To be successful in today’s fast-paced hospitality industry, hotels should have an efficient operations and process setup. The success of a hotel depends on providing a seamless and flawless experience to guests in every stay. Improving operational efficiency is necessary to meet the ever-increasing customer standards and provide an exceptional guest experience.
Hotel contact centres are the backbone of hospitality operations and play a vital role in providing round-the clock support to ensure customer needs are being met promptly and accurately. The good quality of service encourages repeat business, increased referrals, opportunity to cross sell and up-sell, customer satisfaction and a boost in profitability. In the hotel industry, contact centres are crucial because of the demanding nature of the business and the need for consistently increasing operational efficiency.
Given that the primary driver of the hospitality industry is guest experience, contact centre agents should spend most of their time providing accurate and quick resolutions to customer queries. However, the majority of the agent time goes into the mundane task of pulling information from different systems and carrying out manual repetitive back office tasks when responding to customer queries. While handling complex customer queries, contact centre agents have to put customers on hold when searching for answers across different systems and documents, which is tedious and time consuming. This increases the AHT and irritates the customer, and leads to customer dissatisfaction and potential revenue loss for the hotel. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) as a technology can be of great help to contact centre agents in this scenario where retrieval of details is required from multiple systems. Attended RPA bots can be deployed on systems of contact centre agents to help them gather information required to resolve customer queries from different systems with the simple click of a button.
RPA bots can be used in hotel contact centres in the following areas to assist agents and enhance overall productivity:
- Bookings: RPA can be used to automate the booking process from start to finish. The vendors or partners send details to the contact centre for bookings or cancellations and bots can be used to create or cancel bookings on reservation systems.
- Analysis of customer feedback and reviews: Customer reviews play an important part in improving service and standards. The RPA bot can extract reviews, analyse them and send a prompt response to the customer depending on the review.
- Notification to customers: Providing regular updates to the customers is a key aspect of the hospitality industry. This can be easily managed using RPA, the bots can be used to send timely updates to the customers for a better experience.
- Back office operations: Repetitive and high volume back end processes like invoice processing, claims processing and bill generation can easily be automated using RPA to save agent time and reduce human errors.
- Reporting: The bots can swiftly extract and organize data from multiple sources and systems to generate reports to provide better insights of performance and identification of areas for improvement.
The role of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) as a technology in hotel contact centres has increased significantly in the last few years. Many contact centres are implementing RPA solutions to improve the customer experience, enhance efficiency and increase productivity.
The following are the key benefits of using RPA in hotel contact centres:
- Time Saving: The RPA bots can gather information from multiple systems in no time leading to reduced wait time on calls.
- Improved Accuracy and Compliance: The manual errors will reduce as BOTs are more consistent and process with 100 percent accuracy.
- Reduce Operational Expenses: RPA bots can work 24/7 and process transactions faster compared to a human agent leading to reduced operational costs.
IGT Solutions Intelligent Automation practice has worked with many hospitality companies by providing automation solutions to improve efficiency and reduce operational cost in contact centres. Over the last couple of years, IGT solutions has worked with two leading hotel groups in Europe and USA respectively and automated processes in the contact centre such as guest booking confirmation, contract loading, updating metasearch commissions and auto-response to customer reviews which has helped these clients to save over $2M in the last 2 years.
Nischal Guleria is a Senior Business Consultant at IGT Solutions’ Intelligent Automation Practice. He has an extensive experience in process automation using RPA for Travel, Hospitality and Finance domains. Outside of work, he loves travelling and walking. He can be reached at Nischal.Guleria@igtsolutions.com