My name is David Nguyen and I am loving life again.
Finishing my Bachelor of Business in International Hotel & Resort Management from The Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School (NSW, Australia) in the middle of a global pandemic, with the hotel industry in crisis, I never thought I would be saying those words.
I had my young hotel career mapped out for the next 3–5 years (I am Generation Z; five years is a long time) starting with a job in the reservations department of a hotel. Then the aim was to become Revenue Manager which would fast track me to becoming a hotel General Manager. That was the pre-COVID plan.
They say when one door closes, another opens and I have been lucky enough to become the first Intern at Book Me Bob, the AI chatbot developed for hotels by hoteliers.
When I’m not poring over Book Me Bob data, I am toiling away at a Double Degree in Master of Business Analytics and Master of Information Systems Management at Macquarie University, Australia. This will bring me one step closer to achieving my goal as a data scientist.
Analysing AI chatbot data and creating insight reports which will aid hotels in the future is my main role. I also create hotel case studies using AI chatbot data, analysing it for trends or findings. For example, we know that Book Me Bob reduces the number of low yielding phone calls to its properties by up to 25 percent.
Case Study—5-star Hotel in the United Kingdom
Renowned for its level of luxury and high-profile clients, this hotel’s guest interaction is critical. Phone communication is one of the first forms of contact between the hotel and their guests.
Looking at the data collected over a 12-week period, we can see how Book Me Bob has aided the hotel.
When the hotel re-opened in week 9, call volumes skyrocketed, increasing from roughly 200 calls per day to over 1,600. While the call volume interest is great news, it caused enormous pressure on the already limited number of staff and the operation.
This is where Book Me Bob was able to step and make an impact. Going live in week 13, guests calling the hotel were informed of this new service in a recorded phone message, resulting in a significant increase in the number of abandoned calls from 12% to 25%. Instead of waiting online, guests were choosing to use the hotel’s website and Book Me Bobs’ chatbot services—reducing the stress and workload on hotel staff.
Guest engagement with Book Me Bob reached 38 hours in June and 23 hours in August. At a time when the industry has 30 percent less staff, this equates to valuable time that staff can perform other duties.
Not only does Book Me Bob assist in delivering greater operational efficiency at a property, it also delivers an important guest service experience and aids in driving more direct business through its pre-arrival guest engagement. However, its biggest asset in a data driven world is the data intelligence it is collecting about what the guests are seeking — a competitive advantage that previously only big brands and OTAs had.