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Drive to Reimagine

7 ways to enhance the traveler's experience with chatbots

Engati Team
.
May 22
.
7-8 mins

Table of contents

Key takeawaysCollaboration platforms are essential to the new way of workingEmployees prefer engati over emailEmployees play a growing part in software purchasing decisionsThe future of work is collaborativeMethodology

Want to know what's hot in the travel and tourism industry?

Chatbots; travel chatbots!

Chatbots are a new-age interface that can help you interact with your customers. The interaction is both human-like and personalized. Indeed, they respond to your customers within no time with the maximum possible information. Chatbots only get smarter with more time and more data.

What are travel chatbots?

Chatbots for travel
Tourism Chatbot

Gone are the days when travelers had to visit their local travel agents to book flights or lookup hotels. To serve technologically proficient customers, the travel industry is coming up with various tools and this has been bringing about a whole new wave in the travel industry today. Chatbots in the travel industry automate travel-related tasks. From flight bookings, hotel bookings, recommendations to being a virtual tour guide, travel chatbots can do it all!

This makes traveling even more convenient.

Using a travel bot on the websites of onine travel agencies will give your customers all they need in a matter of seconds and engage them by being available 24/7. When a lead approaches your bot, all their information is captured and sent to your travel agent. But for that, you will have to choose and integrate a bot that seems most suitable for your business type and its requirements.

Why conversational AI in travel?

Conversational AI comes with many benefits and is helpful across many industries. What conversational AI does in travel is:

  • It informs your potential customers about destinations and events that they can attend.
  • It sends you notifications, recommendations based on preferences and can even help you plan the itinerary.
  • It’s easily accessible and always ready to help! It can attend to customer queries 24x7 throughout the trip.
  • It engages your customers and helps your leads seamlessly through the sales funnel.

Why a chatbot is such an effective tool for travel businesses

Holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year. The anticipation of applying for leaves hoping for an approval. The rush you feel when packing your things the night before, it's enough to prove that everyone needs a break at times. What we don't need is the stress of planning a holiday. So, whom would you trust more with your travel plans - a travel agent that can confuse you with recommendations and random ideas or a chatbot that can streamline the process?

There has been a significant upgrade with these bots, acting as a highly sophisticated interface between travel businesses and customers. Triggers set intelligently by chatbots are really helpful in ensuring that we get our reservations done just in time. Not only do chatbots significantly reduce operation costs for businesses but the end users are increasingly vouching for them.

They have been one of the most efficient use cases of artificial intelligence and machine learning. The travel industry is benefitting great deal out of it. Further developments through deep learning are making chatbots a total win-win by becoming more contextual, conversational and sentimental.

Now that we have established the fact that chatbots are a necessity for the travel and tourism industry, let’s see how Engati can help your travel business in building the best travel chatbot.

As a Travel Agency, why would you need one?

Imagine you run a travel agency and you have customers bombarding you day and night with their requests. It sure is your job to assist them but wouldn’t it be easier if you could let an assistant of some sort handle all the lower-level tasks that you feel are eating up most of your time? So you think of hiring a personal travel assistant but it’s a little heavy on your pocket! Besides the whole process of hiring, training, nurturing, and retaining can be very time-consuming. So what do you do? You get a travel chatbot!

Chatbots can be built within minutes, you can train them once, deploy them on your website and sit back while it automates repetitive tasks and handles customer interactions for you. For more clarity on what do chatbots do for the travel industry, let’s take a look at some of their functions:

  • Travel PlanningThe chatbot here serves as a virtual travel agent and helps you plan your customer’s trip based on their requirements.
  • Generate FAQsChatbots can collect relevant information easily through FAQs. They can also answer customer queries in this pattern.
  • Assigns Travel AgentsLive Chat is a feature in chatbots that allows your customers to talk to your representatives whenever a complex query arises.Chatbot assigns your representative to your customer automatically.
  • Shows Availability of Hotels and FlightsTravel chatbots can recommend your customers’ hotels and flights based on availability and preferences. Once selected, your customers can even make hotel reservations and book airline tickets over your bot
  • Provides RecommendationsRecommendations can be made through your travel chatbot. Your chatbot can send customers recommendations on flights, hotels, places to visit, things to do, or even serve as a tour guide!
  • Refunds and CancellationRefunds and cancellations have never been so easy. Cancel and request a refund directly from the chatbot. You can also make payments.
  • Trip InformationYour chatbot can keep users informed about the details of their journey, check-ins, flight status, and much more.

Benefits of travel bots

Better lead generation and nurturing

Most of the businesses operate in an omnichannel model. They sell across the website, Facebook, and other channels. AI chatbots create an effortless way for customers to communicate with your business via existing messaging platforms such as Facebook Messenger, which recently passed 1.3 billion users.

By deploying chatbots, you can engage your customers with personalized messaging throughout their journey by guiding and recommending them in making quick decisions.

Deliver 24×7 automated customer support

Nobody likes to wait and so do customers. 62% of companies view customer experience delivered by a brand as a competitive differentiator. Bots can engage with the customers 24×7 by promptly responding to their common queries.

Having good customer service available round the clock has a positive impact on your customer satisfaction and customer churn.

Bots save an ample amount of time

Time is money in business.  Here is how chatbots help to make the most of yours.

Chatbots empower your business and save time by providing the first level support that filters a customer request before it is directed to the team. Studies estimate that chatbots will help businesses save more than $8 billion per year by 2022.

AI enabled chatbots to benefit your business to improve the efficacy and productivity by providing quick answers and solutions to customers for simple queries. Thus, bots significantly reduce operational costs, manpower, and time.


Easy scalability of support

Businesses that offer support with live agents might not know when they need to add more agents or not. Also hiring more human agents means infrastructure costs, training costs, and loss of time. In such a scenario, chatbots can be the best way to handle conversations.

Unlike live support agents who can handle 2 to 3 conversations, chatbots can simultaneously manage thousands of conversations. No matter what time it is or how many customers are reaching you, every chat will be answered immediately.

Cut down on human errors

It’s a universal fact that human errors are inevitable. Manual work has a risk of errors that can eventually create big problems. Mistakes might happen while collecting customer information or sharing product pricing information.

Chatbots are the best way to deliver error-free service and avoid complications. As chatbots are programmed with all the information there is no chance of errors. Accuracy is guaranteed with chatbots.

Applications of travel chatbots

Just like us, every bot is different and has its own way of working and organizing. So here’s a list of a few bot types you can choose from according to your business needs and customer demands.

Infographic on ways chatbots can support your customers by planning their journeys, comparing prices, and more
How travel chatbots support customers through all steps of the journey

1

For comparisons and bookings

Flight and hotel bookings are the most tiresome, energy-sucking part of the whole travel planning scene. People are usually found to be in distress regarding this, and why shouldn’t they be? Looking around a million hotels and flight options that suit your needs, as well as your pockets, has never been a walk in the park! Until the chatbots came in, of course! Make hotel booking easier for your customers. Here's a chatbot template that does the job! Hotel Booking Bot: A simple starter level chatbot that is powerful and efficient. It allows you to book rooms and services. Use it as a template for your customers and gather momentum on your hotel website.

2

For itinerary planning

Say goodbye to the old-fashioned travel-guide sham. Chatbots are here and they’re really cool! Who could’ve ever imagined an artificially intelligent robot could help you around the new city and be your perfect travel buddy? Well, the future has finally arrived, technology has bestowed upon its best to humankind and things are starting to look good! Check out some of these travel-friendly bots. Trip planner bot: This is the ultimate savior to all our explorers suffering from unpleasant decision fatigue!

This chatbot design spares your customers from having to scroll through websites. It provides destination options in carousels which helps your client visualize the place and the transport details are sent dynamically. It also helps in planning the trip end-to-end, letting your customers ‘take a break’ for real!

Travel chatbot template: Exploring Amsterdam? Let the chatbot help you!" This chatbot lets your customers book flights, find suitable hotels and rent cars. On top of that, it also makes recommendations on places to visit, things to do, must-have meals, and much more.

Tourism bot: This the game changer for all tourism companies. This chatbot allows your customers to review and book tour packages on your website. It gives you a great opportunity to speed up your businesses by capturing lead information and engaging them with conversations.

3

For customer support

Customer service is one of the primary functions of travel chatbots. In the travel industry, they’re being extensively used in airlines, hotels, restaurants, vehicle rentals, and so on. Any customer query is first dealt with by the bot and if the problem gets complex, the live agent is able to assist the customer. This gives the customers an all-inclusive experience and derives customer satisfaction and customer loyalty.

 

Why Engati for travel

Rich analytics and live chat are only a few examples of the many support channels provided by Engati. It has a unique use case in the travel lifecycle that customers enjoy.

Natural Language Understanding and Contextual Conversation feature will enable your travel chatbot to interact with your customers in the most efficient way. It gives more clarity to the speech of the chatbot such that customers find it easy to talk. With time, your chatbot will store and analyze data for returning customers. It will make your customers feel that someone cares about what they like and what they are looking for. For instance, if your customer prefers traveling over the weekend, then the top results will be for the weekend.

Moreover, customers love it when you make them feel special. There is nothing extraordinary that you have to ensure. All you have to do is reduce your response time and provide solutions. For instance, if your customer is facing any booking difficulty and you are able to help them right away, you will gain their trust and keep them coming back to you.

Work with ease

We have in-house experts, who can run you through the entire Engati platform. It will give you more clarity around how Engati can provide unique solutions for your travel business and make you stand out in the industry. In fact, you will be able to build your own travel chatbot for free without any prior programming knowledge.

In addition, it only takes 10 minutes to build a chatbot on Engati. It is very easy to use and you can get it customized for a nominal charge.

Travel chatbot success stories

TBO Holidays

TBO Holidays, a B2B portal that helps travel agencies across the globe wanted to enhance customer service efficiency. Their current system, that relied heavily on email did not work for them. High volumes of incoming emails created bottlenecks that hindered agent productivity.

Engati’s conversational modeler helped TBO Holidays create interactive dialog flows that helps users find answers to their questions in a matter of seconds, with the chatbot handling 1.5x more users than an agent.

TBO Holidays integrates Engati into their system to automate queries around bookings, cancellations, plans, etc., handling 90.4% of questions and handling more requests to further increase customer engagement.


Global Village

Since its inception, Global Village, one of the largest cultural parks and the 1st family destination for culture, shopping, and entertainment in the region, has been conducting a variety of on-going activities and events. However, they were finding it difficult to market to visitors and had an overwhelming amount of queries coming in from multiple channels, which they were not able to handle. 

They decided to use automation as a tool to boost satisfaction rates among visitors. With their current website available in both Arabic and English, they wanted their chatbot to reflect this as well. With Engati’s RTL support, they could answer queries in Arabic and English. Upon deploying the bot, Global Village successfully marketed events and their chatbot handles


How to develop a travel chatbot in 5 easy steps

Gone are the days when travelers had to visit an agent or click through several websites to book and plan their vacation. Travel chatbots have successfully replaced all the manual interactions and can take commands from the user to complete any given task! From flight bookings to recommendations for hotels to places to visit! Travel chatbots can do it all!

Now, you’d be wondering “travel chatbots do seem promising, but making one is going to cost a lot of money, time, and resources”. Building bots is no more a hard task that requires a lot of coding and programming. With technical advancements you can make full-fledged chatbots in 10 minutes!

Now let me demonstrate how to get started with Engati, a chatbot building platform, and build travel bots for your travel business.

First, create an account by registering for free at Engati.

As soon as you create your account, you’ll find yourself on this landing page where you can get started with building a bot immediately.

create a chatbot

Click on Create Bot, give your bot a name, describe your bot, select a use-case category, restrict domains (optional) and click on ‘build from template’ to select from our various, multi-functional bot templates and hit the ‘preview’ button to see how your bot is going to look like.

Once you’re done previewing your bot, click on Create and you have your bot ready! Yes, it’s that simple! You can also customize the conversational flow, create paths, add FAQs, train your bot and add broadcast, Live chat, and multilingual features!

Create bot and customise the conversational flow
Edit, create flows, analyze, and more!

Head to the Deploy section to integrate your bot on 12+ platforms or even choose between JSON API or Zapier that lets hundreds of more integrations possible.

Deploy section to integrate your bot
Integrate and deploy!

 

And you’re done! Enjoy your newly made bot and reap its maximum benefits!

Things to consider when building a travel chatbot

Set the Right Expectations for Your Chatbot

The chatbot experience can go two ways: either the user gets exactly what they want from the bot and are very satisfied, or they keep asking questions that the bot cannot answer, and get frustrated. More often than not, the bot fails to perform well because the user is asking questions, or trying to perform tasks that the bot wasn’t designed for.

So it’s extremely important that you clarify in your chatbot design what the bot can and cannot do. This goes for both the team that’s developing the bot, and for the users of the bot.

Cater to the Context

One of the major reasons that chatbots are an improvement over human interactions is their ability to access past interactions and context, to personalize the conversation, while upselling new services.

As an airline company, if you have data that a particular traveller flies business-class, your chatbot can use that information to be proactive in anticipating the traveller’s needs. A quick question by the bot, “Flying business class as always?”, can make the conversation more personal, and the traveller more inclined to fly business class.

Similarly, an airline reservation bot can expand services to prompt cab bookings as soon as you land, or suggest great bars and restaurants at the airport if you have a layover.

For chatbots designed to be tour guides, the ability to leverage past behaviour and weave that into the conversation becomes crucial. Creating a complete map of user preferences, based on past interactions and transactions, can go a long way in personalizing travel experiences for individual users.

Handover to a Human

While chatbots are meant to automate a lot of the customer conversations happening at travel enterprises, it’s not advisable to leave them out in the wild, on their own. There are customer queries that could be too complicated for the bot, and inability to answer them could lead to a bad user experience.

Usually bots can give out a customer care number on which to call and end the conversation. But your travel bot could go a step further and ensure that customers do not have to change channels to get answers to their questions. There should always be a human who can take over automated conversations and help answer queries that lie outside the bot’s capabilities. What’s important to ensure is that the switch from bot to human should be a smooth one, and clearly communicated to the user.

Measure Your Bot’s Performance

Chatbots are not a make-it-and-forget-it activity. As with all strategic tasks, proper measurement and analysis of bot’s conversations is key to optimizing bot performance.

Travel chatbot templates to get you started

  • Travel - Trip PlannerThis is a chatbot template that helps travelers on flight bookings based on information captured on travel dates, airline preferences, and seating options.The chatbot also allows users to choose a flight for travel and forward the request to the travel agency for completing the booking.
  • Trip Planner BotTravel chatbot takes away the decision fatigue. Gone are the days where you need to scroll through travel websites.They provide destination options in carousels which helps visualize the location. Helps in planning the trip end to end. Transport details are dynamically provided.
  • City Travel Guide Chatbot TemplateA chatbot that lets you book flights, hotels, and cars. It also displays top activities in any preferred city.
  • Hotel Booking BotA simple starter-level Travel chatbot that is powerful and efficient. It allows you to book rooms and services.Use it as a template for your customers and gather momentum on your hotel website.
  • Tourism BotA chatbot template that allows users to review and book tour packages.For the travel planner and operator businesses, it gives a great opportunity to capture leads information while engaging with them on a bot.

Hotel booking chatbot

For more such chatbot templates, visit our Bot Marketplace! 

Travel chatbot features provided on Engati

  • Live chat support so that you have total control over the system. You can dive in whenever you feel is the right time and take over the conversation from the chatbot and directly interact with the customer.
  • Rich Analytics will help you track and manage the performance of the chatbot and measure customer satisfaction.
  • FAQ upload allows you to upload all the common questions that you feel your customers might ask or would want to know about your services, deals and packages. You can upload all FAQs from csv/xls and get started.
  • Easy training will enable you to train your bot without any downtime. The better your chatbot is trained, the better experience it will provide to your customers.
  • Multi platform support integrates your work apps - Skype, Messenger, Slack, Whatsapp, Telegram, Kik, Viber, Line, and more, on one single platform.
  • Intelligent paths helps you build a sequence of tasks and take control over lead generation, decision-making and more.
  • Easy integrations framework will help you be connected with any existing systems for the micro-services, CRM, portals and more if open APIs are available.
  • Multilingual support gives you access to 20+ international languages like English, Bahasa, Arabic, Turkish, etc., along with providing the RTL feature.
  • E.Sense NLP Engine will enable your chatbot to better understand the user query variations and provide the most relevant answers.


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Engati Team

At the forefront for digital customer experience, Engati helps you reimagine the customer journey through engagement-first solutions, spanning automation and live chat.

Andy is the Co-Founder and CIO of SwissCognitive - The Global AI Hub. He’s also the President of the Swiss IT Leadership Forum.

Andy is a digital enterprise leader and is transforming business strategies keeping the best interests of shareholders, customers, and employees in mind.

Follow him for your daily dose of AI news and thoughts on using AI to improve your business.

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