Leisure and lockdown: why automation can help the sector open up safely

The easing of the coronavirus lockdown is much needed for the leisure and hospitality sectors, which have all but ceased trading over the past few months. But for hotels, restaurants and visitor attractions, gaining permission to open their doors again is only part of the story. They must now operate under vastly different circumstances, both following - and communicating - complicated rules and regulations. This brings added complexity, cost, and concerns around how to keep people safe.

Automation is an ideal solution for dealing with the practicalities of coronavirus regulations, including managing increased customer enquiries and processes such as mandatory bookings. Automation technologies are a cost-effective way to handle high volumes of information – vital for businesses which are not currently in a position to hire more staff.

Open up safely

For all businesses, no matter what industry, the priority at the moment is customer and staff safety. Managing customer numbers is key to this, to ensure social distancing can be maintained and to avoid pressure points at facilities such as toilets and car parks.

Automation technology can easily process data on visitor numbers, providing insights into peak times which some customers may wish to avoid. It can also analyse data in real time to inform customers about current waiting times or the availability of services. A conversational AI chatbot is a good example of this, as it gives clients a way of engaging naturally with sources of information. All they have to do is ask a question...

Attract customers, increase revenue

In order to improve revenue streams during this time of uncertainty, businesses have to attract customers. The best way of doing this is to ensure that information is up to date and easy to access, so that visitors know what to expect and feel confident that companies are in control.

Again, chatbots are invaluable here, as they provide an easily accessible, single source of truth for customers to consult. They can offer answers to the most complicated of queries, are always available, and are easy to update when circumstances change. What's more, they are also seamless tools for sales conversion. A customer looking for information about opening times, for example, could then be automatically prompted to make a booking

Mitigate the costs of covid-19

The extra burden on hospitality and leisure businesses due to covid-19 can be shouldered by additional staff, whether this be on location or attending customer care helplines. But this is something that many companies will be hesitant about given their squeezed circumstances... Automation solutions, on the other hand, are cost-effective solutions that are adaptable to fluctuations in demand and a business's changing needs.

From engaging new customers, after sales care and support, dealing with customer enquiries, booking management, and up to date information about health advice, automation is a practical solution that is highly relevant for businesses now.

What are your next steps?

In all areas of business, automation can make a difference - fast. In fact, it's possible to have simple solutions go live in as little as eight weeks.

If you're interested in the benefits automation can bring to your organisation, or would like to know more, then we've got a proven track record in delivering successful solutions.