What can a travel chatbot do?
An AI chatbot or virtual agent has a huge number of possible uses within the travel industry. As previously mentioned, the easiest "intents" or requests to automate are the simple, repetitive inquiries. This means that many queries can be completely taken care of by the virtual agent, such as:
- Changing a flight
- Inquiring about a booking status
- Upgrading a room
- Asking what travel documents are needed
- Taking payment
- Booking additional baggage
- And so much more
This is possible because your virtual agent can be integrated into your CRM and other backend systems, giving it access to all the same information that your human agents have, including customer info, reservation systems, and more. Just be sure to check that the automation provider you choose has security certifications, like SOC2, to ensure your customer data stays safe.
Of course, not all customer requests can be automated. Here, your chatbot or virtual agent can act as a first line of defense, asking the customer questions to gather context and passing that information on to an agent so the customer doesn’t have to repeat themselves and their query can be resolved faster.
Furthermore, although they are primarily used for customer service, chatbots can make a difference to your business’s bottom line with upselling or cross-selling opportunities. For example, if a customer is already engaged in a chat or email thread with a virtual agent to change their flight, your virtual agent could prompt them to upgrade to business class or add an extra piece of luggage. Additionally, Ultimate’s client, Finnish tour operator Aurinkomatkat finds that chat customers tend to be more qualified leads,
“Chat conversations also lead to a sale much more often than calls because most people are already at least thinking of buying a trip. So the virtual agent has been working very well for us."
- Olli Vikman, Service Manager, Aurinkomatkat
Who can benefit from customer service automation?
Travel companies of all shapes and sizes can benefit from implementing a chatbot or a virtual agent. Whether you’re an online travel agent (OTA), an airline, a tour operator, a car rental agency, a public transportation system or a hotel, chances are you have a high amount of repetitive requests, customers wanting to communicate in many languages, a demand for 24/7 support that your team may not be able to keep up with, and fluctuations in volume of support queries. By automating your customer service, you can ensure your travelers get the information they need and your team stays happy.