after their stay!
“Booking additional services is where the power is,” says Nigel Symonds, Hospitality Consultant at Avenue9, a leading player in the IT sector that provides hospitality solutions. Instead of waiting for them to call for queries regarding the best deals and discounts, just set up a chatbot than can guide them with these in real-time.
But why give discounts? That too when they guests are booking directly with you?
It’s only fair that you give something in return. A small discount for your customer would hurt no one. In fact, you’re working your way up to growing and acquiring loyal customers. Believe it or not, the cost of acquiring a new customer is much more than retaining an existing one. Hence, “Giving a 15% discount on direct bookings will make you more money than a booking from an OTA costing you 15% commission”.
3. Check-in, check-out on Your Little Device
A chatbot can also help guests check in and out on the fly with their mobile device. That’s right. Now welcome your guests to the new era of hotel entry, which is keyless, cardless and is re-defining the standards of guest experience. As in the case of 17 Marriott Hotels, the Marriott MobileApp is now the room key for guests enabling them to skip the front desk and check-in to gain access to their room and other hotel services.
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!
4. Q for Queries and Quick Response!
Instead of calling the front desk and other related departments of the hotel, bot can resolve enquiries without any human intervention. Of course, the bot notifies the hotel staff if an issue needs to be attended to personally.
In order to accomplish this, it is absolutely necessary to feed in information that could resolve your customer’s queries. From room tariffs to check-ins, in-room services to suggested sight-seeing packages — pre-load your bot with anything and everything for the sake of your customer, and of course your business. And there you have it- a smart, round-the-clock personal assistant for your hotel!
5. The Butler Bot- Mobile Concierge at Your Service
To serve your guests even better, chatbots can also be programmed to provide concierge services. Gone are the days when the guests fumble with a placard by the phone trying to figure out whether to call the housekeeping number, front desk or reception to attend to their needs.
If your guest wants to place an international call, send an email, or needs to be woken up in the morning for an appointment, the device which is by their side at all times should be able to help them with that.
Marriott MobileApp comes with a ground-breaking feature called “Ask Anything”. A round-the-clock concierge service that attends to beyond basic requests like ordering bath and bed linen, room-cleaning services or just a simple “where is the best place to go out tonight” amongst others.
As the consumer tendency is shifting towards text messages and voice chats, Trilyo’s Voice and Chatbot solution understands that this feature is gaining high popularity against the conventional method of phone calls at the reception desk. That’s why we call it a 24x7 virtual assistant. Curious enough? Check it out here.
Chatbots can also be programmed to provide concierge services. Image Source:https://goo.gl/jTFVGp
6. Botting to Broadcast Notifications
Chatbots can accomplish all this and more, only if you allow them to.
Personalisation options are endless, so the hotel can deliver tailor-made offers to the guests directly via chat at any point of time — be it before, during or after their stay. Your customer will be incredibly amazed if you offer them a complimentary spa once you learn that that’s how they love to pamper themselves.
But is it really possible to hire representatives that spend time in learning guests’ preferences and then start sending out so many relevant notifications from time to time? That too to each and every guest?
Of course not! Chatbots let you invest that precious staff time elsewhere as they can be programmed to automate and enhance the on-site experience for guests. Automated push messages and follow ups with guests are going to replace those conventional promotional messages that keep popping up from time-to-time and eventually get blocked by irritated customers.
7. Yay or Nay? Automated Feedbacks all the Way!
Hotels often shy away from confronting their guests to ask for reviews. Automated Feedback Systems send pre-scheduled emails to recently checked-out guests.
As a result, staff time and effort is greatly reduced as customers can sit back and write about their stay on their way to the airport without getting bothered by the front desk staff. With Trilyo Realtime Feedback system, a negative feedback alert ensures that the customer’s issue is attended to immediately.
8. Thrill them with Loyalty Rewards
The best brands have the best loyalty. And that’s why you need one too.
Chatbots will help hotels to build an accurate guest profiling or database, allowing them to shout out personalized offers to their guests, which will increase guest loyalty and boost the hotel RevPAR. Your customers are yours and rewarding them for picking your brand over others is exactly why you need to reward them with incentives, exclusive programs and discounts every time they book with you.
Every booking counts, and so does the customer! You can use the power of chatbots to remind your guests of your loyalty programs or that it’s time to redeem them. At the same time, chatbots will automatically keep track of the loyalty rewards in every customer’s account for you, so you can do away with the conventional methods of book-keeping.
It’s time to engage customers with a whole new experience and increase repeat sales through a game-changing loyalty program. Image Source:https://goo.gl/RN2UDh
9. Don’t Lose Your Dollars — Integrated Payment Gateway
Your chatbot must quickly direct guests down the booking path so remember to integrate a fast and efficient booking engine. Also, you must be able to collect payments directly from your chatbot platforms. You will love the way Hotelogix and Checkfront — two great property management systems (PMS), integrate all critical operations of your hotel on one platform. Be it your hotel’s front desk, accounts, your restaurants, your staff will always be up-to-date with real time information at hand.
Chatbot..PMS..booking engines…too many things to take care of..? Worry not! Trilyo chatbot is now seamlessly integrated with these cloud platforms. All you have to do is click here to get things done -fast and real easy!
10. Automate to Accelerate
Let’s face it. Every brand needs marketing- both online and offline. Customer demands and expectations are increasing even as we speak. To keep up, hotels must constantly upgrade their marketing strategies to set themselves apart from their direct competitors.
“Automate the predictable so you can humanize the exceptional” suggests Matthew Uphill, CEO of Virtuoso.
Happy guests lead to positive reviews and might possibly convert into word-of-mouth promoters for your hotel brand. How about reminding your guests of the pleasant experience they enjoyed a year ago at your hotel? Or even asking them when they’d like to return so you can have the chance to serve them again?
Automated marketing allows you to schedule promotions along with replacing human intervention rather than having it done manually. Get the word out about your hotel and update campaigns real quick and easy as events come up or rooms become available.
With Trilyo’s Automated Marketing Program, you can reach a wider audience with automated social media management. Messages can automatically be sent to guests based on their visit trends and personal preferences in order to keep them coming back and build loyalty.