We often speak about “the chatbot” as an unvarying product, however, it is not.
NB: This is an article from ReviewPro
Chatbots come in many varieties, fitting different types of organizations and needs. When choosing the right hotel chatbot, it is important to think about how your operations are structured and the main goal for your chatbot to ensure you implement the correct one to benefit your business.
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and stay up to date
Many Types of Chatbot
There are many chatbots out there on the market, and they all work differently. The first distinction we require to make is between an AI-powered, a rule-based, or a hybrid chatbot combining both systems. Each has its benefits and drawbacks, but depending on your aims, one will suit you better than the other. Read more here on each type to decide which one fits best for you.
Apart from that, you can either find generic website chatbots or industry-specialized chatbots, like for hospitality. Hospitality-specific chatbots are trained to respond to specialized questions and offer services, like booking rooms and ordering room service, that are unique to the industry.
Not a One-size Fits All Product
No hotel looks the same or is run the same. A big international chain runs its operations differently from a small boutique hotel in the countryside, which also differs from a luxurious resort at the beach. Each hotel works according to its individual procedures and structures and has unique needs and priorities.
So, how can one chatbot with the same structure fit all these different organizations? It cannot. A chatbot should adapt to fit your business, not the other way around.
How to Select the Right Hotel Chatbot for your Business?
With a rapidly changing landscape in a diverse industry, an adaptable and flexible chatbot is a must. So, what should you ask yourself to ensure you are choosing the right hotel chatbot that fits the needs of your organization.
Is the hub structure made for an independent hotel, a group, or a call center?
Depending on how your hotel handles guest communication, a different structure of the messaging hub will be needed. The messaging hub is where all the messages are received and from where they can be assigned to different team members, depending on the query. If you have an independent hotel, it might make more sense to have one single hub with specific team members assigned to handle the queries. However, if you have a call center to handle all guest messages, you will need a centralized hub with the ability to forward queries to a specific hotel.
Do you want a chatbot 24/7 or maybe only partially?
By default, we think about a chatbot as a 24/7 all-year-round staff member, because its no-sleep and no-holidays schedule is a major benefit for many organizations. This way they can provide instant support day and night, every day of the year.
However, some hoteliers prefer to activate their chatbot at certain times or days of the week. Allowing staff to deal with queries within office hours, and the chatbot to deal with queries during evenings and weekends. This way hoteliers can ensure they offer 24/7 support to guests.
Or do you just want to use the AI and not the bot?
Of course, maybe you are not warm to the idea of a hotel chatbot, but you would like to use AI to assist your staff in responding better and faster. In that case, you could leverage something like ReviewPro’s Guest Experience Automation ™ AI-powered suggestions. These will detect what the guest is asking, and offer pre-filled answers for your staff, which they can edit if they see fit.
Can it be used on all the channels you should be active on?
Firstly, understand what channels your guests are most active. Depending on what markets you cater to, you would need to integrate with different channels. Make sure you can be present on the preferred channels of your guests. For the Chinese market, WeChat cannot be missed, while the US prefers SMS, and younger generations are more comfortable with Instagram, or Telegram.
Can you set up task rules to fit your current processes?
Guests will have requests which require quick actioning, like maintenance, room service, housekeeping, etc. A well-trained hospitality chatbot can deal with any of these requests. But are they in line with your brand standards? Make sure any automated task creation can be customized to fit in with your operational processes. A housekeeping request coming from a hotel chatbot should be dealt with in the same way as any other housekeeping request.
Does it integrate with my other systems?
As hoteliers continue to digitize their operations and processes, multiple platforms are used for different tasks. However, ensure that your hotel chatbot is flexible enough to integrate with any existing platforms you have already implemented, like booking engines, upsell platforms, case management, PMS, etc.
With the many changes our industry has gone through recently, closed borders, a global pandemic, limited staffing, etc., hoteliers have had to show a lot of flexibility. However, it is not just up to hoteliers to adapt, the technology they’re implementing needs to show the same adaptability. Remember to look for flexible and scalable providers when choosing the right hotel chatbot.