Planning a trip is always fascinating but in order to make it perfect it can always be cumbersome. Nowadays, travelers look for creating more and more memories and do not mind paying an additional value for the experience. Even though technology has made it simpler to find out about destinations, reviews, see images, the increase of information has also made the research and planning more complex. On top of it, the corporate and business lifestyle, work life balance etc, travelers don’t get exclusive time to just sit for few hours and research and finish booking the travel. So, they need information whenever they get some time or while doing multitasking, and hence they need it everything on their mobile.
This is where conversational AI or chatbots have started transforming travel and hospitality industry. When you hear the word chatbots, Siri and Alexa probably comes to mind, but there is a huge world beyond these which are shaping the future of travel. AI-powered chatbots offer the travel industry a unique opportunity to transform their operations and make it more customer friendly. With conversational chatbots, the travel industry can cater to the needs and demands of digitally savvy travelers much and stay ahead of the competition. Chatbots have the potential to streamline the user experience and deliver personalized solutions to the customers.
Conversational AI brings many advantages on the table for hospitality industry as stated below:
1. Instant Replies and Acknowledgement
People have lower patience for getting a response on to basic questions like “Where is breakfast”, “What is Wi-Fi Password” to even some complex situations where they would like to book an experience. AI chatbots help address most of these questions in span of seconds and even reduces the need of guest to reach out to a phone number, Operator etc. Studies suggest that 75%+ of questions are repitiive and can be clubbed into what we call as FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions). AI can easily answer the same reducing the need of manpower, reducing the wait time for guest and in effect increase Guest Satisfaction scores.
2. Higher Engagement
Traditionally Big Chains have been promoting their own websites and apps to increase engagement. Study relates that instant messaging is far more powerful tool than sending communication or on hotel Apps. Big Chains have managed to driven loyalty via apps, but regional chains, small hotels and standalone luxury properties are not that popular across the globe. Instant messaging with proactive and reactive reach does help bridge this gap. 98% of instant messages are replied to within 20 minutes. A message from WhatsApp Branded API carrying hotel name and logo has 5 times more impact than the same name and detail sending an email. To add the cherry on cake, most of these chatbots are 24*7 due to the AI, hence guest communicates and engage as per their convenience of time.
3. Higher Revenue
Chatbots accelerate your business starting from brand awareness, engagement, bringing the WOW experience and leading the end client to spend more. The ease of buying through your phone at one place, rather than coordinating at various places and paying up separately makes chatbots case much stronger. AI-powered chatbots go a step ahead in personalizing the customer experience and enhancing the visitor’s stay with their high-grade assistance. They present the right offer at the right time to the right guest, making the upselling probability much higher.
4. Increase Efficiency, Reduce Cost
Travel and hospitality Industry get a repeated set of questions from various guests. Having a human customer-care representative responding to the queries repeatedly is inefficient. Traditionally Hotels increase their morning staffing when they are 100% occupancy previous night to manage guest services, where majority land up answering FAQ. In the age of chatbots, these routine queries can get easily resolved by the instant messaging without any human intervention, which in turn enables customer support staff to focus on other complex tasks boosting productivity and efficiency of the organization. The chatbots are cost effective when compared to labor cost especially in hotels, where customer facing clients are expected to be highly skilled and does come at a premium.
The hotel industry is increasingly employing conversational AI and robotic automation technologies, but as an industry still has a huge ground to cover. This has a huge potential but is underpenetrated.
Engage-AI is RateGain’s Virtual Assistant Conversational AI platform which helps you optimize hotel’s operations, upselling and generating more revenue per guest, enhancing guest experience and increasing satisfaction scores for the hotel.
For an in-depth guide on Engage-AI or to schedule a free demo, get in touch with our experts “here”