Chatbots are mentioned here and there as trendy and valued “employees” that can work for businesses of all kinds. Hospitality and the hotel industry in particular, are among the industries that should embrace this innovation the most.
A Brief Introduction to Chatbots
Chatbot, also known as chat robot, talkbot, chatterbot, chatterbox, artificial conversational entity (ACE) or interactive agent, is a computer software that automatically engages in online conversations that are very similar to that of a real human being, or as close as a machine can get. The conversations can be by means of text, voice or sometimes graphical interfaces and widgets.
The very early versions of chatbots were created way back in the late 1950s and well into the 1970s. Since then, chatbots have come a long way. Present day chatbots are built in different ways, corresponding with two levels of complexity. The first level is relatively simple communication needs, whereby the chatbots are based on a simple set of guidelines. This means that the chatbot’s response capabilities are quite limited within a specific area as well as vocabulary. The chatbot would not understand if a user would ask things that are not on the list of responses.
In more complex circumstances, it is based on artificial intelligence technologies (AI), including deep learning, natural language processing, machine learning algorithms, that require massive amounts of data. In this case the bot is capable of self-learning, as it is introduced to new words, phases, requests, and it can then constantly be improving its communication capabilities.
In today’s era of digital marketing and customer relationship, chatbots are becoming an essential part of businesses in a wide range of industries, thanks to its capacity of responding around the clock without any limits of physical location, manpower, and requiring little financial investments. Most commonly, chatbots are used in instant messaging applications, online interactive games, sales and services, and also can become virtual assistants. Some of the most well-known examples are Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home.
Chatbots in the Hospitality industry: a win-win situation for hotel owners
Hospitality is one of the industries in which customer interaction and engagement plays a key role. Chatbots, therefore, are indeed worthy to be added to hotels’ digital assets, especially when the new generation of customers today are basing their accommodation search-shop-buy activities mostly online. The use of a chatbot would help take over repetitive tasks from human staff, give them more time to devote to more complex and critical problems, thereby increasing productivity. Further, being able to have access to the customers’ behaviors 24/7, gives hotels more valuable insights. Compared to other existing technologies, chatbots, thanks to their Artificial Intelligence, work more efficiently in personalizing recommendations to customers, that create more satisfied customers; while holding down costs.
To speed up chatbots’ progress of self-learning, so that their efficiency would be optimized, the utmost importance is to expose them with to rich, organized big data. Therefore a complete guest profile database can enrich the chatbots learning process. HotelAppz, for example, collects and aggregates hotel guest data from multiple channels; providing hoteliers with a single dashboard in which each guest profile is de-duplicated, segmented and enriched with third-party attributes. Not only does this database help chatbots generate better responses in a personalized way, but it also helps hoteliers understand what their guest are interested in and looking for.
HotelAppz is in partnership with Quicktext that provide a chatbot solution. Quicktext’s smart messaging system includes an AI-powered chatbot available 24/7 which can help hoteliers to manage up to 80% of customer interactions on their website, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, SMS, booking.com message, etc. By integrating with HotelAppz’s platform, every time a customer interacts with the hotel, Quicktext’s smart chatbot can use information that is found inside the HotelAppz database and therefore enhance the answers that are provided by the chatbot. In return, the conversations between the guest and the chatbot are captured and recorded in the HotelAppz database, which in effect is a learning process similar to that of the chatbot.
Get in touch with us today and learn more about how HotelAppz can help hoteliers manage their guest data and enrich the overall experience of their guests, and how you could benefit from using a chatbot for your own hotel.