Creating effective Chatbots for the Hospitality Industry

chatbots for the hospitality industry

Contents

Chatbots are becoming a massive trend in today’s business industry. A chatbot, in a nutshell, is an artificial intelligence platform that allow businesses of any size to stimulate the behaviour of humans in a conversational environment.

A report from Gartner showed that more than half of consumers prefer businesses that use chat apps that provide automated customer service and deliver interactive customer experiences.  

Today, more than 41% of customers expect some form of live chat on your website and roughly 50% of customers visit your website on their phone.  

So having a Chatbot can play a key role in improving customer service, automated self-service, accuracy, speed, and cost effectiveness.

What can a Chatbot do for cafes, restaurants, and customer service businesses?

Chatbots can create better customer experiences that drive loyalty, return visits and spending. A large part of a successful hospitality business is customer service and creating personal relationships with customers, and the great news is a Chatbot can add even more value to this. Utilising a Chatbot can better handle time-consuming tasks so that staff have more time to have those personal interactions with customers.  

Introducing a Chatbot also means that inquiries can be handled quicker and more efficiently. Statistics show that 79% of customers prefer real-time chat because they don’t need to wait on hold and look for their inquiry to be answered quickly.

Chatbots can handle all integrations with popular social media platforms and can sync with existing booking systems. This helps customers make bookings directly in your social media channel’s inbox, get online orders for take-away, delivery, events, and even take payment within the inbox.

38% of customers are more likely to buy from a company if they offer some form of live chat support. E-Marketer discovered that 63% of customers were more likely to return to a website that offers automated chat.

79% of customers prefer real-time chat because they don’t need to wait on hold and look for their inquiry to be answered quickly.

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Chatbots can also automate customer reviews as well as escalate any negative reviews. They also can collect and respond to community engagement, such as Instagram mentions. When your account gets mentioned on an Instagram story or tagged in a comment, we can determine whether the account follows your business, if they’re a loyal customer and how many times they’ve tagged the business. Another great benefit of this is that we can also view their follower amount, so if they happen to have a large following or be an influencer, we can create new partnerships with them and track influencer campaigns.

On average, customers visit 38 websites before making a reservation. They will do whatever it takes to get the best deal and make sure they are booking with a reputable source. Chatbots are made to present information and common requests to customers to ensure they have the best deal.

Another great thing a Chatbot can do for your business is creating digital loyalty programs to drive return visits, geo-location campaigns and award highly engaged customers. >link to mobile wallet

Chatbots can also run competitions that can generate over 1,000 new emails, SMS and Chatbot subscribers per month. Customers love unique and engaging offers and having your Chatbot run a competition is a great way to achieve this. You can read about how we helped 6ft6 collect over 4,000 emails using a Messenger Bot for their recent competition here.

How Chatbots can help save resources (and your sanity)

Chatbots create an always available presence. They can answer questions anytime, anywhere and on any device. They’re all about efficiency and creating a positive customer experience and first impression of your business.

Essentially, Chatbots are information hubs for your customers. People don’t like waiting around for a person to answer a simple question and get easily frustrated by this. AChatbot can help your business spread information faster than any staff member by identifying commonly asked questions and responding quickly without annoying the customer.

To make things even easier for your business and staff, a Chatbot can see thousands of inquiries at a time, which means you get satisfied customers and questions answered without wasting time.

Having a Chatbot to provide key points of information will save time and increase the time that your staff can focus on other areas of the business. That extra time will also help improve the growth of your business, and by having a Chatbot answering customer inquiries promptly, your sales will also increase. A Chatbot can also automatically identify any issues and escalate any issues to the relevant people ASAP.

You will also gain valuable insight and knowledge about your customer’s preferences, habits, problems, and desires to impact your overall marketing strategy. This will make it easier for you to provide your customers with what they want and the ability to create personalised offers. In turn, this will open the window for customer loyalty.

Most people have an online presence, and most hospitality venues have the option to book online. But, by having a Chatbot to give your customers that little bit more than just an online booking and to be able to help them with what they want will give you a competitive edge.

Common misconceptions about Chatbots

A common misconception around implementing Chatbots into businesses is that they replace humans. The Chatbots we build are never meant to completely replace humans. 

Our Chatbots are designed to work with your existing team without getting in the way. They keep customers happy without annoying them. Chatbots are also able to replicate the style and tone of voice that you have as a business, because Chatbots are fully customisable and can replicate how you would chat to your customers.

Chatbots also aren’t limited to just one channel or platform. It’s one unified inbox for all channels, so one Chatbot can be implemented everywhere.  

What Chatbot program is best for Cafés or restaurants in 2022?

We use a program called Manychat which has proven to be very successful with more than 2 million businesses across 190 countries.

Manychat allows you to create a Chatbot across multiple channels and manage all communications from the one inbox.

Messaging channels that Manychat can integrate with

Some of the key messaging and company statistics about Manychat include:

  • ManyChat customers see CTR rates 130% higher than the industry average
  • The average conversation length with a ManyChat powered Facebook Messenger chatbot is 10 minutes
  • At least one-third of recipients respond to a ManyChat SMS in under an hour
  • ManyChat delivers a 58% lift in recovering abandoned carts vs. industry average
  • ManyChat recovers an average of $154 per cart
  •  It takes ManyChat customers less than 48 hours to get their first subscriber

“1.45 billion people use Facebook Messenger and ManyChat powers 8.5 million active conversations per day on Facebook Messenger”

The cost of loss of business due to unanswered questions

A recent study from Bain & Company revealed that customers are 4 times more likely to do business with a competitor if the problem they are facing is service related, rather than price of product related.

95% of customers said they tell at least one person about a bad personal experience while 54% said they tell at least 1-5 people. This word-of-mouth advertising can really damage a business reputation.

According to Dimensional Research this also affects both B2C and B2B businesses. 62% of B2B and 52% of B2C customers stopped purchases after a bad customer service experience. Roughly 39% of customers who had a bad customer service experience said they generally avoided those businesses for up to 2years.

69% gave credit to their positive customer service experience to quick solutions of their problems or enquires. 72% blamed their bad customer service experience on having to explain their problem to multiple people.

The Customer Experience Impact Report for Oracle also reported that 50% of customers only give business’ a week to respond to their question before they stop doing business with them. 86% of customers would pay more for a better customer service experience and 89% of customers began giving business to a competitor after a bad customer service experience.

Conclusions

Having a Chatbot in your hospitality business can:

  • Increase customer communication and satisfaction
  • Provide your business with 24/7 assistance and communication gateway to customers
  • Will reduce workload for your staff
  • Help improve and boost your brand loyalty
  • Increase booking conversions and avoids abandonment
  • Improve overall customer service experience
  • Automates repetitive admin tasks which will allow  your staff to focus on improving customers experience

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