Chatbots in hospitality: changing the (inter)face of hotel guest services

Written by: Samantha Wolhuter

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The cornerstone of the hospitality industry is to provide amazing personalised services to ensure the most enjoyable guest experiences. At its core, hospitality provides a human experience: friendly interactions with hotel staff and pleasant exchanges with other guests create a relaxing and welcoming environment that connects people. But until recently, the often tedious and frustrating administrative side of hospitality threatened to undermine what guests look for when visiting hotels. 

Laborious check-in and out procedures, enquiring about rates and specials, making and cancelling bookings, ordering room service at unusual hours, etc. can really ruin a guest’s experience if not handled correctly. Added to this, guests are increasingly becoming frustrated with outdated practices which require man-power in a world where even satisfying your need for spirituality has an app. 

Thankfully, the hospitality sector has embraced technology. The implementation of chatbots in hospitality has streamlined and improved these sometimes gruelling hospitality admin processes to ensure better guest satisfaction, and ultimately more revenue for hotels. 

So, how are chatbots in hospitality being used to improve the guest experience?

Hospitality chatbots as a reservation channel

Booking.com was one of the first mass booking platforms to integrate a hospitality chatbot into their booking experience. Their booking assistant helped answer and facilitate the most common guest queries throughout the booking process. Now, chatbots helping guests throughout the reservation cycle is the most common use for chatbots in hospitality.

Using Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Natural Language Understanding (NLU), chatbots can efficiently assist guests by providing relevant and accurate answers to queries and guiding them to the payment process. Guests are able to type queries in a message interface or even talk to chatbots in real-time to get the information they need.

Hospitality businesses can even leverage chatbots to upsell services through targeted promotions of specials and reduced rates throughout the discovery and reservation process.

Hospitality chatbots as virtual concierges

Apart from assisting guests with fast and efficient reservations, chatbots in hospitality have become virtual concierges, assisting and providing guests with important information at almost every hospitality touchpoint. From restaurant and activity reservations to room service and airport pickups, everything guests need during their stay is covered via RPA-powered chatbots.

Bebot is one of the first chatbots dedicated entirely to the hospitality industry. Hotels can fully customise the chatbot to represent their brand and provide customised concierge and support services 24/7. With multilingual always-on support, instantly answered queries, and the ability to collect and store guest reviews, chatbots like Bebot are giving guests complete support before, during, and after their stay.

Hospitality chatbots as guest profiling tools

By gaining valuable insight into customer habits and preferences, hotels are now able to build a proper and accurate system of guest profiling. This allows them to promote personalised offers to guests which will increase guest loyalty. Hotels can build upon the insights gathered from their visitor-chatbot interactions to see what guests like and dislike and where the latest consumer trends are leaning in order to improve their service offerings. 

A good example of this would be Marriott’s use of its hospitality chatbot to surprise and delight loyal customers by using it to reward guests with loyalty points when they engage with the bots’ content. 

This kind of technology provides the hospitality industry unique insights into their customer profiles that don’t require in-person interaction or dated satisfaction forms. Hotels can now make tailored recommendations to improve guest loyalty using data gathered by chatbots.

Hospitality chatbots as the link between hotels and guests

With the use of intelligent chatbots, hotels are now able to interact and connect with their guests like never before. Chatbots make connections with guests before, during, and after their stay through booking assistance, promotion offers, booking reminders, dinner and activity reservations, room service, and guest reviews. 

Chatbots in hospitality add a new layer of guest service that is always on and always ready to assist current and potential guests. Guests feel more comfortable knowing that every need and query can be met immediately, giving them peace of mind. 

Hospitality chatbots as drivers for greater guest experiences

The ultimate goal of hospitality is to provide incredible and memorable guest experiences. Hospitality chatbots ensure that the previously frustrating and complicated administrative side to hotel bookings and enquiries is made easier and more enjoyable. 

Guest far prefer to type a query and receive immediate feedback rather than making phone calls and complicating matters. With the administrative component to hospitality becoming more streamlined, hospitality businesses are providing greater guest experiences through automated and helpful chatbots that eliminate unnecessary hassle.

Summary

There is no doubt that chatbot technology has transformed the mechanics and operations of many industries across the globe, and the hospitality industry is no different. With the rise of the millennial traveller who is constantly mobile and connected, the way they interact with the world is through the convenience and immediacy of mobile applications. Chatbots in hospitality have catered to every guest’s need in real-time, 24/7 which has taken the concept of hospitality to the next level.

A new generation of travellers and hotel guests are opting for self-bookings and check-ins, and unparalleled ease of convenience. When incorporated correctly, chatbots in hospitality eliminate the worst and most-undesirable aspects of hotel administration to ensure greater guest experiences without compromising the soul of hospitality.

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Last modified: March 28, 2022
Author info
Samantha Wolhuter
Sam is in charge of writing a big portion of WeAreBrain’s creative content. She is a digital nomad always on the go, inspiring us with her words from some of the world's most beautiful locations.
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