Kindly

How Kindly’s hotel chatbot improved Thon Hotel’s customer experience

“We decided on Kindly because the company has high expertise in the field and many exciting customer case studies and success stories. Kindly is also a Norwegian start-up and we found them easy to work with”

Rune Bakken, Enterprise Architect, Olav Thon Gruppen

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Reduction in call centre referrals

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Reduction in customer emails sent to reps

Emails analysed

Thon needed to automate common customer questions & save resources with a hotel industry chatbot

Thon Hotels is the third largest hotel chain in Norway, and operates over 50 hotels across Norway, Belgium, and the Netherlands. They created a brand identity for their chain built around the idea of a warm atmosphere with knowledgeable staff and a guaranteed quality of customer service. They wanted to create a seamless customer experience by using a chatbot that could answer hotel-related questions and give easy access to information on their website. Because Thon Hotels wanted to invest in API integrations in the development phase, our chatbot was able to provide important information and services in real time from day one. Thon Hotels needed a chatbot because their customer service team received a lot of the same questions from guests and was feeling overloaded. By working with us, Thon was able to automate customer support in a manner where they could shift existing customer support resources to more challenging and complex customer questions, which in turn boosted customer satisfaction and loyalty. We worked together with Thon to develop a chatbot that answers regular, hotel-specific questions, but it was also programmed with more information from their website to help guests find the correct information quickly, which improved conversion rates.

Provide 24/7 digital service to help answer customer concerns and improve the brand reputation

A big advantage of having a chatbot was being able to provide customer service 24/7. With a chatbot on the team, the Thon’s customer service team was able to help more customers than before - but with the same number of employees. The intention was not to create a chatbot that could answer all questions, but to help provide answers for general enquiries and the most frequently asked questions, as well as performing certain tasks with the help of integrations. With the support of machine learning technology, the chatbot would also be updated continuously with new questions and new answers.

Utilize a data-driven analysis of customer concerns to build the chatbot’s conversational playbook

The project started with a field survey, where one of Kindly’s UX writers spent time with Thon’s customer service in order to get to know their customers. At the same time, Kindly’s data science team performed a data analysis based on more than 90,000 emails from hotel guests. This shaped the foundation for the actual content and enquiries the chatbot would be designed to answer.

Improve employee collaboration and provide strategic assistance to the customer support team

In order to create a successful and comprehensive chatbot, a thorough research period was essential to ensure that the chatbot would meet customer demands. For the project to be a success, it was crucial that the employees working at Thon’s customer support team were hands-on, as they had valuable input and knowledge of their company. They also contributed with quality control during the research period.

Useful chatbot integrations and good preparations were the keys to success

Integrations made it possible for customer service to let the chatbot handle more complex tasks. Customers can now use the chatbot to search for available rooms with the lowest price, reset their password to the membership site, and search for hotel and conference facilities without leaving the chatbot window, and more exciting integrations are on their way. Thon Hotels says that the preparations were also the key to the project’s success. By setting aside enough time for the project, Kindly was able to gain real insight into the work that Thon Hotels does for their customers. It was very valuable when working with the chatbot, and Thon Hotels is now seeing a reduction in number of emails and phone calls. Employees are now spending that extra free time on creating better customer experiences and increasing sales! Having the management team believing in the importance of technology was also a huge help for us throughout the project. “Thon Hotels wants to be accessible and to be able to offer instant online customer support for our guests. Requests that were previously handled by phone or email, can now be answered directly by our chatbot. We still have employees working in customer service, but our guests can receive real-time solutions to queries by using the chatbot on our website. Our customer support team receives fewer emails now, and a lot of our guests are using the chatbot from their mobile phones,” says Morten Thorvaldsen, Executive Vice President for Thon Hotels.

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