Live Chat for Hotels
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Live Chat for Hotels: FAQs
What is a live chat for hotels?
Live chats are used in the hotel industry to extend the services offered into the online presence, often being the first point of contact with customers in the pre-booking stage. The Oracle report from 2022 found that 65% pf travellers prefer hotels that implement technological solutions to reduce reliance on interactions with staff. Such conversational AI tools create an opportunity to engage with prospective guests early on in the guest journey and immediately provide them with the necessary information to nurture their interest in staying at the hotel. Online hotel chat is a convenient way for potential guests to have their FAQs answered, particularly during the pre-booking stay and after the booking, opening up possibilities for upselling. Taking advantage of further personalisation of this communication tool can give hoteliers an edge in the competitive market.
How does a hotel live chat work on websites?
Hotel websites are often at the top of the acquisition funnel for hotels. Guests browse the website to get to know the hotel’s offerings, facilities and services. Whenever website visitors have questions that can influence their decision about the booking, they can start the conversation by clicking the live chat widget in the browser. It can be set to be active 24/7, eliminating the risk of losing leads due to staff unavailability to answer queries immediately. The technology behind the live chat enables it to find and provide the information requested by the customer and suggest other relevant details that can be of interest. In other words, FAQs can be processed and answered by AI specialised in hospitality, providing excellent customer service.
As the chatbot proactively collects information about the customer, the chance of capturing a lead increases. If the chatbot cannot resolve the customer query, it can be programmed to pass on the conversation to a human staff member seamlessly. Across the usage by all its clients to date, HiJiffy’s Booking Assistant reached an average task automation rate exceeding 80%, significantly reducing the workload for the hotel staff.
Key advantages of using this live chat solution include:
- Speed and accuracy – Guests have high expectations regarding response times to text messages. Your hotel’s guest messaging software should respond to visitors quickly and efficiently, moving them along the sales funnel.
- Reduced strain on human resources – The right type of conversational tool helps to reduce the gap between the existing and required pool of employees.
- Upselling opportunities – Guests can be provided with various available upgrades at the right time in their customer journey. Using AI-powered solutions helps identify such moments and increase the hotel’s revenue.
What are the key features of a hotel live chat?
Live chat tools have a range of features that can improve customer experience and help resolve issues you may be addressing internally. Here are some of the things you should consider when choosing a chatbot for your hotel:
- Pre-existing training in the hospitality industry
Virtual tools work based on the experiences they accumulate. The number of interactions needed to feed your hotel chatbot to function effectively is crucial. A credible Artificial Intelligence technology provider should demonstrate that it addresses at least 80% to 90% of your use case during your initial meeting and provides information about available customisations. As part of HiJiffy’s onboarding process, a dedicated Customer Success team will help you develop a comprehensive set of answers to Frequently Asked Questions based on the industry insights adjusted to your business.
- Focus on solving existing issues
AI-powered technologies for hotels are a novel way of addressing existing challenges such as increasing the number of direct bookings, client involvement, and upselling. You should have a clear picture of how the hotel chatbot you are considering will assist you in handling current pressing issues from the first encounter with the technology provider.
If you want to improve direct bookings, seek a chatbot that can give you more control over your sales process. You have to ensure it can be integrated with your booking engine and capable of gathering your customers’ contact information when seeking a room.
- Removing language barriers
Since your guests come from all over the world, managing communication in as many languages as possible is crucial. Avoid any bot that asks you to write every response. You will quickly discover that keeping your information current is difficult. Look for chatbots that can process your raw data and generate their own words. When you update a data point in this way, the changes are quickly transferred via all languages. HiJiffy’s products employ powerful AI technology that auto-translates chatbot communication to over 100 languages and offers seamless translation tools for human agents.
- Open up more communication channels for customers
Chatbots help you scale one-on-one customer interactions. Therefore, you should use them as often as possible. The majority of virtual assistants concentrate on Facebook because it is simple and inexpensive to set up, and you can include the Facebook chat widget on your website.
However, you should look for a solution that easily integrates with as many communications channels as possible. HiJiffy’s Booking Assistant streamlines messages across social media and instant messaging platforms such as Instagram, Facebook Messenger, GoogleMyBusiness, Line, WeChat, and Telegram. The Virtual Concierge expands to WhatsApp, SMS, and email, making you as easily reachable for the customers as possible.
- Easy and powerful backend for hotel staff
Chatbots communicate with your employees continuously, passing along consumer information, inquiries, and requests for human assistance. The capacity of your hotel chatbot to communicate effectively with your team is critical. Your bot’s notification center is an essential Artificial Intelligence component, streamlining communication and signposting actions to be taken by your staff when necessary.
Advanced chatbots can communicate with your front desk and other departments in many ways, always prioritising clarity of information and action points, reducing the number of administrative tasks for your staff. HiJiffy’s Console provides a clear overview of the status of all inquiries for the agents to monitor, as well as a range of insights and reports highlighting areas of possible improvement and any issues to be addressed.
Is it challenging to implement a live chat for a hotel?
Although embracing new technology at your hotel may seem like a big undertaking, setting up a chatbot is a smooth process. Thanks to an ever-growing number of integrations, HiJiffy can take up to as little as three days or less to complete setting up a new client with a Booking Assistant, including onboarding your team and helping with initial personalisation. Look for a service provider with a wide range of available integrations with popular Booking Engines, PMS, CRM, and other tools used in the hospitality industry.
Can online hotel chat be automated on other channels beyond the website?
Yes. Live chat on hotel websites should not be the only way your guests can have their queries answered instantly. Guests are likely to use different social media and messaging apps across different stages of their journey and you should look for a hotel chat solution with AI-powered automation capacity that can be implemented across all channels.
For example, travellers may discover a hotel through its Instagram or Facebook profile. As they browse through the photos of hotel rooms and other amenities, they may wonder about some specific details and send a message through Instagram direct message or Facebook Messenger. If they receive an answer quickly, they are likely to not only further their interest in the hotel but also be impressed with the level of customer care provided even in the pre-booking stage.
As another example, leading up to their arrival at the hotel, guests may prefer to receive communications from the hotel not via social media or in their email inboxes overwhelmed with various promotional emails but through instant messaging channels, they use every day, like WhatsApp or SMS. HiJiffy’s Virtual Concierge automates these channels for the best responsiveness and increased chances for successful upselling.
Look for a live chat hotel solution that covers the most popular social media and messaging apps, such as Instagram, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat, Line, Telegram, or Google My Business. Ideally, the solution would also have a unified inbox, like HiJiffy’s Console, that streamlines all communications saving work and time for hotel staff to monitor incoming messages.
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