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How chatbots can make pre-stay guest service shine


Paula Carreirao

A few things are more annoying in customer service than to have to repeat yourself. If you have a question and contact a hotel agent, you don’t want to be transferred to another agent only to have to explain everything AGAIN!

Can’t guest service be more unified?

Well, if it’s not easy for the guest, neither is it for hoteliers! With multiple travelers in multiple channels, it is hard to remember who-asked-what, where and when. The consequence of this chaos is damaged customer service and hotel reputation, stressed hotel staff, and frustrated guests.

But, don’t panic! Chatbots are here for your rescue!

They can save important data so you can provide the best service. They are also able to learn guests’ preferences so you can impress them even before their stay. Impressive, right?

I know you think that a service provided by a chatbot is the opposite of personalized service. But here I will show that, in fact, chatbots are your best ally to enchant guests with top-class-exclusive guest service.

First, it’s never enough to stress the importance of customer service. Personalized service rules, so it all comes down to know your guests as much as possible, even before they get to your front-desk. It’s through the customer service that you will get to know them and will collect valuable data.

Customer service is the core of any business now. This is conventional wisdom, right? Hospitality or tech companies, they are all investing in ways to impress their clients. Everybody talks about it. No big news so far.

But let’s go beyond the conventional wisdom and get to the facts. Forbes published that:

  • 83% of consumers say that customer experience is a major factor in selecting their service providers;

And how can you impress your client/guest? Well, that is a tough task. Guest’s expectations get higher and higher and the thing you need to remember is that now you don’t only compete with your Compset, but with any hotel or business.

That means that guests will compare your hotel with all kind of services: hotels, banks, deliveries, restaurants.

I know it might seem unfair, but that is the way it is now. The bar is high for everyone.

So how to create a perfect experience for your guests? Of course, the term “perfect” is relative, it may mean different things for different people.

Let’s take a closer look at what hotels MUST take into consideration if excellence in guest service is the goal and how chatbots can help.

Convenience matters not only for customer service but also when it’s time to book a hotel. So it’s no wonder that self-services and online supports are growing fast all around the world.

We are used to solving problems on our own. I mean, basically everything you want to know you can Google it or watch a video on Youtube, right? IKEA’s manuals don’t scare us anymore!

Furthermore, consumers tend to feel more loyal to brands that think about making it easier for them. To take in consideration the whole experience is something very much appreciated

Besides, who actually calls someone nowadays? We live in an era that communication is mostly done by texting. We text friends, husbands, food services.. So it is natural we also want this option when contacting a hotel, right? The hotel industry must be aware of and be prepared for this trend. Chatbots can help you here.

Now that you understand the importance of the online presence both for your revenue and for your customer service, it’s time to get ready for your big challenge: the omnichannel experience. Chatbots help you a long way in the run for your guest satisfaction and loyalty, but they are not enough.

You will need an omnichannel management platform in order to organize, visualize and keep track of all your online service. Otherwise, instead of solving a problem, you will be creating a new one.

Many hotels (and companies) confuse being multichannel and omnichannel. To be multichannel means that you available on several communication channels but they don’t necessarily “talk between them”, so the information is all fragmented.

Situations like the one described at the beginning of the text are quite common. Since you don’t have the conversations’ histories from the different channels saved in the same place, guests frequently have to repeat themselves when contacting the hotel staff to solve a problem.

With an omnichannel platform, you are able to manage all bots conversations from different channels and all conversations that had human intervention in these same channels. The platform Askuite developed can do that and more! Perfect for pre-stay, Asksuite’s hotel chatbot takes away some of the workloads so human attendants can focus on to sell rooms and to charm travelers.

Hotel chatbots are here not only to answer repetitive questions. They can also boost the hotel’s direct sales when integrated with booking engines. That is why is so important to choose a hotel chatbot, not a generic chatbot.

The platform Askuite developed is exactly like that: specialized in the hotel industry. Perfect for pre-stay inquiries, Asksuite’s hotel chatbot makes the booking process much easier for travelers while taking away some of the workloads so human agents can focus on charming guests.

But integration with booking engines is the basic. Chatbots can do more. Asksuite went further and developed a feature that allows the chatbot to show traveler dates options and room options when the chosen date is not available. It also shows availably in other hotels of the same hotel chain.

With that, hotels won’t lose direct bookings due to availability or poor service when it’s time to close the deal.

It’s all about the details. And a chatbot can give access to these precious details to make your guest service shine. Did you know that chats are much more efficient than emails when it comes to capturing leads and opening rates?

And since chatbots never forget names and preferences and they are able to segment your audience in a very effective way. Conversations can easily show you what the biggest pain points are for clients and which product features are most important to them.

Besides, a report by Accenture tells us that when consumers are recognized by name or preferences, they are 75 % more likely to buy a product.

In addition, using chatbot allows you to tailor messages fast. And your repeat guests (habitués) will love when you offer them their favorite room when they are booking without them having to specify.

As you can see, chatbots are quick learners and have a perfect memory. So working with bots will give you the possibility to impress guests even before their arrival.

Chatbots were created to boost human performance and to deliver a fantastic customer experience. Some of the chatbots are so advanced that sometimes people don’t know if they’re talking to a bot or to a human. Thanks to artificial intelligence and natural language, bots can mimic almost perfectly a human interaction.

Even though customers are getting used to self-service, if the organization makes it easy to connect with a human — either on the phone or via a digital channel — customers will take that path.

That is why chatbots should not be considered the opposite of a human service. They are complementary. A good chatbot should enable employees to intervene whenever they think is necessary. It should be teamwork, not replacement.

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