Latest posts by Karim Filali (see all)
- What will be the technological trends of the hospitality industry in 2019? - 27 February 2019
- Will Direct Booking win the distribution battle against OTA in 2019? - 6 February 2019
- The Chatbot, a new technological tool in the hotel industry - 23 January 2019
Hotels redouble their creativity in order to stand out from their competitors and to be ever closer to their customers. Thus in recent years (and particularly in 2018), we have seen the spread of a new technological communication tool: The Chatbot. Its goal is to keep the hotels close to their customers and push their reactivity to the max. But will it be a tool that will perpetuate itself in the hotel industry?
What is a Chatbot?
A chatbot is a computer program capable of simulating a conversation with one or more people via text or vocal exchange. In its most widespread form, it is materialized by a chat window where a current or potential customer can ask questions or make complaints. A preprogrammed robot takes care of providing answers or processing requests in the most natural way possible, giving potential customers the impression that they are interacting with a member of the hotel staff. The voice version of the chatbot further increases this feeling by providing the customer with an experience that can easily be compared to a phone call with a hotel’s reception desk.
3 reasons to use a Chatbot in a hotel
Significant savings of time and money
A well-configured and regularly updated chatbot can easily be compared to your best receptionist. Indeed, it can provide all the information sought by customers, whether they be currently staying at the hotel or potential customers interested in booking a stay at the hotel, and all of this 24/7 all year round. Thus, the hotel will be able to further optimize its budget and reallocate resources to other tasks such as welcoming customers, or their well-being during their stay.
Offer an ultra-personalized experience
By programming its chatbot, the hotel can use any desired terms or expressions to help the tool come alive. Thus, by using friendly and reassuring vocabulary, it creates a bond of trust with potential customers which can have a positive impact on their experience or choices.
An additional vector for boosting Direct Booking
Among the most discussed topics via chatbot, questions relating to rates and availability represent an important part. For this reason, the hotel will have to insert and update all the relevant answers on this subject matter, while taking into account the origin of the potential customer (languages) and price disparities (price per market, yield management). Thus, although it is not a direct booking tool in and of itself, the chatbot will be able to provide a customer who is hesitating the necessary elements to finalize his booking on the hotel website and reduce as much as possible the bounce rate.
In conclusion, opting for a chatbot for your hotel can only improve the customer experience. However, it is important to ensure that it is developed carefully, by incorporating all the information relating to the ecosystem of the hotel, because a chatbot that does not provide relevant answers can be frustrating for the customer.