Why Chatbots Can Make a Difference to Your Bookings
The potential impact of chatbots on the lodging industry is huge. Imagine the benefits of a concierge or customer service agent, but ones that can be in multiple locations at the same time.
Today’s savvy hoteliers are using chatbots to improve the overall customer experience.
Your guests can use chatbots on your website. They can use chatbots to check in, check out, make reservations and even ask questions.
One study goes as far as to say chatbots will power 85% of all customer service interactions by the year 2020. So, it stands to reason you might want to consider them.
Let’s look at why chatbots can make a difference to your bookings. But first, let’s define the chatbot.
What is a Chatbot?
A chatbot is a digital, technological tool. It’s a virtual assistant that helps you automate services for your customers. This might be on your website, on your social media pages, or in your app.
The chatbot can answer questions and respond to your customers immediately, quickly, and efficiently.
Chatbots are Revenue Generators
If you’re like most hotel owners, you probably have a big budget for Google AdWords and perhaps even social media pay-per-click advertising. Most of those avenues direct people back to your website.
When you have chatbots on your website, you can decrease your bounce rate while increasing revenue by helping your customers in a more personal manner.
On your website, chatbots can help customers through the booking process. They can even do this on social media.
Ultimately, you’ll have happier customers who are more loyal to your hotel.
Chatbots Respond Quickly to Customers
One of the best things about chatbots is their ability to respond immediately. So, whether it’s 3 am or noon, your customers have “someone” to talk to.
In our ever increasing digital age, most people expect an answer right away, but let’s face it, that isn’t always possible from a human standpoint. This is where the chatbot comes in.
Many hotels use chatbots to improve the customer experience by responding to them in real time.
Imagine the customer who is ready to book and has a question about the room. Instead of moving to a competitor or having to wait 24 hours for a response, this customer gets one immediately and books a room.
Chatbots Take Reservations
First, it’s worth mentioning that as booking agents, you don’t have to pay the chatbot a commission fee. This makes them a bonus for your bottom line.
Next, wherever your customer is – on your website or social media – a chatbot working on your site or through a messaging app, can help your customers reserve a room.
Chatbots help to increase guest engagement with your hotel by providing them a seamless experience. (tweet this)
Chatbots Offer Personalization
You’ll find that bots are terrific at managing relationships with your customers. By using a chatbot, your customers can get personalized recommendations based on their behavior and their preferences.
Imagine the possibilities for bookings as well as ongoing loyalty.
When programmed just for your hotel, chatbots can understand your customers’ searches and provide information about an entire stay at your hotel. This might include the following:
- Automated pre-arrival reminders.
- Check-in information including room selection and preferences.
- Recommendations for entertainment nearby.
- Transportation information.
The chatbot can stay connected with your guests from the pre-booking stage through booking, the stay, and even after their departure, helping to provide the best experience possible.
Chatbots Speak Multiple Languages
Have you ever struggled to communicate with guests? That’s not a problem for your chatbots.
If your guests need attention in your hotel, and your front desk personnel don’t speak their language, the chatbots can help because there is no communication gap.
This is great for encouraging customer loyalty and future bookings.
Chatbots Meet a Need
Today’s customer is increasingly needy and more demanding than customers in the past. It’s the, “I want it when I want it mentality.” This kind of demand is hard to meet.
Yet, with the chatbot, you can meet customers head on. You meet them where they need help, so they no longer have to wait. For those people who aren’t content to sit around, chatbots can jump in and provide immediate results.
This is a win-win for your hotel.
What to Look for in a Chatbot
Now that you know the why, let’s look at the how.
You’ll find many alternatives today for chatbot integration, and it can be hard to choose. To help you, we encourage you to look for these important features:
- It should definitely be able to handle booking inquiries and direct customers to a booking link.
- You should be able to include every question you think your customers might have with an appropriate answer. This helps to personalize the chatbot as it needs to answer your customer’s questions.
- It’s great if you an attach links, images, and PDF files with your chatbots. This can help provide more information to your guests. For example, if they ask, “What do your rooms look like,” the chatbot should be able to send links, images, and information.
- The chatbots should be fully functional on mobile devices as well as desktop computers and all popular internet browsers.
- Chatbots should be able to translate and converse in many languages.
- You also want customers to be able to opt for a human hotel agent by asking your chatbot to provide one. For example, a great option for customers is being able to tell the chatbot they’d rather opt for a live person.
- On the occasions where guests ask questions your chatbot can’t answer, you want the software to be able to compile these so you can add them to the chatbot.
- Self-learning is also a key component as it’s helpful if the chatbot can adjust answers as it goes.
- You want compatibility with your website, social media, and app.
- It’s also helpful if the chatbot can provide a call me back option if they can’t answer the customer’s question.
- Tracking and performance measuring is vital as well as recordings of all chatbot conversations.
Chatbots can make a difference to your bookings, and they’re definitely a technology to consider as you move forward with your hotel marketing.
You’ll find it helps you improve communication with your guests while increasing overall customer satisfaction and loyalty.
A personalized experience is key in the digital age, and chatbots are one piece to ensuring guests are happy with your hotel.
Looking to showcase your hotel? At Hotel Propeller, we build functional, beautiful websites that highlight your hotel to help you stand out in the crowd. You’ll find everything you need to attract guests to your website and compel visitors to make a reservation. Take a look at our showcase and contact us today.
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