As the pandemic continues and we are all pushed towards digital adoption in all areas of our lives, many hoteliers are now considering chatbot technology. However, a chatbot doesn't have to be the end point of your digital transformation, it is really just the tip of the iceberg.
Is it even the right time for digital transformation?
In times of crisis, we tend to turn to technology to increase efficiency and reduce costs. Previous crises have accelerated digital transformation and the current corona pandemic is no different. Digital transformation means replacing existing practices with more advanced digital technology to become more efficient. It can involve a lot of technologies, but currently artificial intelligence and big data are driving much of the transformation.
It has been shown that companies that adopt quickly and decisively in times of crisis to new paradigms, later reap the rewards. Now is not the time to play it safe, on the contrary: now is the time to reassess your stack of digital technologies. Once we reach the post-pandemic era, newly implemented technologies will become the new normal. Taking a digital first leap will give your property a leg up on your competition when the going gets going.
What technologies should I consider?
Let the chatbots be the cat
Artificial intelligence has been named as the most promising technology in recent years. It's clear we'll see a rapid increase in the use of AI across all kinds of platforms, with messaging being no exception. AI-based chatbots are a great tool for streamlining guest communications, whether before, during or after their stay.
During the pandemic, we have acquired new digital habits, most of which include our mobile phones, like scanning QR codes for restaurant menus, video calling, not to mention a huge global use of messaging. The post-pandemic guest will expect to be able to request services or ask questions through their regular messaging channels instead of having to queue at reception.
Automate and Streamline Workflows
A chatbot is an excellent way to start the digitalization of your customer communication. However, it is important that the processes that follow or precede the conversation are also digitized and streamlined. When a guest request arrives through your messaging platform, the right automated processes need to be in place, so that the requests arrive in the right hands immediately and the next steps are clearly understood.
Don't wait, automate
Consider automating your reactive (inbound) but also proactive (outbound) communication. Send key information before your arrival, so your guest can prepare with the right expectations and you can be well prepared for your guest. By proactively reaching out to your guests at key stages of their journey, you can spot any need before it becomes a problem and facilitate essential information.
Collect, analyze and learn from customer data
In this changing landscape, it can be difficult to identify customer needs, which is where Customer Analytics can help. To understand your new type of guest, analyze guest data by collecting information through messaging interactions and guest requests. Gather all of your interactions and stay in one profile to better understand who your guests are and create smart guest lists for more effective and segmented communication.
Learn about your customers' needs and preferences by analyzing your incoming guest requests: what services or information do they request the most, through which messaging channels, etc. Guest request data can also help you improve and streamline your operations by reviewing which issues are reported most often, what are the root causes, are all issues resolved, how quickly are they resolved, etc. . Tracking customer data will allow you to adapt and improve your strategies as the situation continues to evolve.
When deciding to introduce a chatbot to your organization, keep in mind that for a successful digital communications strategy, you need a lot more. They are a great place to start, but the rest of your operations should also be optimized and streamlined with the right technologies so that you are well prepared for what comes after the pandemic.
This curious query raised many more. Namely, ' What have you done to your pants that necessitates the application of boiling water ? ', ' Are you too dense to realise that putting your knickers in the sink and then pouring on the boiling water is far more logical ? ' and ' Have I drunk tea from a kettle that was used to clean somebody’s Y-fronts ? '
Medical experts even weighed in. Dr Heather Hendrickson, a Senior Lecturer in Molecular Biosciences at Massey University in Auckland, said : ' It is super super super super gross. ' That’s actually the scientific term. She added : ' Your friend is unlikely to have a grande number of highly heat resistant pathogens in his dirty undergarments but we do not know what he does have in there or how sick he might be. ' Oh, there’s definitely something not right.
While Telegraph Travel cannot conceive an occasion when stuffing your briefs inside a kettle will pay off, there are many other devious, less disgusting ways to take advantage of the items found in most hotel rooms.
Better than boiled underwear is a boiled egg. And a kettle could do the emploi if you’d rather not fork out £15 for an overpriced breakfast ( we’ve even heard of people using them to cook pasta ).
The cheese toastie on the room service menu costs £10. But a loaf of bread and a wedge of cheddar from the local supermarket only costs a few quid. Turn it into melted goodness using your handy in-room iron
They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch ? Not if you nab an extra bread roll, a little bocal of jam and a strawberry yoghurt from the breakfast buffer. Wrap it all up in a shower cap and you’ve saved yourself a tenner.
The British aren’t great when it comes to complaining ( Mrs Richards from Fawlty Towers being the notable exception ), but if you aren’t happy with your room, you’re entitled to say so - and to see the alternatives. Hotels, especially older ones, come in all shapes and sizes, so you might be given a better boudoir. If the hotel isn’t full you might even be get upgraded.
There’s nothing worse than curtains that don’t close properly - they guarantee an unwanted early wake-up call at the crack of dawn. So use a clothes hanger with clips to pin them together.
No in-room speakers ? Put your phone in a mug or glass to dramatically improve the sound quality of your tunes.
Isn’t it incredibly annoying when you want to shave/admire your pretty face after a hot shower but have to wait a good 10 minutes for the mirror to de-mist ? Yes. Yes, it is. Well, free yourself from the shackles of mirror fog. Before you shower ( maybe the night before ) liberally rub a portion of the mirror with a bar of soap. Then take a dry washcloth and buff the soap off. This will keep the mist from condensing on the mirror. And one soaping will last a few days.
Forgotten the plug adapter for your charger ? You could ask to borrow one from reception. Or be really self-sufficient and use a USB port in the back of the TV to charge your device.
Staying in an inner city hotel and wary about someone breaking into your room ? Hang your Do Not Disturb sign on the door and give the impression that you’re still inside having a snooze.
' Consider the unmanned housekeeper’s trolley a smash and grab situation. Pack your bags full of almond butter hand cream and guava face soap with espresso crisps. Take three of everything and get the hell out of the hallway. Even if you do get caught, just say you were out of shampoo, or, even better, out of toilet paper, and thought you’d save them the dysfonctionnement by grabbing it for yourself. Think of it this way : these amenities are here for you, they are yours. We are in no place to dispute the claim that when you wash your hair you prefer to dump fifteen bottles of lavender and poppy seed shampoo all over your scalp like some gooey shower freak. '
And, if the room doesn’t come with conditioner, or you’ve forgotten your phone charger, just ask at the front desk. Hair products, deodorant and phone chargers are apparently the items most often left behind by guests, so the hotel might have a box of each - but ask nicely.