Smart Replies

Admit it — there are days when you dream about having an extra set of hands to answer guest requests at your property. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a way to automatically provide reliable, accurate automation to handle incoming questions from guests or prospective guests during busy times? HelloShift has a solution for that!

Smart Reply infers the intent of a guest request using Natural Language Processing (NLP) that relies on Machine Learning (ML). Once inferred, the Smart Reply scans the answers provided by a property to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

By default, Smart Reply suggests the right answer for the staff to pick and respond manually. A property can also deploy Smart Reply on auto-pilot (Smart Auto-Reply). Since staying authentic and high touch is a big goal in hospitality, Smart Auto-Reply is not enabled by default. Instead, based on the needs of a property, we customize the type and level of automation.

When a guest messages the hotel with a question and a staff member begins to respond to the guest, the Smart Reply system will detect the intent of the request and will suggest an appropriate reply. Here’s a brief video showing how that works:

The Smart Replies bounce to make a suggestion about which snippet should be used for the customer question.

You’ll also notice that one Smart Reply (Spa) is in red, and the other Smart Reply (Parking) is in green. The green Smart Reply has already been created and can be added to the guest response.

The red Smart Reply has not been created yet. It is a suggestion from the system and an administrator at your hotel can create a Smart Reply for that particular question.

You will see directions for adding Smart Replies to the app when you hover over the red Smart Reply. As an admin, to do this, go to Menu > Guests > Snippets > FAQ to add your new Smart Reply. Full instructions are also outlined below the next section.

Smart Auto-Reply #

(Not enabled by default)

This time, when a guest asks a question that has a specific intention, the Chat Assistant will automatically provide the guest with an answer based on two things:
1. the intent of the question inferred based on NLP, and,
2. the answered provided to the property FAQs.

Let’s take a look.

As you can see, the response is highly relevant to the question, so the guest can close the conversation if their question has been answered.

What happens if we don’t have a Smart Reply written OR if the customer chooses the “No, I need more help” option?

From a guest perspective, nothing happens — the request for information is passed through the app just like any other request that comes through the chat widget so that your staff can write a great reply:

From a staff perspective, a new FAQ should be added. FAQs can only be added by those with admin access.

How to Add a new FAQ in HelloShift #

To add a new FAQ, go to Menu > Guests > Snippets > FAQ. Here, you will choose the appropriate intention and craft a response for the system to use:


Once you click on New FAQ, you will be provided with a dropdown box of the available intentions that need to be completed for your property:

You can also add a file attachment to any FAQ if you choose. Be sure to choose to click on Add FAQ to finish the process.

What does this conversation look like in the desktop app? Will I still be notified when a website visitor has asked a question?

Staff will be notified of incoming guest requests as they normally would. If the Chat Assistant has answered a question and the guest is satisfied with the answer then the issue is automatically resolved. Otherwise the issue is left unresolved for a staff member to follow up with. You will know that the Chat Assistant has responded to an issue if the response comes from “Assistant” as shown below:


What if both the Chat Assistant and a staff member respond to the guest? How will I know who said what?

Each response will show up with the appropriate information as shown below:


What is the difference between a Snippet and an FAQ?

A snippet is a pre-written message that can be sent to guests, just like a FAQ. However, the difference here is a matter of usage. A snippet is generally used by staff to answer questions or promote services. An FAQ is a pre-written message that is used by Smart Reply to auto-detect which FAQ reply to use.

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