Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Chatbots For Hotels - Part 1

The efforts by hoteliers to elevate the hotel experience for their guests have resulted in a number of transformative innovations across the hospitality industry. Among the innovative technologies adopted by a number of hotels and chains has been instant messaging. Largely implemented via hotel apps and messaging channels using mobile technology, messaging has become another tool through which hotels and their guests can communicate and connect. Messaging is somewhat labor-intensive since it requires a human agent to respond to each interaction with the customer. Chatbots however, offer hotels an automated solution for technologically keeping the lines of communication open with guests, but with a higher degree of efficiency.

Many requests made by hotel guests are of an extremely routine nature. Chatbots have the capability to automate a significant amount of the responses needed by the hotel at any given time. Users always have an opportunity to escalate their request to a live human staff member if they feel they are not being given a satisfactory response from the chatbot. However, in most cases the guest seeking answers to simple questions will find the chatbot more than adequate for their needs. Particularly regarding younger travelers, many 21st Century hotel guests would prefer to make an inquiry of a chatbot as opposed to calling down to the front desk for their request.

The traveling public has grown accustomed to the instant flow of information. Many do not have the inclination to call hotel staff to ask a question, nor the patience to wait for an answer. A hotel chatbot has the capability to give relevant responses to the common questions, comments and requests made by guests. This empowers hotel staff to service face-to-face guest interactions more effectively.

When driven by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, chatbots can handle more complex tasks, particularly in regards to elevating the guest experience and providing improved customer personalization. Going forward, as AI powered chatbots gain experience through machine learning, this technology offers exciting possibilities for hoteliers and their guests. Yet another technology fueled tool at the disposal of hotels in order to earn and keep continued guest loyalty.

In part 2 we will see more advantages for hoteliers in implementing chatbots, in addition to some best practices for their implementation.

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