The Parkhotel Emstaler Höhe: Loyal customer with innovative ideas
Lukas Frankfurth and his mother Sabine Frankfurth run the 4-star hotel in idyllic Bad Emstal in the Grimmheimat region of North Hesse as a family duo. The Parkhotel Emstaler Höhe has been relying on Betterspace’s digital solutions since 2015, as a customer from the very beginning, so to speak. Progress is a top priority here. They were one of the first hotels in Germany to venture down the path of digitalization together.
In 2015, they dedicated themselves to the intelligent room control better.energy as a pilot project. The smart heating control system ensures more energy efficiency in the hotel and was successfully further developed through the test in the Parkhotel and, above all, together with the hotel. Just one year later, the digital guest directory on the in-room tablet and the guest directory as a hotel app followed. After seven years, it was about time to meet with Lukas Frankfurth to talk about current challenges and his experience with digitalization in the hotel. And, of course, he was able to tell us about the latest acquisition, the chatbot from Dialogshift, which is in use since recently in the area of guest communication and guest services.
Digitization as a supporter during skill shortage
In the course of the past few years, the Parkhotel Emstaler Höhe has been constantly looking for new features and digital assistants to make the guests’ stay more and more pleasant. Because, as everywhere else, the guests and their needs are the highest priority. Currently, the hotel business is disturbed not only with rising prices in the food and energy sectors, caused by the war in Ukraine, but also with the aftermath of the Corona pandemic.
Many employees in the hotel industry have turned their backs on the industry. This is also noticeable in Bad Emstal. “The shortage of skilled workers is a big challenge. Therefore, we are forced to look for digital solutions that support us in the current situation. For this reason alone, digitalization is playing an increasingly important role in the hotel. It is important right now to relieve the employees we have of as much work as possible without losing contact with the guest,” the hotel manager explains.
You can watch the full interview with Lukas Frankfurth on our YouTube channel:
Intelligent chatbot integrated into digital guest directory
Recently, Dialogshift’s chatbot has also been integrated into the digital guest directory. The hotel-specific AI chatbot from Dialogshift, in combination with the app and the in-room tablet, relieves the staff. The bot answers recurring questions reliably and quickly. “By using the chatbot, guests have an innovative and fast communication channel that automatically answers around 97 per cent of guest queries. And it does so 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The remaining questions end up in the live chat and are answered directly by the employee if the chatbot doesn’t have the right answer,” says Lukas Frankfurth.
Chatbot in the guest directory popular with hotel guests and employees
By integrating it into the digital guest directory, not only the employees are relieved, but also the guests. Because guests save themselves the trip to the reception desk when they have questions. They simply use the in-room tablet directly in the hotel room or the app version of the guest directory on their own smartphone. “The chatbot is very well received. Of course, it is somewhat guest-dependent. With business guests during the week, the usage rate is very high and the chatbot answers independently. In contrast, leisure guests at the weekend sometimes ask more specific questions. As a result, leisure guests have to be dealt with a little more specifically. But that’s what the live chat is for,” Lukas Frankfurth explains.
Great product & high customer satisfaction
Lukas Frankfurth is happy how easy the setup of the chatbot from Dialogshift and the integration into the guest directory went. “Of course, there is some administrative effort at the beginning, but it’s worth it. You have a great product that takes a lot of work off your hands and triggers a high level of satisfaction among guests. We are really very satisfied,” Lukas Frankfurth explains. In addition, the chatbot was also integrated into the website. The hotelier assumes that because of the chatbot the contact form on the website will become superfluous in the future.
No risk, no reward
Lukas Frankfurth adds a tip for his colleagues: “You simply have to dare to take the step of digitizing something. The joking saying: everything goes faster with digitization, you just need more patience, is sometimes in the beginning simply true. After all, the companies, or rather the solutions, also learn and develop further. Of course, this is also a risk, but if you want to develop further, offer your guests new services and overcome the current challenges, you simply need digital help.”