Chatbots: Your New Travel Agent
Whenever a traveler is looking for an inexpensive ticket, a decent place to stay or searching for popular tourist attractions, the researching process can be time-consuming and tedious. Oftentimes, travellers encounter hindrances such as unmet travel essentials, safety concerns, flight delays, and anything in between.
By introducing chatbots in mobile apps to the travel industry, they can take on the role as a convenient guide. Ultimately, travel bots can improve the company outlook by delivering automated responses and performing everyday tasks. Additionally, they can handle a bombardment of phone calls pertaining to booking arrangements or travel inquiries. Travel bots can deliver optimal results for not only airlines but for hotel companies by tackling these demands:
How Can a Travel Chatbot Deliver Optimal Results?
● Meets the needs of the traveller in terms of e-booking the ticket, searching and comparing fares, and viewing confirmation of the ticket purchase.
● Being able to save searches pertaining to round-trips, one-way, or multi-city.
● The ability to view flight details including flight fare, flight duration, departure and arrival time, as well as in-flight experiences.
● Show comparisons of airlines, flight duration, and price.
● Integrate payment and confirming the payment.
● Accommodate travelers with hotel bookings and room pricing which add on the enriching experience of a travelbot.
● Offers multilingual language for international travellers, therefore removing the barriers between the user and the interface. This feature will allow hotels and airlines communicate travellers in a clear and efficient manner.
● Provides answers to frequently asked questions such as facilities, permitting pets in hotel rooms, or vacancy.
2 online travel agencies that are already implementing chatbots:
Expedia.com recently created its Facebook Messenger bot. The bot is designed to search and book hotels for travelers. Customers just enter their destination, travel dates and the number of nights. The bot then provides five possible options which all can be viewed inside the Facebook Messenger app. Users can then choose and confirm their booking all in the Messenger app.
Skyscanner like Expedia also has a Facebook Messenger bot. The bot is programmed to search and book flights. Customers enter their start point and destination and are provided with the cheapest fares available. From there travelers can click on the one they want to confirm, and will be taken out of Messenger and into the Skyscanner site to complete their booking.
Online travel agencies have now become the standard of the travel industry. Travel agents are slowly diminishing as customers have access to more information than ever before. However, many customers still prefer the human interaction and someone to talk to if they have questions or concerns. Now, chatbots can provide that service for which online travel agencies have been lacking by providing help similar to a travel agent’s and still reducing costs by actually having these agents on payroll.
The travel industry will be undergoing a major shift in customer experience with the introduction of chatbots. But with the help existing messaging app platforms, Airlines and travel agencies will be able to reach out to more customers and provide an exquisite user experience.