Hi, welcome to another Demo Time discussion.

Today we explore why hotel guests ask so many questions, the gold standards of hotel guest communications and the challenges hoteliers face in that area.

Joining us for this conversation is Shaun Sequeira from HiJiffy, one of our Expert Partners. Shaun is the Country Lead for HiJiffy in the UK & Ireland

As well as discussing the challenges hoteliers face with guest communications Shaun will also give us a quick demo of how HiJiffy’s AI works in practice and how straightforward the set up is thanks to recent developments.

Really hope you enjoy the conversation

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A lot of marketers in hospitality are very heavily focused on what does that guest journey look like? How do they build their website in, let’s say, three stay phase – so before a customer has booked? What type of leads are they targeting? So what demographic of customer? And more importantly, when navigating through the website, does the customer get the core information that they’re looking for?

If you offer for example, afternoon tea, and I’m on your dining section, can I see that as the first sort of introduction to the dining page, or is it something that I already need to start questioning and asking the options, the pricing, and so on? So a lot of that, it’s all about the empathy if you think about it, and more importantly, how would a customer navigate through a website? Are they adhering to their right demographic and customer’s needs, and more importantly, do they provide the necessary answers around any potential questions if you’d like that might come through.

During this lead stage, if you’d like when the customer has all these questions and is preparing for their travel, there is different sorts of special requests that do come through, and different forms of communication that need to adhere to in different tiers. I like to group them into three tiers, where it would be a tier one is your mundane requests, that’s the standard stuff that you can find on the website.  Tier Two is the opportunity for a guest to potentially need an agent, but it’s a next level request on from the mundane request and a tier three is like okay, we definitely need to be speaking to an agent at this point. And that will fulfil the guest, ultimately.

It is hospitality, so when it comes down to conversational AI, we’re not looking at removing the human element at all, but more importantly, enhancing the customer experience when necessary, so that guests can be speaking to an agent at the hotel level at any point as well. Again, doesn’t matter the segment that you are in, it is hospitality at the end of the day, it’s a people business, so guests do expect that, you know, the team is there ready to support them if they have any questions. And then consistency across all the channels, so it’s linking back again, to the accuracy and clarity.

How accurate are each of the platforms that you work with, but it shouldn’t matter to me whether I log in on a social channel, or whether I log in on your website. If I’m on Instagram, because a friend of mine stayed at the hotel, and I’m keen to book this hotel because they stay there as well, and I have a few questions, I’m on Instagram, why can’t I get the same answers?

I think the biggest one and I would like to just add on to what you said, so we typically refer to it as a dropout. So anyone that’s made the effort to go to the website, we have to firstly consider how much effort the hotel has put to get the guests on that website, there’s an enormous amount of effort that goes into SEO, just to get your listing or website, ranked high on Google, then are you paying for metasearch, competing with the OTAs, with other platforms that are listing your price, for example, to make sure that you drive the traffic direct?

Once the guest is reached there, now you’ve started your guest experience. It’s as though I’ve walked into your hotel and I’ve already got my first impressions of the hotel, what does it smell like feel like and so on. A lot of guests are now experiencing that on websites. If the website is clunky, if the website doesn’t provide the right experience, compared to your guests stay and your hotel experience, then naturally, yes, you will lose the customer.

But when it comes down to conversations, requests and so on, the loss of that customer can be massive, it can really be drastic when you look at okay, how long does it take a customer to get an answer? And if they drop out to an OTA site, it doesn’t mean that they will naturally book the same hotel that they visited. You need to be able to deliver any frequently asked question at the time and appreciate the level of effort that your guests have gone through to come across different listings, your website and so on, and that’s your opportunity for revenue to convert them as simple as possible.

WATCH NEXT (A few of our other videos)




00:58 Guest Introduction
01:39 Why do hotel guests ask so many questions
09:48 Critical factors to achieve gold standard of guest communication
13:50 What are the common obstacles to achieving gold standard
19:20 What are the implications of poor guest communication
24:38 How does technology and AI help with guest communication
31:31 HiJiffy Demo – Pre-booking phase
33:56 HiJiffy Demo – In-stay phase
38:03 HiJiffy Demo – AI Knowledge Scanner
46:58 How do you safeguard against spurious random requests
50:10 Onboarding – how easy, what is the process?
54:38 Final thoughts
56:05 Other videos and subscribe