NZ AI start-up takes world by storm

The age of AI is truly here. AI Chatbot for Hotels by Book Me Bob, a start-up from New Zealand, started off as the first company in the world to perfectly match the capability of human-trained artificial intelligence to the needs of consumers and hotels around the world. The company has already amassed representation in 17 countries in its first year of business.

NZ AI start-up takes world by stormOriginally born out of the need to adapt or be left behind, AI Chatbot for Hotels by Book Me Bob was seen as the up-and-coming premier digital assistant trained by hoteliers for hoteliers to help make the customer experience seamless. AI Chatbot for Hotels by Book Me Bob is the first AI-powered chatbot for hotels to fully integrate with Facebook Messenger services globally.

Then came Covid-19, and the world’s focus and needs changed. As a result, the AI Chatbot for Hotels by Book Me Bob team evolved with its clients, and now supports not just hotels but large entities in the retirement, beauty and health industries, and is in talks with overseas Government bodies. The global pandemic has fast-tracked the hospitality sector’s requirements to optimise staffing and cost structures.

This start-up enables business owners around the world to take back control from intermediaries. In addition to being the first company to use human-trained AI to help complete the customer journey and improve the overall experience of hotel users, AI Chatbot for Hotels by Book Me Bob promises to improve margins for operators in some of the world’s most competitive industries, by offering upselling and cross-selling beyond the simple booking experience.

Considering tourism is one of the biggest industries globally, contributing over US$7.6 trillion)1, AI Chatbot for Hotels by Book Me Bob is using technology to positively support tourism across the world.

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Even before the upheaval of the global pandemic, the global hospitality industry was in an unprecedented time of change, with disruptive technology potentially forcing the reinvention of systems, procedures and communication with customers in the sector.

In the past, you would call a hotel to ask questions and book your room. Then came the internet, revolutionising the system and opening up doors to intermediaries. With these intermediaries also came high commission rates charged (in some regions up to 35%), adding further pressure. Now, AI Chatbot for Hotels by Book Me Bob uses the power of AI to offer an even better, faster and more cost-effective experience to hotel customers and owners alike.

As a solution that is customer-facing and responsive to what customers want, AI Chatbot for Hotels by Book Me Bob also has a user-friendly back-end dashboard for staff to operate. It aims to empower people to take control and have the best possible experience.

AI Chatbot for Hotels by Book Me Bob continually uses the expertise of some of the most- experienced hotel experts in the industry to train a virtual concierge (chatbot) set to be the Xero of the hospitality industry. It brings together the best of both worlds: hoteliers and technology experts knowing what customers and hotels alike need.

CEO and Co-Founder of AI Chatbot for Hotels by Book Me Bob, David Thompson, says the instant success of the AI-powered digital assistant confirms the need for innovation in the industry. “The hotel industry has been notoriously slow to adopt to new technologies in the past. The team and I have worked in the industry long enough to know now is the time to help hoteliers provide a better customer experience with AI, without losing the human touch, both during and beyond Covid-19.”

AI Chatbot for Hotels by Book Me Bob, as the founders say, wants to help its clients improve their customer experience through cost-effective and high quality chatbot-powered customer support.

1 https://www.statista.com/topics/962/global-tourism/

After quick initial success in New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, India and United Arab Emirates, AI Chatbot for Hotels by Book Me Bob established a presence in 17 countries – the latest on-ground representation joining in France.

As the world of hotels moves to embrace technology, this New Zealand start-up is one to watch.

Fact Sheet

  • AI Chatbot for Hotels by Book Me Bob is FernMark certified and a New Zealand Trade & Enterprise member, a formal recognition of Book Me Bob as an ambassador of the New Zealand Story.
  • AI Chatbot for Hotels by Book Me Bob’s founders are experts in their respective fields – hospitality and technology – and are passionate about bringing the hospitality industry into the 21st century.
  • Hotels can choose to connect with AI Chatbot for Hotels by Book Me Bob in a closed network, which means intermediaries cannot rate-shop on their sites.
  • AI Chatbot for Hotels by Book Me Bob integrates with existing systems, therefore making it easy to implement a better customer experience and improved booking conversions.
  • AI Chatbot for Hotels by Book Me Bob is the first AI-powered chatbot for hotels to fully integrate with Facebook Messenger services, globally through a bespoke booking engine.
  • Prices are fixed and charged relative to hotel sizes.
  • AI Chatbot for Hotels by Book Me Bob provides a pre-trained hospitality digital assistant to help convert more website visitors into direct bookings. It boosts sales; optimises costs and provides a 5-star guest experience.
  • Conservative estimates indicate hotels using AI Chatbot for Hotels by Book Me Bob and making just five more direct bookings per day will have $39,000 PA more for

their bottom line.

  • AI Chatbot for Hotels by Book Me Bob includes:
    • Instant responses
    • Consistent answers and messaging
    • 24/7 availability
    • No/less reliance on intermediaries
    • Direct bookings, resulting in less costs, commissions paid etc.
    • Big data and detailed instant reports e.g. time stamp of when conversations occur that can be used for marketing, promotions
    • Promotions targeted at specific questions, time stamps, country of origin
    • Direct cost control (staff don’t have to repeatedly answer the same question on the phone)
    • Productivity increases, allowing staff to use their time more efficiently and effectively
    • Direct control of hotel rates and inventory, and no artificially produced rates by intermediaries
    • Integration with Facebook Messenger – the globally-first AI chatbot for hotels to offer this.

About AI Chatbot for Hotels by Book Me Bob

AI Chatbot for Hotels by Book Me Bob is the up-and-coming premier digital assistant trained by hoteliers for hoteliers to help make the customer experience seamless.

AI Chatbot for Hotels by Book Me Bob has two objectives: First, to help hotels improve their customer experience through cost-effective and high quality chatbot-powered customer support. Second, to have more bookings as a result of the improved service.

The founding team comprises of former hoteliers with a combined experience of 80+ years across a variety of international hotels.

About David Thompson, Co-Founder and CEO

Left - Andy Dharmani, Right - David ThompsonAs a 25-year veteran of the hospitality and tourism industries, David leads AI Chatbot for Hotels by Book Me Bob into establishing itself as the premier AI chatbot conversation and booking platform for hotels around the world. He has held senior management and GM

positions with major hotel groups in Australia and New Zealand, has owned and run a successful restaurant, and owned an international hospitality consultant company, Martarni & Associates.

David has a large network of industry contacts and is a hotel management school alumnus. He was named on the school’s Alumni Honour Board in 2015.

David understands the contrasting styles of management required in the various disciplines of the dynamic hotel industry which gives him an edge when understanding the needs and wants of a hotel and its owners. He can explain to hotel owners how AI Chatbot for Hotels by Book Me Bob can become a solution to many of their current challenges in the ever- changing world of technology and communication requirements.

About Andy Dharmani, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer

Andy is a passionate technologist who is well regarded for his vision and ability to deliver results. With an in-depth knowledge of technology and natural business acumen, Andy has been driving growth for start-ups by focusing on new product development, internationalisation and partnerships. He has been part of start-up and growth businesses, focusing on AI, payments and mobility.

Andy is a highly successful entrepreneur as the founder and product owner of Ako.ai, an AI solutions provider focusing on applications of AI to solve real-world problems. A human- centric approach to AI ensures that every organization succeeds with AI now and in the future.

From 2007 to 2015 Andy worked for 2 Degrees in the roles of Head of Architecture & Infrastructure, Enterprise Architect and Enterprise Applications Manager. He was one of the first 10 foundation employees for the company.

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