How AI Supports the Travel Industry During Covid-19 Crisis

A person walking in the aisle between rows of seats on an airplane, overlaid with a strip of blue color.

Learn how travel companies can use intelligent technologies to master skyrocketing customer requests.

Covid-19 has rocked the travel industry. Travel restrictions began flooding the market in late January and ramped up in February and March 2020, causing a surge in customer requests to travel providers. As people adapt to the fast protective changes put in place by our governments and medical professionals, businesses are seeing a spike in stress and uncertainty in customer behavior. Brands need to take this opportunity to show patience, understanding and empathy — to have a real positive impact on their customerslives.

Covid-19 presents airlines with unprecedented challenges

As borders shut and flights are forced to cancel, airlines around the world are seeing their customer service volumes spike as agent wait times went from minutes to hours. Some of Ultimates clients see their chat volumes week-on-week rising as much as 600%.

Customers are worried. They want to know if their flights were canceled. Or if they could still reschedule. They wanted to know if and how Covid-19 would impact their journey.

So how do travel companies live up to their high CX standards in a time of surge in customer service demand — and when clients are most anxious and in need of empathy? How can travel companies ensure that they are there for every customer, when they need it most?

Crisis management with AI: How new technologies can help

With an AI-powered automation platform deeply integrated into their individual CRM, travel companies are able to turn to automation to help their team resolve the thousands of important, yet repetitive, inquiries they were receiving to their customer support.

Intelligent chatbots are now on the front lines. In a normal month, conversational AI automates up to 40% of chat volumes. In response to the coronavirus, these smart bots can be extended to support customer service teams on coronavirus-related cases, advising customers on canceled flights and updating fliers on the latest government regulations.

One airline saw more than 16k conversations were automated within a week, which equals a value of €50k in outsourcing budget.

“We are working closely with our clients to help them adapt to the changes and are blown away by the creativity and customer-first commitment they are showing. If our experience in customer service automation can be of help to anyone, message me directly. We have a ready pack of information for how quickly you can go live with something simple and robust that can help support your team through this time.” 

Reetu Kainlulainen, CEO of Ultimate, explains:

As the dramatic spike in volumes has lengthened wait times everywhere, intelligent chatbots respond instantly to customers, giving them full and complete information at the same level as a human agent would be able to. With artificial intelligence, travel companies can deliver consistently exceptional customer experiences, even in times of crises.

Learn how to scale your CS with AI-powered automation