What’s A Chatbot, And Why Should I Care?
Have you heard about how robots are taking over the hotel industry??
Are robots really taking over? Well, not exactly.
It’s true that technology has been steadily becoming more and more involved in all aspects of business and marketing today — heck, all aspects of life in general! The field of artificial intelligence (AI) has been around for a long time, but it’s really starting to explode onto the public stage now with recognizable names like Siri (Apple) and Alexa (Amazon). And now, we even have AI technology tailored to the hotel industry. But rest assured; No robots are coming for your job!
They’re just here to make your job way easier.
One of the coolest and easiest ways to implement AI technology into your hotel’s operations is with a chatbot.
It’s not a robot in the way you might be accustomed to thinking of it. This isn’t The Jetsons, after all! It’s an add-on to your website that interacts with visitors, answers their questions, and ultimately guides them to book with you. This all happens without you having to lift a finger!
Chatbots are particularly awesome for hotels because they’re going to help you save in three ways: time, money, and sanity.
Like I said, chatbots interact with visitors to your site… ALL of the visitors! — as they say. It’s some of the most direct interaction you can get. You don’t have to spend any time fielding questions via phone or email, and let’s be honest: most people with questions aren’t even going to get that far. If they don’t find what they’re looking for on your site immediately, they’re usually not going to take extra steps to call or write to you — not in our instant-gratification society. They’re going to continue their search elsewhere.
If there’s a chat window already hovering in the corner of their screen with a smiling avatar that has already communicated its willingness to help, they’re much more likely to ask their question and get an answer that will help them decide to book with you! Plus, before they even walk through your door, you’ve already set the tone for that top-notch, attentive customer service that you pride yourself on.
You don’t even need to have anyone manning the chat feature. It’s all AI. The bot uses the data that you give it during setup to answer whatever questions visitors to your site might have, just like a human being. Except Chatbot works 24-7 and doesn’t need to take breaks or ask for time off. Chatbots for the win!
If you’re like most boutique hotels, you’re investing a nice chunk of change into the services of online travel agencies (OTAs) like Booking.com, Priceline, Expedia, and countless others. These services may be convenient, but are you really seeing a worthwhile return on your investment? Chatbots allow you to take the automation of OTAs and instead implement it on your own website at a much lower price point.
This way, you get more direct bookings, which means higher profits. I would even argue that the bump in customer service brownie points I mentioned earlier could contribute to more return bookings. As you know, every little bit helps to make your guests feel valued and comfortable giving you their business not just once, but over and over again. The devil is in the details… but so is the delight!
Save Your Sanity!
Chatbots make managing your hotel simpler. The automated process not only serves your visitors more efficiently and cost-effectively, it collects and analyzes data that it receives from those visitors to help you make informed business decisions. You’ll get regular conversion and return-on-investment (ROI) reports that will tip you off on what’s working, what’s not, and what visitors are looking for. From there you can easily develop targeted, customized strategies to increase bookings.
And all of this happens automatically! No crunching numbers or sifting through mountains of confusing statistics. The idea is to take the guesswork out of direct booking and put the reigns back in your hands, where they belong. Is this a new-ish technology to the hotel industry? Yes, and of course, there’s a learning curve that comes with that. But it’s a curve that your chatbot provider can guide you over with personalized attention and care. You don’t get that with OTAs! Plus, utilizing new technology means you’ll be on the cutting edge of direct booking marketing. Fancy!
We at Skytemple are proud to be adding our direct booking chatbot as one of the many services we offer. Let us know how we can help you and your hotel!