"You have to adapt yourself to the customer. Customers aren't going to adapt to your user experience."
When it comes to the chatbot debate, we're reminded of that sage advice, given by Hyatt's Sanchit Rege at the 2017 Direct Booking Summit. While many of the world's hotels are just beginning to dip their toe into the world of live chat and chatbots, consumers worldwide are getting used to the whole of their online activity being centred around messaging. For many people, having the option to message a business or service is the expected norm.
So whether it's a live chat, a chatbot or a mix of both, some form of messaging functionality is becoming essential to the hotelier's arsenal. If 2017 was the year messaging became desirable, 2018 is the year in which it may become pretty much necessary.
So, how do you implement it? Do you go with a FAQ bot on your website? A reservation agent live chat on your booking engine? Or how about an in-stay 'chatbot concierge'?
Chief Tease Charlie Osmond recently sat down with Bespoke Inc's Akemi Tsunagawa to find out why hotels in Japan and beyond can't get enough of the bot that "acts like a friend to show guests around!" Having experienced first-hand the difference made to a hotel stay by personal recommendations and a friendly face, Akemi set out to reproduce that experience in an easy-to-use bot. Particularly successful in hotels where there is a language barrier between guests and staff, 'Bebot' provides everything from directions to dinner recommendations. Check out Charlie's full interview with Akemi below, or pop those earbuds in and listen to the audio here.
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