can-chatbots-really-help-travel-industry

Chatbots in Travel Industry

You don’t believe that 10K+ developers are building chatbots worldwide, as said by Facebook Messenger’s head of product Stan Chudnovsky at TechCrunch Disrupt NY. In fact, 1000+ companies already have official chatbots to assist their customers in purchase.

Though chatbots had been a buzz for many years, they started to make sound when Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook said, “people will be able to talk to Messenger bots just like they talk to friends” at F8 developer conference in April 2016. Chatbot is just like a personal assistant that can be deployed on platforms like Facebook Messenger, Telegram, and Slack.

Among the 100+ companies I just talked about above, most were not sure about the success they can achieve from chatbots until knowing some success stories formulated by chatbots. Let me tell about those stories:

Travel Companies Who Succeeded with Chatbots

The travel industry was among the early adopters of chatbots who considered it seriously and started to reap the fruit of it.

1. Kayak

You may have come across some sort of bots that assisted you in booking flight tickets and hotel rooms. Kayak is one such company that deployed a chatbot on Messenger to assist customers in find flights, getting suggestion, and buying deals. Kayak is a travel fare aggregator, offering multiple travel sites to choose between to book flights and hotel rooms.

Here is the way Kayak bot works:

kayak-chatbot-large

Photo Credit: Social Media

This Kayak chatbot assists customers to find flights at the reasonable prices. Users just have to select the date, time and their destination on the messenger app. The bot will then show 5 different results according to passengers’ preferences and the passengers can complete the booking without leaving the app.

Here is what Kayak CEO, Steve Hafner says about this initiative. “There’s a whole generation who are more familiar with text messaging and voice via Siri looking for a different interaction with an online travel agency. We also have voice interaction with Alexa, where you can actually talk to Kayak and say, ‘Hey Kayak, what’s the status of my flight to Denver later today? Where can I go this weekend for $300?’”.

2. Skyscanner

Skyscanner is another major travel fare aggregator, which deployed the world’s first group chat travel bot on Skype. The bot allows users to search for flights, either individually or as part of a group, and provides them with live prices and route options. Then after, it leads them with a link where users can go to complete the booking for their trip. Here you can see how Skyscanner chatbot works:

skyscanner-chatbot

Photo Credit: Skyscanner(.)net

According to a survey conducted by Travelzoo, a global Internet media company, 6,000 travelers in Asia, Europe, North America, and South America believe that bot assistance will be playing a key role by 2020 in the travel industry. Bots help to have consistency, accuracy, and deliver prompt information to customers and in fact, that are key element for any travel company to run a successful business.

Who else deployed Chatbots?

  • Expedia
  • Booking(.)com
  • Cheapflights
  • Foursquare
  • Hipmunk

Why chatbots are preferred over humans?

  • Personalized customer experience (Chatbots learn the customers behaviour based on the previous interactions, enabled by machine learning)
  • 24/7 service to interact with the travelers
  • Interaction in different languages

Conclusion:

Indeed, chatbots are still in budding stage. The prime advantage of chatbots above the advantages mentioned above is they can empower you enough to achieve competitive advantage, where you could stay a five step ahead of your competitors in the next five years, by delivering enthralling user experience. In case if you are looking to develop a chatbot for your travel company, my suggestion is to go with an experienced chatbot development company or mobile application development company who develop chatbots, so you would be able to get a better chatbot with or without tech stacks behind it. Their experience and industry knowledge would also be plus for your success.

Author Bio: Hari Krishna is a well-versed content writer working in FuGenX Technologies, an emerging mobile application development company India. He likes to write on technology, start-ups and latest technological innovations that people like to know and share with others.