Leverage chatbots for hospitality marketing and sales

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Chatbots are on most hoteliers’ to-do list for 2019-2020. This article will provide you with the key insights that you need for integrating chatbots into your hospitality marketing strategy. 

Hotel customers have massively embraced messaging and are increasingly familiar with bots

Hoteliers are only starting to develop mobile marketing strategies. However, consumers have already massively embraced instant messaging for personal and business interactions. The first rule of marketing is “be where your customers are.”

rule of hospitality marketing AIQuicktext

Source Twilio, https://www.twilio.com/learn/commerce-communications/how-consumers-use-messaging 

According to a 2018 study by Twilio, 89% of consumers would like to communicate with businesses via messaging. However, only 48% of businesses can manage this new kind of communication. As far as hospitality is concerned, the figure is probably way below this average. 

instant messaging hospitality marketing AI Quicktext

Source Twilio, https://www.twilio.com/learn/commerce-communications/how-consumers-use-messaging 

Across industries, the key messaging channels for businesses are Live Chat on the website, SMS, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger. (All these channels are easy to manage through smart tools such as Quicktext. Book a demo here)

This is only the beginning. The ascent of messaging is related to the dominance of mobile. So, marketers must realize that the stakes are much higher than having a friendly customer service chat. What’s changing is the way customers consume your content. And chatbots are the only scalable way to deliver this instant relevance that your customers are looking for. Hospitality marketing strategies need to take this into consideration. 

Hotels need to get rid of some old school ideas

In 2018, on average, for a 100-room hotel, Quicktext chatbot helped increase direct sales by 30K€ per year. Of course, this amount varies widely among our customers depending on location and category. 

Chatbots are far from perfect and about 20% of conversations still require human intervention. However, overall, chatbots have become pretty good. Thanks to the introduction of AI, the conversation success rate is continuously improving. Thereby, with time, chatbots make more and more business sense for hotels. 

Many hoteliers are concerned that talking to a robot might disappoint customers. In fact, the 2017 chatbot study by Ubisend made us quickly realize that what matters to customers is finding what they want immediately. According to the same study, on average, consumers are ready to spend up to 320€ through a chatbot. (26-36 year-olds are willing to spend up to 520€. That’s about the average price of a hotel stay.) 

communications hospitality marketing AI Quicktext

Source Ubisend, https://www.ubisend.com/insights/2017-chatbot-report

Chatbots make the role of sales manager much more interesting

Bots are not just another tool that you add to your direct sales arsenal. Chatbots can easily take care of most of the frequent customer requests such as, do you have parking, do you provide baby cots, what is the check-in time and so on. 

You can choose to “save” this time or reinvest it in highly valuable sales actions. With experience, we have seen that customers share a lot of information while speaking to hotel chatbots: email, phone numbers, dates of stay, etc. Hotels that use the human time they save on basic questions to follow-up on highly qualified leads achieve, on average, a 25% conversion rate. The best hotel sales managers even achieve 60% conversion by following some best practices (more info here). 

If you wish to learn more about hospitality marketing, or have any questions about AI in the hotel industry, visit our website or feel welcome to contact Benjamin Devisme.

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