Gone are the days when travellers visit brick-and-mortar travel agencies to book their vacation. It is now common practice for travellers to search for information, accommodation, plane or train tickets, leave reviews and share pictures online. Everything now happens online.
Thus, travel companies have to be everywhere whenever their users need them. Conversations have become a central part of the online customer experience and chatbots can help you respond quicker to more visitors.
Find out the 3 reasons why using chatbots can help your brand offer a great conversational experience to travelers online.
# 1 – Offer a seamless experience
Travelers expect to find the best offers online quickly and easily. If your brand does not provide them with the best experience and offer, they will not hesitate to visit your competitors. That is why you need to be available everywhere (from your website to messaging apps) at any time (even in the evening or at weekends): that is precisely where chatbots come into play.
You can implement chatbots within your chat solution or into messaging applications such as WeChat or Messenger to respond to your visitors’ queries at all times. This way, users do not have to switch channels: they engage brands where they are whenever they need help or information (on the website, they don’t need to install an app, etc.).
Helpful tools to use with care
Chatbots are not the answer to everything and the current technology still has some limitations and can’t be overly automated. The bot that understands all the technicalities of human language and behaviour has not yet been created and is not about to be. That is why you need to combine chatbots with human agents and assign them one particular objective for them to perform it perfectly.
Chatbots need to fulfil a specific objective to ease your customer support and/or sales advisors teams. Therefore it’s important to take some time to think it through and understand how it could be a solution for you.
François Hotte, Success Manager at iAdvize
In the travel industry, businesses such as KLM, Icelandair, Voyages-SNCF or Booking.com understood that chatbots can have different purposes: pre-qualify customers’ demands, help travellers seek recommendations and process bookings via Messenger, provide users with their journey info, provide users with different reccomendations, etc.
#2 – Human agents and chatbots: the perfect match
Today, even the most advanced artificial intelligence has an IQ score roughly equivalent to the one of a 4-year-old. But the most important problem for artificial intelligence is that, as it’s indicated in its name, it’s artificial. Humans are driven by their emotions and want to share emotional connections. That is why chatbots and human assistance are the perfect match: chatbots allow your brand to respond to many more queries while human agents focus on demands with high-added value which require their experience and cutting-edge expertise.
“The objective of a chatbot is not to replace agents but to help them save time. A bot can intervene to greet visitors, pre-qualify their needs in order to optimize the agent’s analysis and his answers. A bot can also answer recurring and simple questions on its own and help customers without the mandatory help of a human agent.Finally, chatbots can make the experience more fun for customers and help them finalize their action (request for information, purchase act, request for product availability, etc.).Matthieu Dixte, Engagement Specialist at iAdvize
Read more: AI and human assistance, the perfect match
#3 – A more conversational and personalized experience
Chatbots have become more fun over the years, they are more in line with human behaviour thanks to the data they’ve collected. We’ve shifted from impersonal robots to friendly entities. It has now become common to contact a chatbot to discover destinations or choose your seat on a plane or train.
Bots will frequently become the first point of contact for your customer service offering.Therefore giving them a personality, a tone of voice that match your brand guidelines will enhance the way they are perceived to users and increase the chances to receive quality answers from them. They will ultimately become a bridge between your customers and agents, guiding them in the right direction in an efficient and friendly way.
François Hotte, Success Manager at iAdvize
The example of Voyages SNCF
“For us, conversation is a great way to have access to our products and to benefit through experience. So we launched a booking bot on which you can directly look for a trip for instance. The day after tomorrow I want to go to Nantes and you can put an option on a trip. We have a lot of clients who have already used this bot. And for us the objective is really to develop our business here.” Julien Nicolas from Voyages-sncf.com