Hotel chatbots are instrumental in cutting operational expenses, capturing direct sales and improving hotel service delivery in 2021
2020 was a difficult year for the hotel industry and cutting costs by reducing manual work and repetitive tasks became a top priority. Uncertainty is now part of the equation and high operational expenses (OPEX) remain a major threat.
2021 will hopefully be a year of recovery and hoteliers have a choice between
- Getting back to business as usual and fall at the next crisis
- Or understand that time has changed and leverage innovative technologies such as chatbots to keep their OPEX under control and improve service delivery.
All guests are unique but most of them have the same questions that can be automated. A good hotel chatbot is able to manage automatically 85% of customers’ interactions for a fraction of the cost of a human. Artificial intelligence is not doing the job of humans but for far too long hotels have supported the cost of having a human workforce doing the job of a machine.
From March 2020, Across industries chatbot consultations have spiked by up to 300% according to a study by Inbenta. At Quciktext, we could observe a similar trend in the hotel industry as guests are seeking reassurance and also convenience.
Chatbots are perfectly ready to handle frequent requests so that humans can focus on solving complicated issues. Every time one of your staff members answers questions about check-in time, baby cots, or parking on the phone or by email the hotel is wasting money.
Hotel chatbots help increase direct sales
Chatbot help convince and convert hesitant customers
Cutting costs is essential but increasing net revenues is equally important. Hotels’ digital sales strategies are often relying only on customers’ self-motivation. Travelers are expected to find the hotel, get the information, and book on their own. Hotels could perfectly ignore hesitant customers.
Most hotel booking engines are already pretty good. Booking engine optimizations are only going to bring marginal improvements in direct bookings.
On average chatbots enable hotels to increase direct sales by 10%
Hotel chatbots are a game-changer because they capture hesitant customers that would not get into your booking engine.
- Hotel chatbots instantly clear out customer doubts
- Hotel chatbots guide customers through the booking process
- Hotel chatbots capture customer contact details and booking details in case customers do not complete their purchase. This enables human staff to follow up and close the deal. That is a much better use of human resources than having them answer random questions.
Hotel chatbots enable instant guest service at scale
Hotel customers expect instant service
In the short term, uncertainty about travel has accelerated chatbot adoption in the hotel industry but the real long-term driver is the massive use of smartphones by travelers. This new interface generates new behaviors and consumers are growing used to consume contents and information in a much more interactive and instantaneous way.
Customers carry their mobile with them all the time so you really need to think about the kind of service your hotel provides on mobile devices as they become part of the travel experience.
Hotel service is usually very good at the front desk but often nonexistent anywhere else.
Some hoteliers see chatbots as a gadget. Chatbots are the only way for hotels to deliver content on-demand and support the expectations of mobile-first customers that tend to engage with interactive and precise content through chats, Facebook, WhatsApp, Wechat… Static and generic texts on hotel websites are becoming obsolete
Chatbots are available 24/7 and work in multiple languages which is a key advantage for hotels. Thanks to hotel chatbots customers can effortlessly get instant personalized service. There is no need to call or email the hotel and wait for an answer. The average response time to an email is 48h. This kind of delay is no longer acceptable in an era where instant satisfaction is the norm.
In addition, Chatbot information is always accurate and predictable since they work with a knowledge base that can be easily updated. Staff turnover and changing rules in 2021 will necessarily increase human mistakes.
Hotel chatbots are constantly evolving to manage 2021 guest expectations
Hotel chatbots are able to answer customer questions. Chatbots are constantly evolving and in 2021 chatbots are increasingly able to manage tasks and requests such as upsells and maintenance requests.
Quicktext chatbot helping fix the TV of room 413. Thanks to connectivity with task management systems chatbots can detect maintenance issue and send the request directly to the right member of staff thus reducing the number of people involved in solving an issue.