How AI-powered chatbots are transforming travel experiences

15 Mar 2019  408 | World Travel News

Over the past decade, technology has transformed many aspects of our everyday lives, including the way we travel. New digital platforms are also changing how travel companies conduct their business, to meet heightened customer expectations for speed and convenience. Empowered by their smartphones, a new breed of connected travelers has set the bar high for efficient and frictionless customer service—and they want their needs met in an instant.

Most companies in the travel and hospitality industry rely heavily on delivering excellent customer service to build their reputation and brand loyalty. With customer experience becoming a key success factor, many travel businesses are starting to adopt new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) to deliver the fast and personalized service that modern travelers demand.

Increasing role of AI in travel

AI is increasingly being used across the travel industry in a growing number of customer-facing and internal deployments. Through insights gleaned from a wealth of customer data, travel providers can quickly and accurately analyze, understand and anticipate their needs.

On the customer service front, AI-powered chatbots are now widely used to handle customer enquiries and deliver a more consistent experience across different channels. The key advantage here is how AI empowers travelers with the ability to self-serve. With AI chatbots, customers can quickly get the information they need, when they need it—without having to wait in line for a travel agent, or to be put on hold in a call center.

A good example is Bold360 by LogMeIn, an AI-powered customer engagement platform designed for travel operators to better engage their customers across multiple channels and devices throughout their journey.

Whether through web, mobile or messaging platforms, travelers can receive contextually relevant answers to frequently asked questions, such as flight status and reservation updates in real time. Bold360 also allows travel companies to seamlessly switch from AI chatbots to live agent support when additional help is required.

Delivering a tailored travel experience

Quick service response is just one factor that keeps travel customers satisfied. The ability to deliver a personalized travel experience is equally vital. That takes knowing each customer’s individual desires and preferences.

Before it used Bold360, Thomas Cook, like many travel companies, struggled to fully understand the needs of every customer to provide sufficiently tailored offerings, especially given the different markets and multiple websites it operates. Delivering the consistently high standard of service as expected also kept the company’s costs creeping up.

Following an initial deployment in the UK, Thomas Cook rolled out Bold360 in five languages across 13 websites and four agent support sites—using a combination of intelligent self-service and agent-assisted tools to deliver more personalized travel solutions.

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