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Chatbots in the Hospitality Industry

Chatbots are used on all kinds of platforms.


About Chatbots

Simply defined, a chatbot is a program that uses artificial intelligence to conduct conversations with people through a chat system. Chatbots are often used as a personal assistant in help and support systems, to respond to customer enquiries or give real-time recommendations and advice on a particular topic.

Types of chatbots:

  1. More advanced chatbots use machine learning to improve their communication. They understand language and commands, and learn from their interactions over time.

  2. The more common type of chatbot uses a “script”, or collection of predetermined answers which are based on a prescribed set of rules. These have to be manually programmed and are often used to deliver basic customer services responses and FAQs.


Where Are Chatbots Most Used?

According to a BI Intelligence report from 2017, messaging apps have caught up with social networks in terms of numbers of users. For the first time ever, messaging apps have become more popular than social networks.


In terms of global monthly active users, the reach of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn totals between 3 and 3.5 billion. By comparison, the combined active users of messenger apps like Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat and Viber total around 3.7 billion.



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Chatbots in the Hospitality Industry

Bebot is a chatbot powered by AI which acts as a hotel concierge. It helps guests by providing instant, real-time information like exclusive recommendations for popular and little-known tourist attractions, and advice only local hotel staff would know, as well as providing services like making restaurant bookings.


The hospitality already industry benefits greatly from using chatbots. These are just some of the many benefits:

  • Serving as a reservation system for guests to make direct bookings
  • Building accurate guest profiling for hotels, allowing them to provide personalized offers to customers, to increase guest loyalty
  • Reducing reception overload by giving guests 24/7 service, providing instant help at any time during their stay
  • Staying connected with guests from the pre-arrival stage to post-departure, increasing guest loyalty and ensuring repeated visits
  • Enabling check-in and check-out without human assistance
  • Providing room service and notifications about places to visit, travel information and bookings, along with appealing images and videos

Common Chatbot Uses in the Hospitality Industry

Booking.com

Booking.com has soft-launched a chat tool which allows guests to interact with their hotel, through the hotel’s own website. Hotels receive enquiries from the Pulse for Accommodation Partners app. This tool was rolled out to all Booking.com hotels over 2016.


GuestU

GuestU announced GuestUBot, which is a BaaS (Bot-as-a-Service) platform for the hospitality industry, intended to increase direct bookings and improve the guest experience through Facebook Messenger.


Skyscanner

Skyscanner launched a bot for Facebook Messenger which allows flight bookings through the app and the booking of other services through chatting with an actual human.


The Smoke Haus

A restaurant in Cardiff was the first in Wales to adopt artificial intelligence, making table-side conversation become a whole lot more futuristic. BBQ Babs, the restaurant’s ‘Haus’ Chatbot, provides fun, chances to win and to spend loyalty points.


Customers are able to ask BBQ Babs a range of questions about the menu, and even choose the music in the restaurant by asking the Bot. They are also be rewarded with discounts and loyalty points as they engage with BBQ Babs, or when they refer other people to the programme.


Here is a link to BBQ Babs: https://m.me/thesmokehauscardiff


Conclusion

From a business perspective, a chatbot can provide your company with multiple benefits. You can increase customer loyalty with personalized and relevant content, as well as integrating with a solid communication platform. This gives you a chance to focus on other business opportunities and plan ways to increase repeat business and gain customer loyalty for future trips.


From a customer experience perspective, chatbots can improve your communications with visitors and enhance visitor engagement. This will enable customers to discover and make direct accommodation bookings via the messaging app.


Furthermore, a chatbot can obtain customer reviews and feedback after their stay immediately in chat, being much less invasive than a traditional survey, which most customers tend to ignore. Being able to give a one-click response to a question will improve your customer engagement response rate. Personalization options are endless. At any point before, during or after a customer’s stay, hotels can provide instant and direct customized offers and options through chat.


As these examples and benefits show, the future of chatbots is bright.


If your business is in the hospitality industry, we would like to hear from you. We run very low-cost tests to check and prove the technology, and learn about the revenue it brings you.




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