Bots are gaining functionality and changing how companies interact with customers through their contact centers. Bots are automated software applications that can take over several functions done by humans. In other words, bots can help company employees and their customers complete various tasks.
Bots continue to be a new, emerging technology creating significant buzz because of the potential they have to dramatically alter the customer experience. (Korzeniowski, 2017)
Here are some examples of what bots can do:
- They can streamline development, lower support costs and improve the customer experience.
- Reduce expenses by automating everyday tasks that were done by paid employees. This could help workload problems for example, as sales assistants and contact center employees are in short supply.
- Bots can present consumers with an interface (a program enabling users to communicate with a computer) for entering data, based on what they entered, they can route it to the right person or system who can address it.
- They can also provide product suggestions and send follow-up emails to customers (Korzeniowski, 2017).
While bots’ potential impact is significant, it is important to note that the technology is still very much in the early stages of development. Andrew Burgess, advisor at Celaton (U.K.-based provider of machine learning technology to contact centers) says that when bots are installed correctly they can provide enhanced service to various platforms. This is how today’s customers demand to engage with companies.
Bots can be applied in hostels in many ways. This could be simple things; when someone calls, a menu ‘press 1 for general questions, press 2 for questions related to a booking’ etc will come up (Kirkpatrick, 2017). In this way they will be directed to the right person to help them with their question, this will be more efficient and helps creating a better customer experience. Another example is an online chat box, when travellers are on the hostels website they can chat with an employee and ask questions right away.
Like Andrew Burgess mentioned earlier, the demand of customers are changing fast due to technological developments like the upcoming bots. Current and future hostels need to have a deeper look into these developments; they need to analyse their customers and hostel features and question themselves ‘how can we keep up with these developments in order to meet our customer’s needs?’. It is essential for hostels to look at what works best for them and investigate how this can be applied.
Kirkpatrick, K. (2017, Ausgust). AI in Contact Centers. Communications of the ATC vol 60.
Korzeniowski, P. (2017). Bots should be in your contact centre’s future. Customer relationship management.