More businesses than ever are adopting new technology to enhance the customer experience. Hospitality in particular is set to benefit from these innovations. The prime example of this is chatbots.
Chatbots are powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and integrate with your hotel’s website to manage guests while cutting down on overheads. Sounds great, right?
Here are the top five ways to use a chatbot in your hospitality business: how a chatbot could help save money, keep connected with guests at all times and stay competitive in the industry.
Answer FAQs and promote offers
From the moment a guest clicks onto your website, their journey has begun. It may take only seconds for someone to make a judgement about your hotel, so a chatbot gives you another avenue to start selling immediately. This chatbot works seamlessly with your website and is available over desktop, mobile or tablet devices.
Chatbots can answer guest questions about anything from the types of rooms available, to parking options, facilities and more – as well as providing quick information on your latest discounts and offers, or handle complaints. In fact, 90% of businesses report faster complaint resolution via a chatbot. All of these factors save guests time by helping them make a quick decision.
Reduce operating costs
Many hotels are currently experiencing some level of downtime or reduced income, which has led to more hoteliers considering how they can cut down overheads and create a continuity plan to keep business running efficiently.
The latest research says that 89% of hoteliers believe artificial intelligences like chatbots can reduce hotel operating costs – with further research suggesting that these savings can reach as high as 30% of overall spending. This is because the chatbot itself costs just 1/10th of a human employee without the typical risks – e.g., chatbots never quit or get sick, and are online 24/7.
Personalise the guest experience
Many hospitality businesses pitch themselves as a “home away from home” – and now we can get that across from moment one by personalising the experience before guests have set foot on the property.
Chatbots use smart AI to map the guest journey and provide data that can be analysed to personalise services and predict future outcomes. They can use data to learn preferences, behavioural patterns and more of your guests so you can tailor offers to the popular consensus or resolve issues in a more effective way.
Enhance the booking process and meet expectations
Now more than ever, guests are going online and making quick decisions about their hotel options. Millennials especially expect immediate answers to their enquiries. To keep up with these expectations and demands, hotels must rely on the latest technology solutions.
Rather than have guests wait to speak to someone over the phone or receive an answer to their email, a chatbot can both answer questions and take the actual bookings. With just a few short inputs from the prospective guest, the chatbot can link them with their ideal room and pricing in half the time it may take with a human operator.
Additionally, since chatbots are always learning, they will continue to grow smarter and be able to provide more human-like responses and defer to a human operator only where necessary, which will satisfy the less technology-inclined guests while continuing to streamline the process.
Use human operators more effectively
Because chatbots can helm the booking process while answering guests’ questions and more, this frees up your employees to focus on higher-value operations. Rather than paying for an employee to split their time between menial tasks and more important things, let the chatbot ease their workload whilst saving you money on having to hire another person for the role. And don’t forget – chatbots work around the clock and have no limit on the number of guests they’re talking to at any moment, so you only need one!
Chatbots are smarter than they have ever been before and will continue to learn, using guest input and gathering data to evolve alongside your hotel’s needs. Chatbots can scale up or down as your needs change, and work for all kinds of hospitality businesses – including campgrounds, hostels, boutique and chain hotels, and anything in between.
The latest technology offers a huge range of innovative approaches to improve hospitality businesses, keep overheads low and continuously exceed guest expectations. These are the main ways that a chatbot can benefit hoteliers:
- Chatbots provide 24/7 support to guests whilst costing just 1/10th of what a human operator would cost.
- Chatbots process data quickly and accurately, letting you further tailor the guest experience.
- Because chatbots can handle most website-based services, human operators can spend their time on higher-value tasks.
- Guests expect immediate answers to their questions while still feeling like they’re connecting with someone. Chatbots are always available on desktop, mobile and tablet – and constantly upgrade their responses to become more natural based on data received.
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