AI, chatbots, and the hotel industry.

Benjamin Devisme 19 October 2020
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A quick interview for hoteliers that want to find out how chatbots can help their business. 

By Niall Lenihan (NetAffinity) and Ben (Quicktext)

Can you give us a short explanation of what Quicktext is? 

Quicktext is an AI chatbot and messaging hub for hotels. We created a virtual agent called Velma that is able to interact with guests through the Live chat of hotel websites, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Wechat etc…

The point of Quicktext is to help hotels increase operational efficiency by automatically answering frequent customer requests. Capture more direct bookings since 30% of chatbot conversations lead to a booking request. Deliver instant guest service since an AI chatbot is the easiest and quickest way for a customer to get the information they need in their own language.

Why did you start Quicktext?  

We saw that mobile was quickly becoming people’s main device and mobile is all about interaction. This meant that hotels would soon need to make all their content available in a more interactive and engaging way. 

On the hotel side, the front desk was handling many recurring questions and requests that could perfectly be automated by a chatbot. Now that teams are compressed due to COVID, staff can no longer lose time on low-value tasks and chatbots have quickly become a must-have in many industries including hospitality.

Is AI real or just a buzzword you use to sell your product? 

There’s a lot of confusion about what AI is because we all have this Terminator image. AI only means that you are using a technology that mimics a very specific aspect of human behavior. In our case, we use Natural Language Understanding (NLU). The job of our AI is to find the meaning of a customer’s message and connect it to the right answer. 

How AI chatbots can use Natural Language Understanding(NLU)

AI is not sufficient to make a chatbot work. You also need the conversation scripts to be flawless to let the customer express what they want and sometimes be more restrictive when the chatbot needs to capture very specific pieces of information.  Another important point is the database because a very intelligent chatbot cannot work without precise information. 

Could you share key chatbot abilities that hoteliers should look for while comparing chatbots? 

Chatbots have been here for a while but hoteliers have now understood that they should really get one. So there is a massive information asymmetry between chatbot providers and hotels.  If you want to reduce this gap there are 6 things that you should keep in mind:

1- Work with a specialist: There are generic companies that create chatbots for hospitality and supermarkets the next day. The key issue here is training and available features. The more focused your provider is, the more hotel-relevant features you will get. 

2- Make sure the chatbot you are looking at solves real-life use cases. 

3- Make sure your chatbot answers are easy to update and manage. 

4- Is your chatbot compatible with WhatsApp, Facebook etc..?

5- How does your chatbot behave with your staff? How does it make their life easier? 

6- There are chatbots worth 50€/months and others worth 250€/month. Try to find out why.

About Quicktext: Quicktext helps hotels increase their direct bookings and improve customer satisfaction. It works by centralizing the main instant messaging channels that hotels and guests can use to communicate such as live chat, WhatsApp and Facebook messenger. The frequent interactions such as book a room or what is the time of check-in, I need an airport transfer, etc…are instantly handled by Quicktext chatbot, Velma. Velma helps hotels improve operational efficiency and increase online direct revenues by 11% on average. 

Have a quick look at Quicktext product video 

More details on the Quicktext official website: https://www.quicktext.im/

If you wish to learn more about the Quicktext or have any questions about chatbots for hotels, contact Benjamin Devisme at bde@quicktext.im.