How to leverage AI to improve RevPar in hotels
Pace and Quicktext: 2 concrete examples of existing AI-powered technologies that boost hotel revenues
If you’re looking to increase your RevPAR you have probably already put in place all the basic strategies. You’re constantly asking yourself how you can step up to the next level and keep growing your revenues. Artificial intelligence is the obvious answer. However, while it seems great in theory, you’re still waiting to see some concrete AI-based solutions with real potential for RevPar improvement. There are 2 ways to leverage AI to improve RevPAR in hotels: Improving your pricing and selling more rooms. Let me introduce 2 strong solutions that you should consider.
1- Pace : increase your RevPar with smarter pricing
Pace leverages artificial intelligence for revenue management. What it does is really easy to understand. Pace claims that hotels do not have easy access to the tons of data they wish they had. These include flight landings, weather patterns, etc. The team goes even further to say that most of this data is noise. I completely agree. The first good thing about Pace is that they take away all the useless parameters. Consequently, they help you focus on what’s important. This feature is especially significant if your staff doesn’t have time to waste and needs to cut directly to what really matters. (So far that’s just intelligence, not AI. Keep reading.)
There is one clean source of data that hotels have complete access to: the booking curves. Most RMS have a rule-based algorithm. For instance, when the hotel reaches a certain occupancy, the price should increase by X€. Pace chose to embrace AI and adopted a much more dynamic approach to Revenue Management. Basically, they feed their system with your past and current data and analyze. At the end of the process, they can recognize booking patterns from the current shape of your pick up curve and judge how your customers will react to a change in price. Of course, sometimes the AI makes a mistake. However, since the Pace algorithm also takes into account the present, it is able to adjust quickly to find the best course of action. That’s why they launched an automated price update (automation).
A decent AI + Instant reactivity = RevPAR increase
What’s particularly interesting with this AI-based approach to Revenue Management is that it produces clear and immediate results. After using Pace for 6 weeks, our RevPAR was up 25% year on year. Since then we’ve continued to see very clearly that Pace is helping us outperform last year and the market, explains Floris van Es from Star Lodge Hotels, Utrecht.
For more information about Pace have a look at their website: https://www.paceup.com/en/
2- Quicktext: increase your Revpar with more direct bookings
The second way to increase your RevPAR is to get more bookings. That’s where Quicktext chatbot for hotels comes into play. The role of hotel chatbots is to provide help when customers do not find what they want on your website. Customers can be pretty short-sighted and there is no way to know in advance what people are going to ask. So, you need the AI to be ready for anything.
I swear that yesterday on this website a customer asked where they should insert their promo code. I also got someone asking if it was possible to sunbathe from the indoor swimming pool on the same day, the same hotel.
In essence, chatbots leverage AI to walk people through your information and direct booking process. On a regular website, for every 100 people that visit, only 9 enter your booking engine. So, the first mission of chatbots is to help as many people as possible to get one step further into the direct sales funnel.
Once in your booking engine, sometimes, people get frustrated especially when they want to make a complex request. Here, a good hotel chatbot can help. In the best-case scenario, the chatbot will get customers back on track and finish the booking. Or, it will redirect the conversation to a reservation agent at the hotel. What we observe is that the highest ADR reservations come through hotel live chats.
Another beauty of Quicktext chatbot for hotels is that we put a small barrier to entry, by asking for the customer’s name and email address. Hence, the chatbot only gets qualified people that really need help. Also, during the conversation, the chatbot continues to receive more and more actionable information about the customer’s next journey.
Without the assistance of the chatbot, these online visitors would no doubt, otherwise, have been lost. We can make this data available to your sales team so that they can quickly see what happened with every conversation. Following this, they can schedule a targeted follow-up and re-engage leads that would otherwise have escaped.
This is an example of a report where hoteliers get the key information needed to verify if a reservation request went through, and follow-up if it didn’t. We receive the date of the request, name, country, phone number, date of check-in, number of nights, number of rooms and value of the request.
Pace and Quicktext are 2 innovative, AI-based RevPAR enhancing solutions. They are both easy to set up and work fine with all kinds of hotels.