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Hospitality and customer engagement go hand-in-hand. From the pre-stay - enticing customers with promotions, Facebook ads, or weekly newsletters - to the post-stay - thank you emails and requests for reviews on TripAdvisor or Facebook - building the relationship with customers is invaluable and has never been so crucial.
Because hospitality relies so heavily on customer engagement, Chatbots have found their home across hotel and accommodation websites alike. In fact, the number of bookings with no human interaction jumped from 75.8% to 82.2% from 2017 to 2018 according to TrekkSoft. The need for a mobile and web-friendly concierge that works nonstop is inevitable. Chatbots are here to stay!
Chatbots are designed to assist the hotelier by asking future guests the most essential questions.
How can I help you?
What’s your name?
What dates would you like to stay?
How many rooms would you like?
How many adults and children?
Do you prefer two double beds or one king?
Conversely, Chatbots are also a resource for responding to and answering questions, including:
What’s the cancellation policy?
Is breakfast included?
Is Wi-Fi included?
What time is check-out?
What time does the swimming pool open?
...and the list goes on!
These questions - though mundane, basic and repetitive - require a lot of time from the hotelier. When hotel staff is always on call, assisting with the check-in and out process, or making a second room key for that customer who always loses one, it’s difficult for them to find the time to answer the phone and respond to emails. With Chatbots, the process is simplified and streamlined.
Not only do Chatbots save the hotelier time, but they also contribute to the overall productiveness.
Hotel staff can leverage this extra time and chatbot-generated information to personalize and maximize the customer experience.
WorldHotelsCollection reveals that chatbots “help independent hotels to build accurate guest profiling so that they can provide personalized offers to their guests. The hotel will be able to deliver tailor-made offers instantly and directly via chat before, during or after their stay.”
According to a recent study by Analytics India Magazine, chatbots have increased hotel direct bookings by 30%. With chatbots designed to respond to customer requests almost instantaneously, they can also be trained to route potential guests on hotel websites allowing sales teams to provide a quick, personalized response.
Best of all? The majority of chatbot interactions are favorable. According to a survey from Uberall, a global Location Marketing Agency, “as many as 80 percent of people who have interacted with a chatbot say the experience was positive”.
In our A Look back at 2018 post, we discovered that, “57% of travelers feel that brands should tailor their information based on personal preferences or past behaviors” and that “if a travel brand tailored its information and overall trip experience based on personal preferences or past behavior, 36% would be likely to pay more for their services.” (Google Research)
With Artificial Intelligence, hoteliers can take personalization to the next level. Not only do chatbots have the ability to “speak” a variety of languages allowing them to facilitate the booking process, but they also have the capability to remember customer preferences and replicate them at future stays. Knowing that Guest X prefers 3 pillows, the temperature set to 16.4°C and a room near the elevator is invaluable information for a hotelier.
To connect hoteliers more closely with their guests, Travel Appeal has developed Conversations, an intelligent, hospitality-friendly chatbot. Our chatbot works through Facebook Messenger, so no downloads are necessary. Users can book a hotel room, check-in, connect to Wi-Fi, reserve spa treatments, explore events, order room service and much more!
Conversations was first designed to meet the needs of Best Western Italy and close the gap between staff and guests. The hotel group was looking for tool that would allow their employees to easily engage with customers at every touch-point during their stay. Today, our advanced AI chatbot still serves Best Western Italy and hospitality groups alike take care of guests from 360°. Clients can customize their stay, buy complementary services, always stay in touch with staff and more!
Conversations works around the clock because our chat-service receptionist never needs to sleep. However, any time the bot is unable to remedy the needs of guests, it automatically signals for staff to intervene. Hotel employees can also chat directly with guests at anytime to encourage up-selling or to add a more personal touch.
Up-sell services, automate direct marketing, solve problems and build loyalty without lifting a finger. With Conversations, hoteliers can profile, target and engage customers with ease. Best of all? It’s already in the pocket of over one billion travelers.