Following our last article about 5 things you must have in your Chatbot, in this post we focus on easy and smart ways to increase the number of people using your hotel chatbot.
For those who still don’t know us, at HiJiffy we offer hotels a conversational booking engine within Facebook Messenger. We decided to make this article because as we are still in the early days of chatbots, there isn’t still a widespread adoption by consumers, and hotels have to be proactive promoting the new service. This happens because most of the people are still unaware that they can use Facebook Messenger to reach companies.
As we already launched chatbots for more than 100 hotels, we learned the hard way that there are still some discovery issues within chatbots, and while the early adopters know where to look for them, the general public will need to be educated of their existence and how they can benefit from using them. In the meantime, these 4 strategies can greatly improve the number of interactions and traffic within your chatbot.
1. Change your Facebook Page’s Action Button
When we want to get users to talk via messenger, the first line of action must be within Facebook itself. Most articles recommend that you change the cover image and make a post advertising your chatbot. Although they are important and indispensable actions, another strategy has worked out better for us.
Facebook Page Action Button
Every Facebook Page has a Action Button and hotels opted to use this button with a “Book Now” call-to-action, redirecting users to their website so that they can check rates and availability there. What we found out is that if hotels change the “Book Now” button to redirect users to Messenger instead, they will gain valuable consumers in the chatbot.
We have seen hotels with more than 500 clicks per week in the “Book Now” button. By sending users to your messenger bot, you’ll offer a seamless experience inside Facebook along with a better user experience. As people are clicking in a “Book Now” button, don’t forget to add a Messenger reference parameter, making the chatbot immediately starts the booking process.
2. Add a Message Us Button to Your Website
In the majority of hotels’ websites, customers have no way to ask their questions in real-time, which leads to potential customers clicking away from the website. Adding live chat support using your Facebook Messenger is a great option to solve this. Chatbots have the ability to provide the convenient answers that users want, while also adding significant benefits to the staff.
Add chat support through Facebook Messenger
Adding a simple plugin to the website that prompts users to interact via Messenger brings several benefits. In the first place, it becomes possible for users to ask any questions they have. Equally important is that chat via Messenger allows you interact with your visitors even after closing the website.
3. Launch Facebook Retargeting Ads To Bot
Facebook Ads are one of the best available tools to bring valuable customers to your chatbot. Instead of promoting your chatbot to a broad audience with no interest in your hotel or property destination, you should target people that are in-market and looking to book near your property in the near future.
Use Facebook Retargeting to promote your chatbot
Facebook retargeting allows you to show ads to users who have already visited your website. People rarely book with your hotel the first time they visit your website. They would rather take their time, compare your pricing with other hotels and destinations and visit your site a few more times before completing that reservation.
You can launch a retargeting campaign using Facebook’s Custom Audiences feature. For that, you’ll just need to install a code on your website called Facebook Pixel. With this installed on your site, the pixel will send information back to Facebook about which pages were viewed on your site by a specific visitor and you’ll be able to retarget these users on Facebook. For more information about using Facebook Ads to promote chatbots, please read our Medium post ‘Why you should use Facebook Ads to drive bookings through chatbots‘.
4. Promote your chatbot within your database
Launch an SMS campaign to your customers’ database promoting your chatbot
You should let your loyal guests know that you have this service available. To do so we recommend to do it in 3 different ways:
- SMS campaign —Use your CRM database to get the mobile number of your past guests and send them an SMS to announce the new service. People still give lots of attention to this form of communication, and if you insert the direct messenger link in the text message, the guests will immediately test the new service.
- E-mail campaign — Your hotel has probably already implemented an email marketing strategy. Just make use of this, and dedicate one of the emails you usually send to your guests to announce the new service.
- Facebook Messenger — One of the coolest features of Facebook Messenger is that you can contact people via Messenger by specifying their mobile number. Note, this feature is still only available for companies located in the United States and has a fixed cost of $ 99 USD.
This article originally appeared on Pedro Gonçalves Medium page here and is reproduced with his permission.