Let’s address the elephant in the room by stating a fact that chatbots escalation began in early 2016 and in no less than 6 months, all major tech giants either launched a bot development platform, have created their own chatbot or both. According to Gartner’s report, by 2020, 85% of customer interactions will be managed without a human (is that a threat?). Chatbots can easily replace all the existing mobile apps for hotels because these conversational bots are efficient, effective and stays with the guest from pre-booking to post-stay and provide hyper-personalized recommendations (as per the guest’s behaviour and preference) and solves any real-time query of the guest.
From early 2015, the tech industry has undergone several critical transformations and this happens to be one of them. Trends began to shift when browser replaced the desktop operating systems as the new platform. Just as websites replaced client-server applications then, messaging bots will replace mobile apps now; which is inevitable and is just a matter of time. We have observed that again and again people have been complaining about the fact that it is hard to operate an application as they cannot find the way how it works. On the other hand asking for things is something we do in our everyday lives. There is strong and growing evidence that people can easily pick up chatting to a bot and that bots are perfect for all types of customer service tasks.
But apps are not that substandard too! Few reasons exists which shows that apps can do some good things for your hotel, like:
Not only will your hotel app service a traveller during their booking stage but throughout their stay. They can use the mobile app to order services, make purchases, choose upgrades, book appointments and more and the best part- you’ll be instantly notified! Also, you can go for a hasty approach to alert your guests for special promotions and hot deals. This way all requests will be organised and automated, making life easier for everyone.
Similar to Google Trips, you can use your app to give guests the best advice about where to go to eat, what attractions to visit, and the best sights to see in the local area. You can combine this with an interactive map to ensure they don’t get lost and can better organise their itinerary.
Top Articles on How Businesses are using Bots:
Why a hotel needs chatbot?
We know that online travel agencies (OTAs) are good for business, but hotels are wary of becoming too dependent on them — they’d much rather have travelers coming directly to them and not have to pay the commission. Chatbots provide a platform for travelers to book directly through the instant messaging apps already available on their mobile phones like Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Skype with the added assurance of having any questions answered.
Also, much of the staff’s precious time and manpower is consumed in following up with the guest’s arrival and suggesting amenities like on-site car rental, spa and salon treatments, making arrangements for special occasions — be it via calls or even automated emails, which we feel and believe can be hectic at times! Wouldn’t you rather invest that valuable time elsewhere? Obviously yes, right? Here is where you can give way to automation in your hotel business. Let chatbots take care of sending automated offers and deals and perform follow ups with your customers. What’s more — guests can now check-in to their hotel room prior to their arrival at the hotel with a small chat on their bot-equipped smartphone.
The staffless hotels will cut your costs to a great extent and you can easily employ chatbots to boost your brand recognition and bookings hassle freely. The chatbots understand the guests; their priority and needs and a big thanks to AI so that the bots can respond to the queries accordingly. With chatbots, your business is now available 24*7 and you don’t have to rely on employing customer representatives to solve guest queries. Moreover, you can employ the staff for rendering a better human-touch whenever possible and with chatbots you can easily skyrocket your revenue and business (better customer engagement & experience with fewer staff members).
Why building a chatbot is better than having a hotel app?
1. Save valuable time on UI/UX: Websites and mobile apps are designed with different visual interfaces and this way people constantly have to learn new ones. Since messaging apps are being more and more used (Facebook Messenger alone has 1.2 billion monthly active users), talking with a business through chatbots will feel like something natural and easy to do.
Chatbots User Interface is standard, so there will be no new UI to learn and first-time users can get an immediate value of the product, solving their problems quickly. As people have less time to learn new user interfaces, texting and voice will be the primary way we interact with brands. Nowadays, using messaging apps is becoming so natural that even the least tech persons are masters at chatting.
2. Engage guests with better relevance: There are many tools out there allowing companies to communicate one-to-many, from email marketing to social media and websites, making it easy to reach a large audience. Unfortunately, these tools do not allow companies to communicate with people on an individual level. The beauty of chatbots is that you can now do individual targeting and reach mass amounts of people at the individual level.
As you collect more information in your chatbot about your customers, it’s possible to use that information to re-engage with users and build a stronger relationship that will lead to in-chat orders. Brands are able to send relevant messages in a personalised way at the right time, and the best part is that it is done through one of the most popular apps on everyone’s smartphone.
3. Conversational bots for upsell and cross-sell: There are multiple ways in which your chatbot can help you upsell and cross sell. What is essential, is that you put a lot of thought into the common questions that influence purchasing decisions. For example, a sales chatbot on your social media page could instantly answer whether or not the blouse you are selling is available in a different size or color. Or when clicked on, it could simply ask “What are you searching for today?”, and then provide linked buttons to guide buyers to your product categories. Alternatively, your cable company could utilize a chatbot to help you upgrade your plan, without waiting on hold to speak with a customer service representative. Once a question is answered or order is placed, you can suggest common upsells.
So, now you know why it is important for hotels to build a bot and utilize it to the fullest to attract millennial travelers. Deploy a bot on your website instead of building a hotel app and see your business grow. Schedule a demo with us to learn more on this topic. We will give you a thorough demonstration on how our chatbot is also able to perform remarketing and more stuff on various social media platforms and on all digital touchpoints where the customers are already present.
Originally published at blog.trilyo.com.
Is it Good to Build a Hotel Chatbot Instead of a Hotel App? was originally published in Chatbots Life on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.