Artificial intelligence in the hotel industry: How to make AI work for you

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Presently, a lot is being said about artificial intelligence in the hotel industry. You have no doubt thought about it too.

When you think about setting up a chatbot in your hotel(s), you have a crystal clear idea of what you want. To boost direct sales, improve customer service and save time. How to make this a reality is often less obvious.

This article will answer the top 3 operational questions I get from hoteliers:

  1. What are the key success factors for chatbots in my hotel(s)?
  2. How does implementation work?
  3. How will chatbots impact my team?

Quick insights:

  • Chatbots are amazing, but do not expect them to do all the work. 50% of the success of your strategy depends on your commitment and hard work.
  • You need to start with the right expectations about what chatbots can and cannot do.
  • Even very busy hotel teams can implement a chatbot. You just need to set up the right process and focus on what matters.

1 – What are the key success factors for chatbots in my hotel(s)?

Artificial intelligence in the hotel industry can be of great value. But, you should really start with the right set of expectations and a clear strategy. You should know that the success of your virtual assistant depends as much on you as on the technology you use. In other words, roll up your sleeves and don’t expect things to happen magically.

  • Have the right expectations: A chatbot is a robot that recognizes recurring questions. It then associates them with a predefined answer (preferably the right one). That’s it. Chatbots are not a cheap version of human beings. In fact, they are a cool evolution of websites. Here, the information comes to the customer instead of him having to search for it. Viewed this way, their mission is to deliver the right information on demand while capturing as much customer data as possible in the process (More on this here).
  • Have a coherent e-commerce strategy: At the moment, most hotels expect customers to enter their credit card details before the relationship starts. That’s dangerous because only a small number of your website visitors will do that. For others, a chatbot can be a great option. It can give them the service they expect at a cost acceptable to you. What you want to achieve is to shift the burden of the purchase and the relationship from their shoulders to yours. Chatbot technology will help, but don’t expect it to do all the work. There are no free lunches, so be ready to do your part and put some human resources on the job.
  • Account for learning curves: On one hand, the technology is quite complex. Artificial intelligence in the hotel industry is evolving all the time. On the other, your organization probably doesn’t have any significant experience with chatbots. So do not expect your hotel virtual assistant to be at full speed the day you turn it on. It will be a series of adjustments and will probably take a few months to reach its potential.

2 – How does the implementation work?

A successful AI chatbot for hotel is the result of good technology and a committed hotel team. Chatbots themselves are simple to set up. What will cost you more effort is creating the right environment for your chatbot to be successful.

  • Automation: Everything that can be automated must be. If your bot needs to be connected to your booking engine, your PMS, or CRM, it must be done. This is because the goal is to achieve much more customer interaction with almost the same human resources as before.
  • Set predefined answers very carefully: A good chatbot provider should already know what the main customer requests are. What they can’t know in advance are your specific answers. Some questions regarding check-in, parking, etc. are standard. The system will offer you a template of the perfect answer. But others, such as public transport from the airport, require more customization. You need to be very good with your answers because it is not really a human conversation. You must make sure to exhaust the customer question from every angle.

Before chatbot customization: At a particular hotel, the hotelier didn’t consider the usual customer questions about the check-in time because they arrive very early or very late. They want to be sure they will be able to access the room.

artificial intelligence in the hotel industry quicktext dashboard


After chatbot customization: In this same hotel, customers are mainly from the US and arrive early in the morning. So the hotel made sure that the early check-in procedure was very clear. To be 100% perfect, the customer should be able to request his early check-in directly from the bot. But that is a work in progress.

artificial intelligence in the hotel industry dashboard quicktext


  • Make sure that your bot is in sync with the rest of your digital marketing strategy: You might think to find the answers to all your challenges in artificial intelligence for the hotel industry. But chatbots are NOT the perfect answer to everything. Sometimes, the best way to do the job is to point toward a very precise resource outside of the chat interface. To deliver a truly engaging experience to your customers ensure your chatbot blends in with the rest of your digital environment.

For example, a peculiarity of the resort reservation process is that people sometimes have flexible dates. In this kind of situation, what makes sense is for the chatbot to point to a page where customers can easily compare prices. Do not force your customer to stay on the chat at all cost. On the contrary, try enabling your chatbot to interact with your digital ecosystem to deliver the best possible experience.



3 – How will chatbots impact my team?

When a potential customer starts interacting with your chatbot, he knows that he is going to travel. The question is: will he travel with you or with your competition? A hotel chatbot will take care of most interactions. However, sometimes, the hotel chatbot is not enough. That’s why you need a real sales process of which the chatbot is only a piece. Every contact is an opportunity.

At the very least, your chatbot should always provide you with the customer name, email, mobile and expression of need. A human being can then take over right away or the next day. But you need to understand that you have the power to take over.

  • It’s fine if your team is multitasking. Set up a daily time to review conversations where your chatbot needed help. You can answer the customer by email, SMS, Facebook or WhatsApp. It is easy to do this from the Quicktext platform.

    Sometimes, chatbots don’t have the answer. When this happens, remember that what customers want, is an answer to their question. If you can’t deliver it instantly, deliver it earliest via other channels. Nobody will mind that. They’ll mind even less if you make sure you show them through your reply. Templates can be very helpful and save you a lot of time.  

  • Somebody needs to be responsible to ensure that all requests that the chatbot could not answer are reverted in a timely and smart manner. Your reply must contain the answer the customer is looking for. It should become the reason to choose you (special benefit, discount etc.) and a trigger to complete his booking.

    This step is particularly sensitive. If you can get the customer to confirm his booking via text, place his room on hold. Send him a payment link with a 24-hour time limit perhaps. Please remember that your answer should not be the end of the relationship. If the customer asks you the check-in time, he wants to know more! Find out why it is so important for him and work that up.

If you’d like to discuss more or have questions about artificial intelligence in the hotel industry, please visit our website or feel welcome to contact Benjamin Devisme at


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