One industry that has benefitted the most from technology is undoubtedly the travel industry. With the start of the internet revolution, travel and booking industry has taken advantage of the emerging technologies. First, it was the web, followed by mobile and today its chabots that is all set to disrupt the traveling industry by improving customer experience and lowering business cost. Before we go ahead and analyze the far-reaching effects of chatbots, let’s understand what this niche technology is all about.
What are Chatbots?
Cutting edge technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), neural networking and natural language processing have lead big enterprises like Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon Alexa to develop gadgets and products that respond to voice command and message. Siri and Amazon Alexa are the best examples of AI in the consumer domain.
Driven by the same rationale, chatbots are software that can be trained to interact with humans in the most effective manner. Responding to human queries, bots are trained to run a database query and offer the closest answer to the question. In addition to answering queries, bots will also be able to automate tasks.
For example, sending message related to flight status, hotel booking and travel itinerary can be automated through the bot. This not only improves customer experience but also reduces the scope of error. At the same time, travel companies and hotels can save thousands of dollars on the operational cost.
Advantages of Chatbots in the Travel Industry
Offers Unmatched Customer Service
In the travel and hospitality segment, competition is quite intense. There are hundreds of aggregators, agencies, and hotel promising the best service. How does one make a mark in a competitive eco-system? The answer lies in offering unmatched customer service. Chatbot is essentially a machine and its service can be made available to the users at all times. From complex problems to a quick question, chatbots can address quickly.
Boosts Customer Engagement
One of the key advantages of chatbots is that it promotes customer engagement. Chatbots are like virtual agents that assist customers at every step of the way. For instance, last year Tacobell built an innovative AI Chat messenger on Slack to assists customers place their order. The bot not only took orders, but also suggested customized menu items to the patrons. This is a fine example of customer engagement.
For hospitality industry onmi-channel customer experience is a must. From messenger apps to social media to contact centers, every touch point is valuable. Chat bots can be used for customer on-boarding to sending our customized greetings, thus promoting customer engagement.
According to World Travel and Tourism Council report 2017 the following data reveal the growth and opportunities in the travel sector –
- In 2016, the direct contribution of Travel and Tourism to the GDP was US $ 2,306.0 billion
- There is a forecast of 3.8% rise by the end of 2017
- Between 2017-2027, the industry is expected to grow at the rate of 4.0% per annum
Given the potential of the industry, travel is expected to become a very competitive business domain. For a competitive and edge and higher revenue, businesses will to embrace technology and innovation like chatbots and AI.
Promotes Data Mining
The primary purpose of chatbots is to interact with the customers. Based on the customer interaction history, stakeholders in the traveling industry can identify the pain points of the customers and therefore implement improvements. In the past, travel operators did not have many avenues to get valuable information about their customers. However, thanks to innovation and technology, data mining is now easy.
Proves to be Cost Effective
Besides efficiency, chatbots will also help travel industry save on millions of dollars. With the help of AI-driven chatbots, a number of tasks can be automated. The organization will be able to establish a healthy balance between agent-machine collaboration.
There are no two ways about the fact that Chabot is the future of customer interaction. Today, customers are very demanding and expect customized and fast service. With chabots organizations can achieve both. It should be however noted that chatbot is an evolving technology and with time it is expected to become more sophisticated. Also, the human touch will never cease, in fact, a combination of human-machine interaction is the way forward for every industry- Travel, Business, Finance, Hospital etc.