From a look and feel perspective all chatbots look similar. However, some will deliver excellent service to your guests, others will generate frustration. If you want to make the right choice for your hotel or group make sure to look for these essential decision criteria. This article provides you with 4 tips that will help you to choose the right chatbot to achieve your hotel(s) strategic goals.
4 Tips to Select a Chatbot
Below you find tips that help you to select the right chatbot for your hotel.
1. Work With a Specialist
Training in artificial Intelligence (AI) requires a lot of time, effort, and a huge volume of customer interactions. To avoid unnecessary costs by starting from scratch, but choose a tailor-made chatbot.
Focus on providers, such as Quicktext, that are able to offer pre-trained hotel chatbots that are already calibrated to answer hotel guests’ queries. Hoteliers only need to populate these chatbots with their property information and their chatbot is ready to go.
Such chatbots are affordable, offer the best possible level of accuracy, and usually have existing connectivities with your booking engine, upsell and task management system, etc.
2. Employee Count on LinkedIn is a Good Proxy for Development Capabilities
It is simple math, if the company you are considering only has a handful of employees, it is extremely likely that they will focus their effort on the appearance (frontend) and compromise on the chatbot abilities & back-end. Such solutions won’t hold in the long run. So have a good look at the company you are considering and investigate the expertise they have, for example by checking their employees at LinkedIn.
2 chatbots can look the same on the outside but behave completely differently, as soon as you start asking real-life questions.
3. Have a Clear Vision of What you Want to Achieve with a Chatbot
In a demo call, you will receive a lot of information and every solution will look great. But you need to filter out what the solutions are that will best help you achieve your strategic goals: Answer customer questions instantly, increase direct bookings, save time for your team.
Ability to Increase Direct Reservations
Check essential reservation abilities: Is the chatbot able to handle multiple room bookings? What about groups, events, and flexible travel dates?
How does the chatbot integrate into your sales process: Online visitors that interact with your bot are highly qualified so you really want to make sure that in case a customer doesn’t book online your hotel sales team is able to follow up and close the deal. To verify your candidate chatbot ability to capture customer data & opt-in and pass them to staff efficiently.
Below you find an example of a booking request sent to staff by a hotel chatbot. With this summarized information hotel sales team can easily follow up on booking requests that weren’t converted automatically.
Handle Customers Questions & Requests Instantly
Look for short and precise answers instead of long all-encompassing texts. Customers expect clear answers and do not read long texts. Look for a chatbot able to deliver precise and accurate information instead of broad answers that won’t really be relevant to anyone.
Save Time for Your Team
Some providers will claim that their chatbot can handle customer requests but if the answer to “I want to book for a group”, “I want an upgrade” or “I need to cancel my reservation” is “Please email [email protected]” which is the kind of answer that will not really be helpful to your customers and generates extra work for your staff. Look for chatbots that are able to manage full processes seamlessly instead of the glorified FAQ.
How does the chatbot interact with your team when escalation is needed? Chatbots should help your team and not create additional pressure. How does the chatbot react if human service is necessary but there is no one to answer?
4. Data Management and scalability
How the chatbot handles data management and scalability is essential Below you can get inspired by questions you need to take into consideration when choosing the right chatbot for your company.
Data Management is Usually a Blind Spot for Hoteliers
How does the chatbot handle dynamic content, such as hotel availability and prices, upsell opportunities, etc? Is the chatbot connected to your booking engine and potentially other systems?
How does the chatbot handle static content? Static content is the information that doesn’t change every day such as check-in time, swimming pool, parking, spa, etc. How easy it is to manage these data in different languages with the chatbot you are considering?
Make Sure That Your Chatbot Has a Scalable Architecture
Is the chatbot you are considering able to answer via Live chat on your website, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat, Alexa, Google Assistant, etc?
For groups: How is the multi-property chatbot working? Do you have to select a specific hotel before you get an answer or is the bot able to find instantly all the hotels that have a swimming pool in Berlin? This is essential if you have several hotels in the same geographical area. Your chatbot needs to be able to guide customers to the hotel that best fits their needs.
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Every hotel chatbot is different and choosing the right partner is essential for the success of your project. Chatbots are in constant evolution. So, in addition to these objective criteria, you should definitely ask providers about their vision and development goals over the next 2 years to make sure there is a long term fit with the partner you are about to choose.