Last Updated: 06 Oct, 2020

Chatbots in Travel: How to Build a Bot That Travelers Will Love

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Chatbots in Travel

 

A Travel chatbot can essentially act as a virtual travel agent, offering personalized suggestions based on the user's preferences, answering FAQs, and even accepting bookings and making travel reservations. If a bot ever encounters a situation it's not equipped to handle, it can easily pass off the inquiry to a human agent.

One industry in which chatbot development is growing is the travel industry. Big Online Travel Agencies (OTAs), such as Expedia and Skyscanner, have developed travel boats that help users search for flights and hotels.

The bots can answer simple customer service questions using casual language. These bots, in many ways, simply contribute users a various , more collective experience—for operating the same task the users would be performing on an OTA’s site

Key capabilities that you can look to boost with a travel chatbot are: 

Use Cases for Travel chatbots

 

Chatbots-in-Travel

 

Flight and Hotel Bookings

Hotel and flight reservation is the primary part of trip planning. People scour through different apps and websites for the best hotels and the lowest flight prices. The process is comprehensive, baffling and time-consuming, to say the least.

Chatbots contribute a user-friendly, logical and perceptive solution to the hassle of tiresome planning and complicated booking process. 

Online Travel Agency

Online travel Agencies right to provide flawless customer experiences. Chatbots are ready to adapt bookings, sell upgrades, answer generally asked questions, and more. With bots on your side, you can provide instant feedback 24/7 so your agents can focus on the most urgent requests.

Travelers are more connected and entitle. They choose to get instant approach to travel deals and interact with a travel agency using their mobile apps.

Online chatbots to overcome marketing protest facing travel agencies. Use the chatbot as a convenient point of contact between your website and its visitors. Assimilate the chatbot with your products catalog to clearly present information about hotel rooms, flights booking, sightseeing, car rentals, bundled packages and more.

Reservation Agent

By using this type of chatbot, travelers can book airline tickets, make hotel reservations, car rentals, cruises, and even vacation packages via their website or Facebook page. To get admissible offers, travelers need to provide the bot with their requirements such as destination, date, type of accommodation, price range, and so on. 

Baggage Tracking & Claims

For airline and airport operators, the task of baggage approach is critical. While there is a lot of technology to help track and manage baggage between destinations and carry  it safely to the passenger as they arrive at their final destination, luggage still can be deferred , damaged, or lost. 
Most travelers have experienced the aggravation and anger of this situation, resulting in contacting the customer service center to track and convey their luggage.

Managing Upgrades

Upgrading from economy to business- or first-class on an airline flight or from a standard room to a suite in a hotel is highly beneficial for most travelers. Although upgrades are usually reserved only for constant travelers with miles or points, the cost of upgrading a guest is quite low compared with the retail value.

Customer Service Management

Human agents are not consistently available to provide prompt customer support during the holiday season or other peak travel times. Especially in the case of international travel, where time zones can become a barrier in the path of people seeking immediate answers, chatbots can jump to the traveler’s rescue.

Chatbots come with multi-carve benefits for businesses prompt feedback, saved user history, consolidated user-experience are some of the many benefits of chatbots. In the era of digitization, chatbots contribute a seamless and hassle-free experience to the users, thus making them stick to your brand.

 

Benefits of travel chatbot

 

Chatbots-in-Travel

 

Travel Assistance

Right from decisive where to go to building an itinerary to tracking expenses, chatbots are increasingly becoming the go-to assistants for travelers. A chatbot presents a bracing conversational reinstatement for boring long forms and probes the users about their preferences in an interactive manner.

Chatbots Boost To Cut Cost

Maintaining a high level customer service is costly and most of the application can be automated. Bots can handle time consuming routine communication, while skilled workforce can target on important tasks.

Be More Customer 

Customers don’t want to install apps or calls. They want to chat. A Chatbot can be available on the channel favored by the customer, increasing customer satisfaction. This can be accomplishing also thanks to their language that will be always polite and cultivate.

Last but not least, they provide a personalized experience to customers. Chatbots are adept to suggest customers customized products based on their profile and past behavior.

Managing Bookings

A booking bot can behave to a consumer via messaging, web, SMS or email and update them on the status of their actual reservation, make changes to the booking, process related payments/refunds, send proactive notifications, and give accurate information on their itinerary

Things to Consider in Building a Travel Chatbot

 

Chatbots-in-Travel

 

Step 1: Decide the chatbot's functionality

At this step, you need to define the purpose of your chatbot, set up goals and objectives. To determine the proper chatbot objectives, you need to answer the following questions: 

What is your business size? 

Do you need a chatbot to handle customer queries or to captivate people? 

What business convert you want to automate with your chatbot? 

How many people will use your chatbot? 

Do you need an integration of your chatbot with databases, CRM, or CMS? 

After answering these questions will help you have a clear idea about your chatbots project, and you can enter the next step. 

Step 2: Choose the chatbot type

Choosing the right type of chatbot and platform for your business depends upon a number of aspects, which may range from business size, customer base to purpose of deploying a chatbot. 

For chatbot development, you can go for off-the-shelf bots like wit.ai, Chatfuel, api.ai. While these tools works well for basic customer engagement requirements, they do have limitations when over-the-top functionalities are to be integrated within chatbots. 

Once you know the objectives of your project, it will be easier for you to choose the right chatbot type from among the following:

  • Choose this type of chatbot if you want to develop
  • Booking agents that boost users s to buy or book something 
  • Endorsement agents that gather requirements from the customer and then show relevant results 
  • Personal travel attendant  that will boost users find, not only hotels but also book flights and provide the user with local insights  
  • Comparison chatbot that will compare hotel rooms and flight ticket prices 
  • Automated check-in chatbot that allows the user to check-in to the flight or hotel 

Step 3: Evaluate chatbot channels 

The chatbot is becoming a familiar component for companies online. The colossal question for them is which channel should they install it on?
Within the last couple of years, chatbots have entered the mainstream and are employed in numerous channels – each with their own advantages.

  • Facebook Messenger chatbot
  • Twitter
  • Skype
  • Slack
  • Website

Step 4:  Choose the best platform 

Choosing the best chatbot platform is to appraise your needs and technical capabilities. Don't bring a bazooka to a water gun fight if you don't have to. Every chatbot platform will alter regarding its AI, ML, and NLP capabilities and likewise the technical acumen required yielding successful results.

To build a scripted-based chatbot with if/then logic, you can use one of the following platforms: 

  • Hubspot conversations
  • Chatfuel
  • Facebook Messenger

Step 5: Develop a chatbot MVP

A chatbot makes for a very good MVP. So a chatbot as an MVP kind of ignores visual design aspects and forces the focus towards functionality. And functionality or what the app can do for the user is what we want to test. 

Chat is conversational and that is something which humans find most engaging. The interface of a chatbot is very familiar to all of us as users, and does not really have too much scope for design input. 

Step 6:  Enrich chatbots for travel sector with additional features

To achieve this, ask your customers to test your chatbot and give feedback. You may also ask them what features you need to implement to your chatbot during the second development stage. Enrich chatbots for travel sector with additional features.

The most popular channels for chatbots are:

  • Embedded chat on your travel website
  • Your mobile travel application
  • Mobile carrier channels (SMS, USSD)
  • Messaging app (Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Kik, Line, Viber)

Why a chatbot is such an effective tool for travel businesses?

 

Chatbots-in-Travel

 

The travel industry today faces a number of particular challenges when it comes to engaging and selling to customers across online and offline channels. People are already accustomed to booking trips on their mobile devices, but they typically use a host of different travel apps and travel websites to get it done.

Passengers are using the web and mobile devices to research, book and pay for trips; the number of third parties involved in the customer journey makes orchestrating the process challenging; and the need to provide different services adds another layer of complexity.

With technological improvement, the way people now plan their trips has also changed. Gone are the days when community used to visit the local travel agents to book a flight or a hotel.

Conclusion

 

Chatbots-in-Travel

 

Travel chatbots are advantageous all round! They amuse customers, make travel agents’ work easier and increases tourism which indirectly has a positive achieve on the state of the capital. 

A Travel chatbot is a fully automated piece of software that has a conversation with your prospects to capture and certify leads in your digital marketing campaigns. By using a chatbot, brands can offer users an advance experience and assistance that is absolutely similar to a personalized communication between a sales representative and a customer. 

The user can communicate with the brand through the chatbot on his communication channel that may be website or social media handles. The bot will assist the user in finding a flight as per his date of journey.

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Oct 10, 2020

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Sep 20, 2020

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