Digital assistants as front desk agents
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How do digital assistants benefit hotels?
We just have a few minutes to make a terrific first impression when guests arrive at our hotels. That being said, our front desk agents are usually always in charge of the majority of this obligation.
These hotel personnel set the tone for our visitors’ overall experience during their stay. While there is no such thing as a “perfect” front desk agent (let’s face it, we all have flaws and make mistakes), there are attributes that can be developed. Guest service representatives, like the rest of the team, should be willing to go above and beyond their job descriptions to ensure that your customers are satisfied.
Caring and Emphatetic
Guests may be exhausted from their travels when they arrive at the front desk to check in. It’s very possible they’re hungry. Guests may be frustrated and irritated as a result of traffic or airport delays. This is your chance to shine! As an overall experience component, understanding how that person is feeling and being empathic can bring comfort to guests. For instance: “I completely understand how you feel, Mr Smith. I apologize for the delay in your flight. I’m here to make sure you have a good time while you’re with us. Is there anything I can do right now to help you? Is it possible for me to offer you a complimentary beverage?”
This is where a digital assistant shines. It can understand the questions and recognize guests problems. After resolving those problems, there is a perfect opportunity to try and upsell a guest to increase his satisfaction and build your brand recognition and guest loyalty.
Ability to anticipate Guests’ Needs
Our representatives should be able to read visitors and anticipate their needs when they arrive at the hotel. For example, if a client has a newborn or toddler, the front desk agent should be able to provide extra amenities (such as a bottle warmer, milk being available 24 hours a day) to make the client’s stay more pleasant.
A digital assistant is capable of doing research on your guests and recognizing their needs. It is possible to learn about your guests before they arrive and then offer them services that are tailored for them, increasing their satisfaction and your revenue.
Engaging and Enthusiastic
Any hotel professional’s ability to communicate with visitors and have meaningful discussions is critical to their success. A skilled agent should be able to ask probing questions about how the hotel can provide customers with a memorable and personalized experience. A well-coordinated team member is capable of capturing great evaluations in addition to driving income.
That’s where digital assistants in the form of chatbots come in. Chatbots are computer programs that are designed to have intelligent conversations with humans and have grown commonplace in the hospitality sector. Because texting and messaging are rapid, private, and simple to use, they are becoming the simple and core entry point for the whole customer care ecosystem. Using AI, chatbots and other digital assistants can engage the guest in meaningful conversation allowing the hotel to gain information needed to improve their overall service.
Calm and Collected
All hotels can be incredibly crowded and demanding on occasion, especially during high seasons. Consider a front-desk employee who becomes irritable during these moments. It’s not good for the hotel, and it’s certainly not good for the guests. We need to cultivate an inner calmness in our team members so that they can remain cool and composed even when things get tough.
You can directly contribute to that inner calmness by passing a part of the guest facing workload to a digital assistant. That way you reduce the amount of stress that the front desk agents face, while receiving a calm, cool, collected assistant that carries out decisions driven by data, not by negative emotions.
Knowledgeable about the Local Area
Guests will most likely contact the front desk if they have queries regarding the area around your hotel. As a result, every member of the front desk staff should be able to answer these inquiries and provide recommendations, such as where to dine, where to shop, local hot spots, and what to do, among other things. Of course, we cannot expect every member of our staff to know every little thing that is happening in the hotel’s vicinity or the destination.
That’s why we use an AI-powered digital assistant that can access the internet and acquire information about events and happenings in the destination that might interest the guest. It can also recommend events to guests in a personalized fashion, deciding which guest could be interested in what.
Resourceful and Energetic
Anyone who works in the hospitality industry understands the importance of being prepared for the unexpected. Guests have the most bizarre requests or conditions. We need to teach our front-desk personnel to be incredibly inventive, to think on their feet, and to come up with innovative solutions to various problems, all the while dealing with the exhausting task of sitting behind a desk and entertaining one guest after another. You can help your personnel by having a digital assistant that can talk to guests and offer them smart yet fun solutions or activities that they can fill their time with.
Even simply automating the repetitive tasks can save your staff a lot of time and energy, allowing them to focus on the big picture.
A Fantastic Hotel Ambassador
Our service personnel will, once again, most likely be the first and final people our guests interact with. Therefore, these individuals may serve as the “face of your hotel” to the majority of visitors. As a result, whomever fills this position should be a fantastic spokesperson for the hotel, knowing what the hotel stands for and being able to effectively communicate this to guests. There should be no language barriers between the ambassador and the guests.
A chatbot can fill that role by being set up as a perfect brand ambassador fluent in many languages without a fault. By being available 24/7 and communicating with each guest privately, it is a great blend of a personalized service touch and brand engagement.
Abundance of information
We have mentioned time and time again how our front desk agents are the ones that the guest will have the most interaction with. The problem with human service personnel is, they tend to forget details about each guest. That happens because they don’t write them down, and even if they do, who says they will remember a guest and look his preferences up?
A digital assistant saves all the data that is extracted from the guest stay and their conversation. When that guest comes back to the hotel, the system reminds the staff of the recurring guest and his preferences, allowing the chatbot and service personnel to provide him with a tailored, personalized experience.
Working the front of house at a hotel is a tough job. Guest service agents are on their feet for most of an 8 hour shift and have to deal with demanding guests and repetitive tasks. Many times, how they react can make or break our hotel’s reputation. This is especially troubling because so much of their job is based on things that are simply out of their control. Such as; language the guest is speaking, time of day/night someone is trying to contact them, check in and check out problems.
Chatbots are poised to go far beyond booking and take care of the thousands of inquiries your guests might have on any given day. That leaves the front desk free to focus their attention on guests whose needs require a human agent.
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