Wednesday, January 22, 2020


Chat bot #Sayhi helps customers to make reservations at Barbeque Nation
Wednesday, 26 April, 2017, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Anurag More, Mumbai
To making dining more convenient, Barbeque Nation has introduced #Sayhi, a chat bot that helps patrons make enquiries and reserve tables directly from Facebook Messenger. The chat bot, on the chain’s official Facebook page, also lets users enquire about locations and pricing and answers queries about ongoing festivals and menus. This helps to reduce the time they spend on the telephone or the chain’s website.

The chatbot also helps in building greater transparency in the reservation process. Simple and moderate issues are resolved faster, leading to greater customer satisfaction and long-term loyalty.

Bots can help deflect calls from the call centre and the interactive voice response (IVR) software, which further saves customers’ time and telephonic cost. Table reservations can be made by simply sending a message on Facebook, as the bot will direct you to the preferred location, available slot, etc.

Thus, it accelerates easy interaction between the restaurant and consumers, as Facebook Messenger is user-friendly and widely used.

Speaking about #Sayhi, Ahmed Raza, head, information technology, Barbeque Nation Hospitality Ltd, said, “Bots are the next big revolution in the field of technology. They are set to change the way information is delivered, consumed and customer interaction.”

“Artificial intelligence (AI) is a generalised term used to describe any software that automates a task.Chatbots, which anyone can now build into Facebook Messenger, automate conversation.For years,there has been been no change in which companies deal with customer service, except for calls. Now a robot software, or AI, can answer,” he added.

Mentioning how AI will help the restaurant business in India, Raza said, “Now imagine how a consumer-adopted, digital and automated interaction for simple questions versus agent interaction over the phone could impact customer service and its cost.”

“When chatbots handle the most commonly-asked questions, agent labour is reduced or redeployed to manage more complex and time-consuming interactions. Simple and moderate issues are resolved faster, leading to greater customer satisfaction and long-term loyalty,” he added.

Talking about how cost-friendly AI is in the Indian scenario, Raza said, “Bots can help deflect calls from the contact centre and your IVR, which further reduces speech recognition license and telephony cost. Simply put, it means lower cost, much greater efficiency and more satisfied customers.”

He added, “As Barbeque Nation already had the centralised platform available for serving customer needs, AI has become the userinterface for the information-seeking.”

“We have launched AI for all stores with effect from January 2017. We have plans to add more features phase-wise,” Raza said.

“We have planned with ingenuity, the strategy wherein these bots can help reduce human intervention as customer queries can be addressed by bots,” he added.

“The Barbeque Nation chatbot would help customers locate an outlet in their city, explore the menu, check pricing and book the table, for now. More features are being added,” Raza said.

“We did the pilot in December 2016, for which results were OK. But we are sure as it is the first inthe industry, it will take some time for the users adapting the same,” he added.

“The investment is not much, as we already the platform available, and we are managing the same from our existing resources itself,” Raza said.
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