Lamington group hijiffy 2 success story: lamington group en

Lamington Group’s gradual rollout of conversational AI towards a 93% automation and 87% CSAT score

March – December 2023




direct bookings made in the website chatbot


CSAT score


in-stay campaigns open rate


This case study illustrates the success Lamington Group had rolling out HiJiffy’s solution across their four room2 hometels, as well as serviced apartments. The brand initially started with a hybrid model (partial automation) at one of their properties. With the team quickly gaining trust in the efficiency and accuracy of the conversational AI, they decided to switch to full automation and use the solution across all their properties.

Based on the metrics and reports available in HiJiffy’s Guest Communications Hub and the Lamington Group’s insights and team testimonials, this publication explores how the brand approached the implementation and team adoption of the technology and the successful results that followed.

Lamington group hijiffy case study 01 success story: lamington group en

The Client: Lamington Group

The Lamington Group is a family-owned business that manage a group of brands comprising room2, a collection of eco-friendly hometels – combining a home’s comforts and flexibility with a hotel’s security and services, Lamington Apartments, a portfolio of serviced apartments and Missionworks,  a coworking brand. The group’s commitment to environmentally sustainable practices is recognised as a B-cert corporation.

Lamington group hijiffy case study 02 success story: lamington group en

The Challenges​

The brand was looking for innovative ways to enhance the guest experience, as well as to streamline and reduce the team’s workload. One of the key objectives was to automate responding to the incoming everyday repetitive queries as they were taking a lot of time from the staff to perform important tasks that could bring more value to the guests.

Within hospitality, you can never remove the guest element, the human touch. That’s why we’re often afraid of AI in hospitality, but we should look at it as an extension of your team, supporting it in areas that are very repetitive. It can take on such tasks and leave the team to do what they do best – to enhance guest experience
– Alicia van Wyk (AvK), Marketing Project Manager at Lamington Group

The Lamington Group was looking for a hotel tech solution that would help them complete the following challenges:

  • Enhance guest experience
    Optimising communication channels beyond the website environment, as well as introducing an automated guide to their properties and services, in order to increase the reach as well as the ease of booking directly.
  • Automate guest communications
    Looking for reliable and smooth automation of guest communications, from answering pre-stay questions about amenities and services to driving more direct bookings and processing in-stay requests.
  • Optimise procedures
    Aiming to further improve the guest experience and reduce the workload for the team, the group looked to automate promoting the online check-in and check-out processes.


It also mattered for the brand to work with a solution that was specifically designed for hospitality and a company that understands the industry and is driven by innovation.

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The Implementation & Adoption

The Lamington Group decided to stagger the rollout of HiJiffy’s solution. First, they implemented it to enhance guest experience in the smallest property as it was unmanned. The solution was rolled out to other properties in the following six months. 

At first, the brand decided to adopt a hybrid model to address the usual initial resistance that teams can show when a new technology is introduced. Alicia Van Wyk, Marketing Project Manager at the Lamington Group, shared her reflections on the implementation and adoption process during the HOSPA event in December 2023:

There will always be a bit of fear of how any new technology can affect the guest experience. (…) We addressed that by including the team in setting up the Q&As of the chatbot, as they would usually respond to these types of questions. With that initial involvement from the team, they gradually develop confidence in the technology to support them rather than working against them. While implementing the hybrid model, the staff could also monitor the conversations being had, which led to the team becoming comfortable enough with the solution to go fully automated

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The Solutions​

The Lamington Group were looking at how the conversational AI can benefit each touchpoint with the guest, having a clear understanding of how the technology would support their strategy:

All Lamington Group properties are #1 on TripAdvisor in their respective areas. There are so many points in the guest journey that feed into guests leaving a positive review. AI can help establish and maintain a good reputation – right from the first time guests interact with the brand on social media or the website. That’s when the chatbot comes in to convert them into future guests. The chatbot also supports the operational team pre-stay and during the stay with general FAQs. This is greatly supported by a member of staff who can intervene when needed, especially when conversations don’t go as expected or when an action-based task is required
– AvK

Here’s a recap of the key applications of HiJiffy’s conversational AI across the entire guest journey at the Lamington Group properties:

  • Answering FAQs
    • HiJiffy’s conversational AI, specialised in over 200 hospitality-specific topics, instantly replies to incoming queries 24/7 across various channels managed by the brand: web chat, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger.
  • Converting direct bookings
    • Conversational AI converts bookings on the website and guides through the booking process thanks to seamless integration with the booking engine.
  • Online check-in campaigns on WhatsApp
    • An automated WhatsApp message to incoming guests on the day of their arrival, with a link to the online check-in form, encourages completing the process before arrival and makes the check-in process faster. It also opens up a new channel for guests to reach out.
  • Increasing revenue from cross-selling
    • During the stay, the brand sends WhatsApp campaigns promoting services such as early bird discount at the property’s bar
  • Boosting loyalty programme subscriptions
    • Automatic messages to the upcoming guests promoting subscription to the brand’s loyalty programme “room2 family”
  • Sending check-out campaigns
    • An automated reminder about the check-out time and instructions for making the process as smooth as possible.
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The Results​

This summary of the key achievements related to using HiJiffy’s Guest Communications Hub is directly related to the challenges indicated in the earlier section. The results are based on HiJiffy’s data (visible to the client in the dashboards and reports section of the platform), as well as the Lamington Group’s own data insights and observations they contributed to this case study.

Over 93% automation rate of conversations

In the initial months of rolling out the solution, 9.3% of direct bookings on the website were facilitated by conversational AI in the webchat.

The majority of guests (including those that discovered your property via OTAs) do their due diligence and do some research on your hotel’s website. That’s where you can really convert the guests, and that’s where the chatbot comes in to turn those conversations into bookings– AvW

Efficient WhatsApp campaigns with 87% open rate

Although still in the early phase of using HiJiffy’s solution, the Lamington Group noticed a positive impact of the automated WhatsApp campaigns on the number of online check-ins and loyalty programme sign-ups

Using WhatsApp to send campaigns to the guests was aligned with the Lamington Group’s wider strategy of establishing that channel as a primary one during the stay:

We very quickly realised that not many phones in our rooms were being used so we removed them, but we needed to provide another channel for guests to reach out to us easily. On average, a guest carries about two to three devices with them anyway, so why not give them a channel on their own devices. On WhatsApp they can contact us at the touch of a button– AvW

Relieving the team from repetitive tasks while achieving an 87% CSAT score

Having fed the AI the specific information about the services and amenities at the Lamington Group properties, the team switched from a hybrid to a fully automated solution model. This saved time and reduced the workload of answering FAQs while achieving and maintaining a high satisfaction score amongst the guests.


Alicia van wyk 1 success story: lamington group en

“We had a great implementation process. We’re still relatively new to the solution and perfecting the journey, learning as we go. We monitor the conversations as the chatbot only knows as much as we feed it correct answers to FAQs. It was an important process that contributed to the high CSAT score and also getting the team on board with the automated solution. Besides seeing the results, the process of gaining trust and confidence is all about learning the wider benefits of AI to support the guest journey.”

Alicia van Wyk, Marketing Project Manager at Lamington Group

Lamington group will calter success story: lamington group en

“The tool has certainly depreciated the number of messages the teams would receive on a daily basis, as AI has made it easier for my teams to re-focus their efforts on shift; as the chatbot/AI does the work for them, it has additionally driven revenue for us that has been no extra work. There definitely are a few teething issues to still iron out, with notifications, marketing messages opt-out and the need to be able to speak with guests over the phone – guest feedback is that it isn’t always clear or easy to get hold of the team, once shown they understand. Overall, we are embracing this change and looking to the future.”

Will Calter, Cluster General Manager at Lamington Group

Ana 2023 1 success story: lamington group en

I’ve been working with room2 hometels and Lamington Apartments for over a year. The metrics speak for themselves, and personally, one of my favourite things about their in-stay campaigns is how they are built – short and very informative, following the hotel’s style and tone of voice. I’ve been working closely with Alicia to ensure that the group is taking the best out of our solution. The online check-in campaign allows for a smoother process and is well aligned with our pre-stay solution that encourages future guests to make direct reservations with the hotels, generating direct revenue. I’m excited to keep working closely with this brand and how future developments influence their already fantastic results.” 

Ana Correia, Senior Customer Success Executive at HiJiffy

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