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AI is the new frontier of hotel e-commerce.

Have you ever asked a question through the live chat option in a hotel app or on a website? Most of the time you’re expecting a quick answer that never comes.

The use of AI in e-commerce chatbots makes it possible for hotels to have the instant reactivity that customers expect. Here are 5 ways how chatbots are impacting hotel e-commerce and your business growth:

1. Data
Conversations are a great way to find out about a person’s needs, preferences, expectations, feelings, and more. In fact, the more you know, the better you’re able to understand your customers and take control of the direct sales process. The easier it becomes, also, to sell them a hotel room.

While chat is a wonderful sales tool, having a human team online 24/7 comes at a high cost. Hence, chatbots for hotels are the only realistic option. Most of the time your hotel chatbot is able to successfully retrieve a customer’s name, request and contact details for your team. Hotel chatbots transform anonymous online visitors into qualified, actionable leads.

2. Virtual assistance
Have you ever had to repeat the same set of basic instructions multiple times to different people during the day? Tedious, isn’t it? Most customers have the same set of questions and requests that always come up. In this context, a chatbot for hotels can take care of these and save time for your staff, for tasks with higher added value. In addition, there is no chatbot turnover like there is staff turnover. Your virtual assistant is here to stay and ensure you deliver a consistent quality of service. Finally, your customer expects instant attention. On average, chatbots reduce customer service calls by almost 65%!

3. Brilliant bots
When you choose to work with a hotel chatbot provider, there are 2 distinctive features you should consider:
— Natural Language Understanding: The capacity to decipher what the customer really wants, irrespective of how it is being asked (see what is machine learning and how it impacts hotel operations).
— Bot design: Ensuring that the conversation is generating enough customer engagement and satisfaction so that the customer will be willing to share information and complete sales or customer service cycles through the chatbot.

Training a chatbot for an industry is a long, complex and expensive process. It might be much more cost efficient to look for a company that specializes in your industry and can deliver to you a bot ready for use from day 1.

4. Operational focus
Chatbots are a transformative technology that impacts your e-commerce processes.
— Connectivity to your e-commerce tools: This is essential in order to make sure your hotel chatbot is not stuck at an FAQ and can actually deliver service to your customers.
— Perfect ergonomy of your user interface: Virtual assistants are new members of your staff. They interact with your customers but also with your teams. The management of your chatbot activities must be simple and fit easily in your organization.
— Ability to learn: Your business is in constant evolution and you must make sure that your chatbot will be able to grow with you.

5. Security
When dealing with personal information across geographies and different legal frameworks, it is crucial to ensure complete security of the data that you collect, analyze and store. Different industries and different countries have varying regulations about the storage of this data. Make sure that your hotel chatbot is compliant with your local data protection regulations.

Most e-commerce managers and marketers are now acquainted with how hotel chatbots are impacting e-commerce. Hence, they are now using them extensively. The key question is no longer whether chatbots are ready for hospitality, but rather, whether you are ready for them. Chatbots are your opportunity to move from marketing based on your product features – which are similar to all your competitors – towards marketing based on being immediately relevant to your customers that would immediately set you apart.

Chatbots will never be human but are now good enough to offer good service. Just like an electric bike, they can take you very far with very little effort but you’ll always have to pedal a little bit.

If you wish to learn more about how chatbots are impacting hotel e-commerce, or have any questions about AI in the hotel industry, visit our website or contact Benjamin Devisme.

The content of this post was inspired by a comprehensive article that can be found here.