Top 5 Ways Chatbots are Revolutionizing the Hotel Industry

Hotel Guest interacting with Customer Service Bot

In the world of the hotel industry, chatbots are the latest buzz these days due to several reasons! First of all, it completely redefines a hotel’s guest experience by engaging the guests in totally unique ways like solving their check-in/out issues. Also, it makes your brand more relevant thus attracting millennial travelers directly to your hotel. Nowadays, myriads of hotels are already offering messaging services to their guests; some giving the ability to text them directly through their own apps and the rest are utilizing few third-party messaging channels like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

But the real revolution is yet to arrive and is showing its nascent signs! When major messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger and Slack introduced bots earlier in 2016, it was clear that these chatbots will be an integral part of the hotel because they’re highly intuitive while answering a guests’ query. Few travel brands have embraced the new technology almost immediately! Kayak, Skyscanner, have already launched bots of their own — and is expected that in the imminent future more travel brands and hotels (including chain and independent) will follow the trend!

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And believe this fact or not, your next brand interaction will likely not be with a human being — in fact, research shows that 85% of our communications will be managed without a live person by 2020! Innovative technologies like artificial intelligence will allow quicker and more seamless conversations between brands and their valued customers, coming at a much lower cost than the traditional call center channel.

As these technologies continue to advance, new methods of communications will mean big changes, not only when it comes to brands connecting with current and prospective customers, but also with their own employees. For the hospitality industry, specifically, AI-driven chatbots are set to revolutionize how hotels conduct business — redefining how they aid customers in the researching, planning, and booking phases of travel itinerary, as well as the resources they offer to employees for on boarding and training purposes. While the chatbot trend has just started to take off in this sector, hotels need to start rethinking about how they can effectively implement the technology into their processes now.

Let us see the top 5 ways chatbots are revolutionizing the hotel industry.

1.Chatbots for diligently tailored hyper-personalized recommendations: If you deploy an AI-powered chatbot for your hotel then it can render hyper-personalized recommendations to your guests based on their behavior and preferences. This may sound like a paradox, but bots are really great when it comes to managing relationships with human beings! With thoughtful pre-programming and utilizing NLP to understand the guest queries better, chatbots can supplement the entire travel/stay experience in a hotel, beginning with automated pre-arrival reminders, by suggesting nearby entertainment spots and transportation facilities at the destination. Trilyo is one of such companies whose products provide hyper-personalized recommendations to the hotel guests and making their stay more fun in every way possible! The best part of chatbots is that they stay connected with the guests right from the pre-booking stage to post-departure giving an overall amazing experience.

2. Best channel for reservations and building loyalty: The individual properties and chain hotels want to reduce their dependency on OTAs (Online Travel Agencies) and are trying to increase direct and non-commissionable web business. When hotels start to be present where the users are (like messaging apps), consumers will start to use this natural way of communication to book their stay in a hotel. To boost brand relevance and loyalty, chatbots will increase guest engagement and enhance the overall guest experience by giving a personalized treatment in all stages of the customer journey: from the pre-arrival experience to on-property interaction and even in the post-trip!

3. With chatbots language is not a barrier: We comprehend that sometimes, language is not merely a tool for conversation; it is a barrier! How? Let’s try to understand this situation by talking about a scenario where a foreign guest comes to your hotel and starts conversing with the front desk but the receptionist is unaware of the language and at the very moment communication-gap will arise! For obvious reasons this is not good for your hotel, so what you can do is — have an AI-powered assistant like a chatbot on your website and the guest can directly talk to the bot! Since the bot is not human and is built on NLP standards, it can understand any language without breaking a sweat!

Now language is not a barrier; it’s just another mode of conversation.

4. Chatbots for skyrocketing hotel revenue: We all know that the hotel industry is renowned for paying huge bucks for generating traffic mainly through paid ads and promotional activities. The chatbots can make sure that those big bucks are not wasted by engaging the traffic that comes into your website and ultimately reducing bounce.Chatbots can be used as a reservation channel to get a direct booking! Be it on the hotel’s website or on Facebook Messenger, chatbots can be integrated anywhere and guess what! Nobody needs to manage this particular platform as the chatbot learns automatically every time it converses with a guest and takes care of the entire process. With chatbots, the bounce rate of your website will decrease and the guests will feel more loyal and engaged towards your hotel(s) than before.

5. Chatbots for up-selling and cross-selling: Chatbots are way too ahead when you compare them with the humans as they can easily cross-sell or up sell your hotel amenities/services without touting! How? For example, a guest arrives at your hotel after a long and arduous journey on a flight! Here, the chatbot can send recommendations like push notifications or direct messages to the guest about your hotel’s cafe or spa and can easily entice them with the ongoing offers and discounts. Because chatbots are powered by machine learning algorithms that can optimize any personalized messages accordingly as they converse, the customer interaction is found to be helpful and informative, leading to more open up-sell and cross-sell opportunities!

Top 5 Ways Chatbots are Revolutionizing the Hotel Industry was originally published in Chatbots Life on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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