Hotel AI chatbot – selling services

Based on the interview with Elitza Stoilova, Umni

The Artificial Intelligence chatbot is a software solution that assists customers by answering their questions. The majority of the websites worldwide use conversational AI to ensure that all the users are assisted immediately. 

According to a survey conveyed by Google in 2019, up to 60% of customers thought that AI must be utilized in tourism. Artificial Intelligence chatbots implementation by hotels is expected to increase with 53% in 2022 (according to NYU Tisch Center of Hospitality and StayNTouch PMS). The AI chatbot’s biggest advantages are:

  • Fast and instant communication with the user, 24/7. 
  • Saves on costs related to customer service employees.  
  • The AI is learning from each conversation and gets better in service. 
  • Up to 75% of the frequently asked questions are answered instantly. 
  • Improving customer experience. 
  • Collects data for guests’ interests, needs and their online behavior. 

According to a research conducted by among 19,000 travelers from 26 countries, 50% of customers don’t mind if they deal with a real person or a computer for answering their questions. 80% of the customers shared that they prefer self-service in order to obtain the information they need. 

In the Autumn of 2020, Amadeus did a global research and according to the results, 84% of travelers responded that the usage of technology in all touch points of travel is the key to taking a decision on if, when, where and how they will travel. 

An AI chatbot could also sell hotel services. A good example for the case is the small 27-room hotel in the Bulgarian mountains, where the AI chatbot was implemented in the beginning of the year. Before starting to use AI chatbot, the hotel had an inefficient website, with no direct booking options. The hotel owner, who is also the manager, was taking care of all bookings and service inquiries by phone or in person. Foreign language assistance was a challenge, since not all members of the team speak English. The changes that were implemented were as follows:

  • Links in Facebook posts were created, and all of them were redirecting the user to the chatbot. 
  • A mini chatbot in Facebook Messenger was created. 
  • QR code stickers were used on the hotel doors and key chains. They were leading to the chatbot service and to the digital restaurant menu. 
  • Links to chatbot forms and information sections were shared with customers upon request. 

The results from the data that the AI gathered showed to the manager and employees that guests often look for information that they have never thought of providing. For instance – where is the closest ATM. The most used feature was the room reservation form that the renewed website offered. 

The Artificial Intelligence chatbot improves guests’ experience, comfort and the level of assistance for both local and international travelers. With a proper planning and implementation the AI can help to take care of content and thus, to result in more bookings that will lead to a bigger revenue. It can gather important information about clients’ behavior online, their needs and the different tendencies that rule the market at a particular moment of time. 

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