In the past, people had to use a travel agency to find a hotel, but the Internet has changed the way people search for things. Now, it’s easy to book directly from the hotel, but what happens when someone has questions or wants the feeling of talking to a person?
Hotel chatbots are one of the increasingly popular ways for hotel staff to talk to customers without having to pick up a phone. They use machine learning and AI, which improve the guest experience tremendously.
Whether it’s to book a room or automate inquiries and requests that guests often have, these chatbots can be advantageous. In fact, every hotel should have a chatbot, but what are the benefits, how do they boost your business, and what are some examples?
Check out: The Arrival of Robots in the Travel Industry
Benefits of Using Hotel Chatbots
In a sense, hotel chatbots are designed to simulate a regular conversation but with artificial intelligence, and with that comes many advantages, such as:
Saving Time and Automating Processes
Most people have common questions or concerns that a chatbot can easily answer. When hotel staff can delegate those things to the bot, they can do other tasks or answer more complex questions.
Typically, hotels are using chatbots to keep inbound calls to a minimum, which leads to more productivity or the ability to hire fewer people.
Though hotels often have staff available 24/7 for emergencies, it might be hard to call and book a room during odd times of the day or from a different time zone. With hotel chatbots, there’s no issue because the bot can answer most questions, helping customers feel that you care about their needs.
Many messaging platforms, including Facebook Messenger, let people make in-app payments, which saves guests from going to the website to complete their transaction. Plus, they have the option of saving their payment information and storing it in the app to make it easier to purchase rooms in the future.
No App Development Necessary
Most people don’t like to have tons of apps clogging their smartphones. If you don’t want to develop an app strictly for your hotel, you can still use chatbots. Customers can visit your website or social media page and use the chatbot from there.
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Though hotel chatbots aren’t new, many places haven’t implemented them yet. Still, the top chains often have them, such as Hyatt Hotels. It started using chatbots in 2015 to answer questions, check room availability, and make reservations. The brand knew that connecting and engaging with customers on platforms they use is crucial.
Another great example is GRT Hotels and Resorts. It’s a 4-star hotel chain in South India and has many customers. This brand wanted to boost engagement and entertain guests with a self-serving solution. It used the GReaTa chatbot through Trilyo, adding it to every website page. In only a few months (2.5 to be exact,) the chatbot exchanged more than 175,000 messages.
What to Look for in Hotel Chatbots
Many companies are offering chatbots in the hotel industry, and they all seem the same on paper. However, some chatbots are basic, while others are capable of more complex interactions. There are a few things to consider when creating yours:
- Use a specialist
- Focus on security
- Don’t rely solely on AI
- Offer different languages
- Understand what customers want
Customers want to feel like you are trustworthy, so security is always a concern. Though it’s possible to create hotel chatbots yourself, it’s best to work with a specialist. They know what the competition is doing and can help you ensure a smooth user experience.
Read: Applications of IoT in the Hotel Industry
Even though hotel chatbots aren’t new, they are starting to become more popular. This is a change that many hotels aren’t ready for, but AI adoption can transform the way everyone communicates and streamlines many processes.
Many people prefer to communicate through messages instead of phone calls, so this is a great way to give users what they want. With that, hotel chatbots are becoming even more personable and allowing customers to enjoy the experience of booking that brand for their stay.