Revolutionizing Your Hotel’s Revenue – Skyrocket Direct Bookings With AI Chatbots

Kshitij Chaudhary
2 min read
April 17, 2024

If we ask any hotelier today whether they enjoy working with online travel agencies (OTAs), they will tell you that it’s a necessary evil. The OTAs charge a hefty commission but in return do provide the necessary visibility to fill the rooms and increase occupancy.

In order to maximise profitability, hoteliers need to create fine balance between direct bookings and OTA Bookings. Regular investment in Instagram, Google SEO and Whatsapp CRM can help them increase the direct revenue share and become sustainable. In this article we will explore how combining these direct investments with AI chatbots could change the direct hotel bookings game for hoteliers.

Artificial intelligence based Chatbots is a technological advancement that can reshape the way hotels interact with guests and manage bookings. Long gone are the traditional methods of phone calls and manual bookings. In their place, AI chatbots offer a seamless, efficient, and highly personalized guest experience. This blog will guide you through the remarkable journey of AI chatbots, highlighting their diverse applications across various channels and how they can help hotels skyrocket direct bookings!

Traditional Booking Methods

Before the digital era, most hotel bookings were made through travel agencies. Personal interaction and agency expertise were vital. Customers also booked hotels via direct contact with the hotel owners through calls or in-person. At that time, information was limited, and people made choices based on hotel brochures and word-of-mouth.

Then, with the emergence of the internet, online travel agencies (OTAs) came into the picture, and people started booking online through these websites. Hotels also began to develop their websites with limited functionality.

During the 2000s to the 2010s, hotel websites became more sophisticated, offering online booking options, hotel videos, and customer reviews. With the mobile revolution came the development of booking apps that allow you to book hotels with a single click.

And now with the advent of AI, hotelier are going to see AI chatbots helping them with increased direct bookings. This is because AI has become advanced enough to interact with guests, find them the best rooms based on their preferences and even negotiate the price with them. Hoteliers can now plug in AI chatbots on Whatsapp, Instagram, Email and even Google My Business to interact with guests and automatically convert queries into bookings.

The Rise of AI and Chatbots in Revolutionizing Direct Booking Strategies

AI is no longer a futuristic concept, it is here and those who embrace it will find huge operational efficiencies in their business. Others might find it hard to compete with such efficient businesses. Its importance is even more profound in the hospitality sector, where an AI chatbot can reframe the guest’s experience and redefine hotel operations in multiple ways.

Just imagine AI Chatbots that truly understand guests' needs and preferences and give personal recommendations based on that. From giving guests the best dining experience to enjoying nightlife, AI hotel chatbots can provide everything!

Hoteliers need to welcome AI with open arms because it can handle the complex queries of guests that are beyond human abilities. This smart approach is turning the tables in the entire spectrum of hospitality, thereby delivering incredible guest experiences and increasing direct hotel bookings.

Hotel AI Chatbots: A Game-Changer for Direct Bookings:

The hospitality industry is rapidly embracing the digital era, and believe it or not, AI chatbots are the frontrunners. These virtual assistants are revolutionizing the way hoteliers interact with their guests, especially in managing direct bookings. Here's how AI chatbots have become change catalysts.

1. 24*7 Availability V/S Human Limitations - Round-the-clock availability is one of the most significant advantages of AI chatbots. They operate 24/7, unlike human services. This constant availability is advantageous for taking bookings from international guests in different time zones. When potential guests from other corners of the world send a query or want to make a booking in your hotel during their available hours (these hours may be outside regular business working hours), the chatbot is here to assist the guests further. AI chatbots work tirelessly, addressing guest inquiries at lightning speed that humans are unable to match. They offer round-the-clock support and a level of convenience that was unimaginable a few years ago.

2. Optimized follow-ups for improved conversion rate - The journey of a guest from initial inquiry to direct hotel booking is a cumbersome process that often involves second thoughts and distractions. But, you know what? AI chatbots excel in this area through automated follow-ups. Follow-ups are not just a mere formality but act as a bridge that fills the gap between the prospect and the end sales.

AI Chatbots specialize in sending timely reminders and other important information to keep the guests engaged and motivate them to complete their booking. This continuous guest engagement with the AI Chatbots significantly increases the conversion rates.

3. Multilingual capabilities beyond imagination - The AI chatbot has multilingual capabilities. This means that the AI hotel chatbot can easily communicate with any person in any language in real-time, making it a valuable asset for hotels to cater to a global audience.

The multilingual ability of the AI chatbot not only enhances the guest experience but also extends the hotel’s reach beyond the set capacities.

4. Personalized Recommendations for enhanced satisfaction - To stand out in the market, personalization is the key!

Personalization promises a deeper connection with guests that can result in greater customer satisfaction, improved loyalty, and increased direct bookings in hotels. Understand it as a new frontier to stay competitive in the sales landscape. AI chatbots are proficient at using guests' data to serve personalized offers and discounts on their plate.

By analysing users' behaviour and past preferences, hotel chatbots can give tailor-made suggestions and top-notch deals that are more likely to make guests happy.

This level of personalization results in increased direct hotel bookings & enhanced guest satisfaction.

Read Also - AI Chatbot Checklist – What Hoteliers need to keep in mind for optimal selection?

Channel-Specific Strategies for Maximizing Direct Bookings Through AI Chatbots

AI Chatbots are not just a part of technology upgrades; they have become strategic assets for hoteliers to achieve a sudden boost in direct hotel bookings. Now, let's explore some of the ways in which these AI hotel Chatbots can be utilized across various digital channels to boost guest engagement and streamline the hotel booking process.

1. Instagram

Instagram has become a visual storytelling platform where hotels showcase their amenities, experiences, and guest testimonials. Its large and engaged user base, especially among younger travellers, makes it a key platform for brand exposure and direct customer engagement.

Implementing Instagram AI Chatbots: When someone comments on a hotel video, a chatbot can immediately engage them with personalized messages, offering more information or linking to a booking page. With Brance’s AI solution the guest can complete the entire booking on Instagram itself.

Instagram AI Chatbots work really well with Click to DM ads on Instagram and can increase conversions by up to 2x compared to taking the customer to the website.

2. Whatsapp

Everyone uses Whatsapp daily! This digital channel has become a necessity for both individuals and businesses around the globe.

Businesses are now in a unique position to engage with guests on Whatsapp from promotional broadcasts to operational notification messages.

Implementing Whatsapp AI Chatbots: Businesses can use Whatsapp in several ways to increase their direct bookings. For example, a business can send special coupons on their guest’s birthdays or anniversaries to offer them a special discount. Alternatively, they can send promotional broadcasts before long weekends to encourage guests to plan a trip at their hotel or resort. Brance’s AI chatbot is able to interact with guests who reply on broadcast messages. And the entire booking is completed Whatsapp itself.

Using Whatsapp AI chatbots along with Click to Whatsapp Ads has seen 40%-120% increase in bookings across industries. This is the chance for hoteliers to collect and convert leads at scale.

3. Google My Business

Being a primary source of information, Google My Business is significant for hoteliers who want to shine in the hospitality market. Guests often Google a hotel to compare prices after having found them on OTAs. They then reach out to the hotel through the phone number or Chat button on the Google profile of the hotel. This is a unique opportunity for hotels to convert prospects into direct bookings.

Implementing Google My Business AI Chatbots: AI Chatbots can be implemented on Google My Business page of the hotel to answer queries instantaneously. Again, with Brance AI Chatbot the entire can be completed on the business page itself without the guest needing to visit the website.

4. Viber

This digital channel is quite popular in regions like Eastern Europe and some parts of Asia. It is an excellent platform for brand building and customer engagement.

5. WeChat

WeChat is not just a messaging app, but it's more than that! Unsurprisingly, WeChat app is still the most used and favourite social media platform in China.

In conclusion, the key advantage of implementing a hotel chatbot across all digital channels is to improve a hotel’s ability to provide immediate, consistent, and personalized responses to guests. This not only enhances the customer experience but also streamlines the booking process, making it more likely that interactions will convert into direct bookings. The use of hotel chatbots also frees up human staff to handle more complex queries and tasks, ensuring efficient resource utilization.

Final Say

In today’s era, digital presence is not just an option, but it’s a necessity!

AI Hotel Chatbots prove to the robust tools that can significantly enhance the customer’s journey, right from making an inquiry to complete booking!

For hoteliers who are looking forward to shining in the competitive digital landscape, integrating AI Chatbots into their direct booking strategies is not just an innovative move but a strategic necessity. AI Chatbots represent a winning formula of: Efficiency, Personalization & Technological advancement, offering an unmatched AI tool in crafting compelling guest experiences that drive direct hotel bookings!

So, what are you waiting for?

Don’t miss this golden opportunity to be at the forefront of digital innovation in the hospitality sector! Embrace the future of AI Chatbots with Brance – Your Guests & staff will thank you!

Read Also - The Ultimate Guide to Hotel Marketing: How to Develop a Hotel Marketing Plan

Kshitij Chaudhary

Kshitij founded Brance with the vision of helping hoteliers increase their direct bookings using AI. Over the last ten years, he has led the Marketing and Growth of several technology organizations and start-ups such as BCG, Shuttl, House of Beauty, etc.

He also loves traveling and sports.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is First Response Time important in inside sales?

First Response Time holds a great importance in inside sales because it influences customer satisfaction. Ultra-fast responses improve the chances of potential leads getting converted into paying and loyal customers.

What are the consequences of a delayed first response in inside sales?

A delay in First response time can result in missed opportunities, customer frustration, and a negative impact on conversion rates. Potential leads may lose interest or shift to competitors when experience a delay in response time.

What role does technology play in reducing first response time?

Technology plays a vital role in reducing first response time through automation. AI-driven chatbots streamline the communication process and enables faster interactions.

Why is First Response Time important in inside sales?

First Response Time holds a great importance in inside sales because it influences customer satisfaction. Ultra-fast responses improve the chances of potential leads getting converted into paying and loyal customers.

What are the consequences of a delayed first response in inside sales?
What role does technology play in reducing first response time?

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