Chatbots have been taking over business of all sorts, at first with ecommerce, and then followed by service industries. That now includes the hospitality industry, which has been taking advantage of chatbots in many ways to boost their numbers.
This makes sense as service-related businesses that incorporate chatbots are expected to grow by 136% within 18 months, according to Salesforce. However, many hotel owners out there are still not aware of how much chatbots can benefit their establishments and their customers.
Let’s show you why your hotel needs a social media chatbot to become a unicorn, especially now as the world is gradually opening back up.
What Can a Hotel Chatbot Do?
By itself, a chatbot emulates human responses through chat, thus being able to intelligently interact with humans.
A chatbot designed for a hotel has to be able to fulfill many of the tasks a hotel receptionist or customer service representative can do. That includes answering questions about hotel services by providing useful information, as well as receiving bookings and notifying vacancy status.
It depends on how sophisticated you want the chatbot to be, from just handling customer service to actually handling transactions. The former lets you handle tons of customer inquiries every day without needing an army for your customer support.
The latter actually lets you get a boost in conversions by providing another convenient way for customers to pay for your services.
Nowadays, AI chatbots are becoming more reliable, as well as more powerful since they can also learn on-the-fly.
Reasons Why You Want a Hotel Chatbot
When implemented properly, a chatbot can pay off in spades over time due to these following reasons:
1. Round-the-Clock Customer Service
The most obvious advantage of a chatbot is that it never sleeps, never needs to take breaks, and never gets tired at all. It can power your customer service without missing a beat, responding to customer inquiries 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
This is especially important for hotels, which have a potential customer base of travellers from all over the world. Being able to ask about bookings at any time from anywhere in the world is not only convenient for the customer. It’s also critical for the growth of a hotel, and that’s made possible with the power of a good chatbot.
2. Boost Direct Bookings
As mentioned in the previous item, having a chatbot lets your hotel take bookings from customers, wherever they may be. Having that kind of reach around the clock makes your hotel more reliable, which can greatly boost your profits.
Customers can also ask for status and information regarding their bookings, as well as make changes to plans if needed. Being able to do this over live chat makes the booking process more direct and immediate while keeping costs down.
It’s also quicker and less expensive for customers as they don’t have to either call long distance or wait for email replies. They also will have fewer reasons to rely on third-party websites to do their bookings as they can just book directly through chat.
3. Multilingual Support
Once you have people from all around the world looking to book a room in your hotel, you may notice a few things. For instance, you’ll soon realize that many of them either have English as a second language or don’t speak it at all.
Using a chatbot with multilingual support means you can cater to their needs without having to worry about being misunderstood. AI chatbots, in particular, can translate customer inquiries instantly, thus being able to respond to them in their own language. The hospitality industry is regularly exposed to foreign guests, so having a chatbot that supports multiple languages is important for your hotel.
4. Up-Selling and Cross-Selling
You don’t boost earnings for your hotel just through direct bookings alone, but also through up-selling and cross-selling. Your chatbot can organically slip them in conversations, thus increasing chances at convincing customers to take up those offers.
While the customer is booking a room, the chatbot can use information gathered throughout the conversation to bring up additional recommendations. That information is automatically gathered from the customer’s social media profile, which can be easily in Facebook Messenger.
It can be either breakfast, spa, gym, or other services to go with the booking with the premise of making their stay more comfortable. The recommendation can also be a room upgrade for a discounted rate, especially if the customer books an economy room. They can also be provided real-time information on availability in restaurants and other services during their stay.
5. Efficient, Personalized Customer Experience
A conversational chatbot can deliver a personalized experience for customers, which can start even before they start booking. Aside from the intelligent recommendations mentioned in the previous item, they can also provide information on attractions and activities during their stay. They can be greeted while mentioning their name, and even in their native language through multilingual support. The chatbot can also hone in further on the customer’s preferences with follow-up questions, thus giving them even better recommendations.
As for returning guests, the chatbot can show that it’s already familiar with what that customer may want through their booking history.
All of this can be done by the chatbot to build rapport with customers, thus increasing the chances of them booking rooms and services.
Automation has been a boon for hotels in recent years, making their businesses more productive and efficient. The main factor to successful automation for your hotel lies in delivering information to your customers that’s accurate and prompt. Much of the hospitality industry is incredibly competitive and price-sensitive, so getting things wrong can lose you customers. That can be done with a good chatbot like MobileMonkey, which can be set up quickly and easily so you can focus on customer service.
With hotel brands now being one of the biggest adopters of social media chatbots, now is the time to hop on board.