How travel and hospitality industry are using artificial intelligence to provide an awesome user experience
You may be hearing chatbots a lot in the past years, and it has been a buzz-word for many reasons. It is known to have shown a lot of benefits in different industries and one of which would be the Travel & Hospitality Industry. Artificial Intelligence’ contributions include seamless booking systems for travellers and companies. At the same time, it creates streamlined business procedures. Its impact is massive and considered a game-changer in boosting businesses completely.
Particularly on 2017 when chatbot started to become popular, it also started changing the face of the travel and hospitality industry. A mix of emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, and new development platforms make the modern chatbot completely an evolving product of innovation.
Let’s talk about the first major hotel chain in Japan, the Holiday Inn. It is the first hotel to adopt Bebot, the latest artificial intelligence chatbot. Guests are being serviced by Bebot and news follows Cosmopolitan Las Vegas who also use AI to improve the guests’ overall experience. According to Bebot’s creators, Bespoke Inc.;
“Bebot is an AI-powered chatbot that acts as a hotel concierge. It is designed to empower guests through instant, real-time assistance such as exclusive recommendations for both popular and little-known sights in the area, answering questions only hotel staff would know about, or even making restaurant bookings.”
It is quite popular in among many booking sites and apps. Let’s check out some of the popular booking sites.
There are a lot of online travel agencies out there, one of which is expedia.com. In Expedia, users are able to book flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises and vacation packages. It uses a Facebook Messenger bot which helps the users search for the top picks getting some information from the users about their plans. From the top picks, users are able to interact with it through a link which redirects them to the Expedia website to book it.
This Dutch start-up now one of the largest travel e-commerce companies in the world have been evolving alongside with the latest digital technologies. They’ve decided to build a chatbot with the goal of empowering people to experience the world by taking the friction of travel. The chatbot can be used through their website and mobile app to check hotel availabilities, hotel check-in and checkout and other usual information a travel may want to know. Being able to converse with a chatbot directly through the app to contact hotels and be notified has helped users a lot to achieve that seamless travel experience.
With the number of users on Facebook, there is no doubt that Skyscanner also followed the Facebook Messenger chatbot hype for users easy access to travel booking and searches. They’ve also rolled it out on Skype which gives you more options to start their booking. The bot starts by asking where you want to start the trip and it will continue asking a few simple queries before sending the user a number of the cheapest flights closest to your hometown. Skyscanner’s chatbot can also recommend tips on your travels when you ask for it.
Meet KLM’s chatbot, BB (short for bluebot). Travellers can talk to BB through Facebook Messenger or using your Google assistant. You can find your next destination, book a flight and plan out your travels through the platforms mentioned.
Facebook Messenger has a checkbox plugin which KLM used so that users can opt-in to receive notifications and confirmation related to their bookings through messenger. It is also available in different languages to cater to different nationalities who interact with the app. Its purpose is to improve the airline’s customer service.
“In first month, their volume of Facebook messages jumped 40 percent. KLM said 1.7 million messages have been sent on Messenger by over 500,000 people.”
Technology is rapidly evolving and following the trends could definitely help businesses to evolve in the following years. There are a lot of room for improvements with Chatbots and there are a lot of adaptations of new technology for it.
Imagine some time ago, we wouldn’t even think that custom apps for mobile and web would be possible. Nowadays, users are mostly looking for an app for mostly anything they encounter online. This happens most especially for companies which involve transactions like e-commerce websites, travel sites for booking for a flight or booking for hotels. Users demand for a more seamless transaction and it plays a part of an innovating customer service process.
Using a chatbot benefits your company in many ways:
“From a customer experience perspective a chatbot can increment and enhance the correspondence with visitors and visitor engagement. This way will enable customers to discover and book their accommodation directly in the messaging app.”
These are just some of the benefits chatbots may be able to provide your business and it is clearly going to have bright and shining future in the next couple of years.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Designing for different platforms and working in different industries, Carla has been building delightful experiences to resolve user problems. She has a background In mobile and desktop app UI design with extensive knowledge in visual design and user experience. Her role is to ensure that user-centric design is a priority that should be maintained, and solutions should coincide with business goals.