How to use chatbots to improve the customer journey in the hotel business

ChatbotsYou know it, and we all know it. The hotel industry is competitive. To make your guests book a room in your facility, you have to consider the customer journey. In the age of digital transformation, this isn’t such a complicated job as it seems. However, it still demands plenty of work and dedication.

In the digital age, all markets are changing at a fast pace. But this isn’t the only thing changing. Consumer behaviour is also evolving, becoming more complex and difficult to decipher. Their demands are now higher than ever, and they seem to appreciate customer service and experience above other variables.

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In this context, how you improve customer journey can make or break the success of your business.

But fear not, AI and machine learning come to your help again! Chatbots are one of the biggest technological advancements today. They can help create a more personalized customer experience and take prospects faster down the sales funnel. Plus, they contribute to keeping those customers loyal to your business. That being said, below is more info on how to use this amazing piece of technology to your hotel’s advantage.

Custom-tailored recommendations

For hospitality establishments, AI has played a pivotal role since its creation. For customer-centric industries like the hotel industry, chatbots are the most advantageous implementation of AI.

Conversational chatbots have already started to replace human customer service representatives. They are available 24/7, transforming the way tourists interact with your business.

Below are some interesting ways this technology can facilitate communication between customers and businesses in the hospitality sector.

  • They can serve as around-the-clock customer care specialists.
  • They are available after visitor servicing hours.
  • They are equipped with high levels of intelligence, being fully able to answer FAQs. This feature might come in handy when the visitor center within hospitality establishments is closed at tourists’ arrival time.
  • Check-in/check-out will become a breeze. Visitors won’t have to wait for staff members to solve common queries.
  • They are able to make hyper-personalized recommendations.

This last feature similar AI applications share is game-changing in the hotel industry. Their ability to make customer-centric recommendations improves relationships between hotels and customers. Proper implementation of chatbot tech for personalization goals can boost revenue by helping businesses attract more and more visitors. Let’s see how a seamlessly developed and programmed tool like this can facilitate human-business interactions during the entire hotel stay of your visitors.

  • Automated arrival reminders;
  • Automated entertainment and cultural hot spot recommendations.
  • Automated public transportation suggestions.

Although this sounds counter-intuitive, effective bot implementation within hotels can create a more personal and seamless experience for each visitor. All this, without stealing precious time from your employees. This small perk can help them improve customer experience in other areas, where bots can’t be used.

24/7 availability

Hotel managers think their live chat support staff is enough to create a smooth customer experience. But if you think about it, your staff needs breaks and time off, and they need vacations, as well. But you know what doesn’t need to take a break? Yep, it’s chatbots.

This game-changing piece of technology is available outside business hours. In the hotel sector, customers might seek support and answers, no matter the hour. Besides, time zone differences might make it difficult for human customer service representatives to be present every time customers need their services.

Smart AI applications like bots also eliminate waiting times. According to this Survey Monkey data, the average waiting time spent by guests until they are assigned to an agent is approximately 7 minutes. In the age of speed, smart bots are designed to drastically cut those waiting periods.

  • They are intelligent virtual robots.
  • They replace phone calls and reduce waiting times.
  • They replace live chat.
  • Email contact forms become obsolete.

Because of these reasons, and also of the fact they virtually need no breaks, they are the perfect tool to boost customer experience, satisfaction, and retention rates.

Quick response

Smart bots can be pre-programmed for virtually anything. Because they are so versatile, businesses in different fields have implemented them with success. They can be used in finance (JP Morgan), insurance, review services (Top Writers Review), but also in the hotel industry (Hilton).

They are always prepared to answer customer queries. Helping both customers and businesses is their only goal.

Chatbot implementation allows visitors to avoid calling front desks. This technology can offer reliable information faster than human representatives ever could. They can carry visitors through their entire journey easier than it was possible before.

Areas where bots can offer immediate responses.

  • Information about room tariffs.
  • Check-in/check-out hours.
  • In-room services, available for each room.
  • Entertainment and sightseeing packages associated with each room.

When more complex queries appear, chatbots can redirect visitors to a human representative, able to offer them adequate information.

Self-service platforms for tech-savvy users

Customer service interactions are evolving. This happens because a new generation of tech-savvy customers has appeared. Millennial consumers tend to avoid human interactions. Usually, they prefer self-service options. This is why self-service checkouts are now a thing in most grocery stores worldwide.

According to a recent IBM survey, over 70% of the interviewed millennials claim a phone call is not the easiest or convenient way to solve a problem. They find the entire process time-consuming. They prefer to interact with chatbots when the situation calls for it. The trend will continue to evolve with the coming generations. Businesses who now implement self-reliant chatbots are expected to benefit from their perks in the future.

Final thoughts

Hotel visitor behaviour is evolving. Today, they search for personalized and fast services, accurate information, and if the situation allows, to avoid phone calls at all costs. Given this new context, one of the easiest ways to improve their experience with your hotel and boost revenue is through chatbots.

The intricate display of technology and autonomy this technology has, has changed the hotel industry as we know it. And this benefits both visitors and businesses.

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