Hotels have to serve a high number of different customers and needs in a multicultural and multilingual environment. From backpackers to families, from seniors to business executives, and of course, guests with special needs. Each of those types of guests has a different way to interact with hotels, before, during and after their stay. Traditionally, a phone call to the front desk or an email would be the natural way to contact the hotel, but things are evolving. While these remain strong communication channels, the use of messaging apps to communicate with businesses is growing rapidly, and guests in a multitude of timezones expect almost instantaneous responses 24/7.

While email remains a strong communication channel, the use of messaging apps to communicate with businesses is growing rapidly
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Hotels struggle to keep up with the complexity and responsiveness to their guests. Being able to answer all inquiries promptly translates into hiring and training qualified and multilingual agents, working on 24/7 shifts. This is simply not viable for economic reasons, which in turn contributes to the fact that travel brands have the least loyal relationships with consumers when compared to other industries, even knowing that loyal guests bring recurring revenue, positive reviews, and recommendations.

The new way of contacting businesses

As the world grows more mobile-first, people’s expectations of businesses are evolving. When using messaging apps, the majority of people expects a faster response than if they had used a more traditional mode of communication, becoming frustrated if an answer takes more time than expected. Since Messaging Apps are now more used than Social Media, many people believe in business messaging and its future: more than 1 in 2 people consider business messaging the “modern way to communicate” (Data: Global P2B Communication Methods & Preferences” by FactWorks, Feb 2018).

Messaging is becoming the new language of the globe

Some people still use traditional channels to contact hotels, but a great majority is now using messaging apps: channels vary from Email to Phone, from a Website Chat Widget to Facebook, from WhatsApp to Line and even WeChat Chatbot, Telegram, not to mention the messages that come from Online Travel Agencies such as Booking.com and Expedia. Each platform has its own interface and there is no data available to identify how the staff is performing. At the end of the day, there is no way to know if all queries are being replied to.

How can hotels react to the shift in consumers’ behavior?

According to Expedia, on average consumers visit 38 sites before booking a trip, and those numbers can be even bigger in cases of families with small kids or disabled people with special needs. Having a timely response makes the process of booking much faster and appealing and is essential to ensure that the reservation is actually made.

Hotels need to make sure the website is complete and has all relevant information easily accessible so that guests find them quickly and easily. However, not everyone will still find answers to their doubts and providing a chat widget on the website is crucial to provide an easy way for people to contact the hotel, reducing the number of channels that guests can then use to contact the hotel. This will not solve 100% of the problem: many people will continue to make phone calls, email the hotel and use messaging apps, so hotels also need a platform that centralizes all channels.

The solution offered by HiJiffy

HiJiffy built a game-changing all-in-one communication platform for hotels, where the main product is a chat widget installed on the hotel’s website that replies automatically to more than 60% of the queries and helps guests in the booking process. The platform also centralizes, automates and measures all customer care activities, and the way it works for guests is natural as they can contact through any channel, receive an instant response and book a hotel.

Two of the most common channels where HiJiffy’s chatbot is installed

The solution has two main functionalities, a chatbot installed in all messaging channels and a platform to centralize and measure all channels, that we call the console, where is possible to reply guests, customize the solution and access reporting.

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HiJiffy’s Chatbot — How it works

The chatbot is designed with a decision tree that guides visitors through the most common questions and concerns. Our artificial intelligence-powered chatbot understands thousands of different questions across 70+ hospitality-related topics and learns from agents’ answers to guests, so that the next time someone asks the same question, the chatbot will instantly reply to guests. When the chatbot does not have an answer to give with a high level of accuracy, it simply transfers the conversation to a hotel agent, which ensures a quality customer care experience.

The inbox is the central part of HiJiffy’s console

Since it’s a solution specific for the hospitality industry, it features chatbot templates for hotels and one-click integration with all messaging apps and integration with almost any booking engine that helps guide guests through the booking process. As the chatbot follows the visitors’ booking journey, it is equipped with an automatic notification system via chat in which 1h after the interaction asks if the user still needs help with the booking and 24h later collects the satisfaction score of the conversation.

HiJiffy’s console — Your new customer care home

At HiJiffy we have created a unified inbox platform that can be used by multiple teams and agents to accommodate all the main channels of the hospitality industry: your website’s chat history, your email accounts, messaging apps, and OTAs messages (such as messages from Booking.com guests). More will be added in the future, such as your phone calls and reviews from your guests.

Edit FAQs to more than 70 different topics and provide a real-time response to your guests

HiJiffy customer success team does all the initial setup, but a simple and intuitive interface allows the hotels to edit and add answers to the FAQs, create new widgets for different websites, add or remove channels, create new users and define rules for accessing different conversations, so that for example the conversations are only accessible by the right hotel agents.

By centralizing and automating all customer care efforts, our solution gathers powerful data, from the most common complains to guests profiling, but also response times and overall satisfaction of the guests. With powerful reports delivered right in the console, HiJiffy helps hotels be more efficient in customer care and improve their services.

Hundreds of hotels are already benefitting from HiJiffy

HiJiffy is serving over 300 hotels, from leisure resorts to business hotels, from large chains to independent hotels, that have adopted our technology on a daily basis. These companies used HiJiffy to respond to and engage with over 500,000 unique guests with an automation rate of over 70% and helped more than 5,000 bookings taking place. These hotels are now able to serve their guests better, faster and at a reasonable cost.

Some companies already using HiJiffy to improve their customer care activities