How smart hoteliers leverage a hotel chatbot for direct sales
Get 40% conversion on the leads originating from your hotel chatbot.
On average, hotel chatbots can manage 70 to 80% of customer interactions. That’s great because it saves the staff some time. However, as an entrepreneur, I am much more interested in how a chatbot can help my hotel make more money.
At Quicktext, we could see that 80% of conversations involve people looking to book a room. If these people are on your website, it means they are going to travel. And the key question they’re trying to answer is whether they will choose your hotel or go to your nearest competitor.
The key competitive advantage you have here is that through the Quicktext chatbot, your potential customers will share actionable information about them: their name, email, phone number, information about their dates of stay, number of adults, children and babies. So, you can use a hotel chatbot for direct sales, or to get information that your sales team can follow up on.
Some customers will proceed to finish the purchase. Others will exit before entering their credit card details. Here is a simple technique to set up the most efficient sales follow-up process ever.
Your customers are only interested in one thing – themselves
Before you do anything, ensure that you have identified the key selling points that are important for each customer to convince them to book with you.
The easiest example is families with babies. Most hotels have baby cots, bottle warmers, a minibar where customers can store some baby food. All this costs you nothing. Let’s see what happens when you use these elements in your follow-up emails:
Email notification sent by the chatbot to the sales team
This basic message contains the key element of context that is necessary to do a proper follow-up. The potential value of the reservation is 2100€. There are 2 ways to play it.
Basic follow up: very low sales potential
Advanced follow up: very high sales potential
Just by adding a few extra lines on an email template, you make your conversion grow through the roof. This is simply because you’ve created value for your customers. It isn’t very difficult to see that this message will convert much more than the former. Now let’s be honest – is your follow-up more like the first or the second example?
Improving your sales follow-up is easier than you think
Use customer personas: Most hoteliers know their customers but somehow do not make very good sales follow-ups. The formalization of customer personas is extremely important as it allows you to dig deeper and find added value even when you don’t have quirky benefits to offer. With 3 or 4 personas, you should already be able to cover most cases. It will take you between 1 and 2 hours to do it. Yet, it will reward you handsomely as you’ll be able to use it to guide all your communication strategies.
Identify the key benefits that attract each persona. Here is another concrete example. Monica comes from Mexico, so she is a long-distance traveler. (That can be a persona). What could be important for a person who is going to take a 13h flight to your destination?
After a long flight, you know that the customer will be exhausted (jet lag hits especially hard when coming from the west). How will Monica reach the hotel? Can you offer/package a transfer? You could also suggest the easiest way to reach your hotel.
Monica is also staying for 13 days (a long time) so if you can, provide an upgrade. Else, you could recommend the best value for money. That would be a smart move. What you need to do is reflect comfort and the ‘feel at home’ experience.
Create a scalable follow-up process, save time and make more money. In order to offer quick answers, you need a toolbox. Some hotels have actually created 5 or 6 template emails that they marginally tweak when necessary.
— Canned email: With Gmail and Outlook you can create and save template emails that you can use in one click.
- Canned responses for Gmail
- For Outlook it works as well (see here) but it is a bit more complicated, so I recommend you use a tool such as Yesware. Yesware is also compatible with Gmail and will give you the ability to insert a tracker in your emails. This will let you know when the customer opens and clicks on your messages. Another cool feature is that it includes automated follow-ups. Thus, if the customer doesn’t reply to the first message, you can trigger another one that might try a different angle.