5 ways an AI chatbot helps to get the most out of your retreat
Feb 05 • 4 min read
A decade earlier, if you wanted to have a vacation to an exotic location, you had to go through a lot of planning and spend most of the time putting an itinerary in place. Just for a flight booking, you had to go through multiple travel agents, compare costs, and finally choose the ideal one based on your criteria. Then, there's planning the itinerary like accommodation and transportation, which can take away all the excitement of planning a vacation.
With the use of chatbots for travel management, travel planning and the trip has become better. Let's look at some real-life use cases of travel chatbots and how it can be a companion for people to plan their vacation and make the most out of their retreat.
Although chatbots seem resource-intensive and heavy applications that only enterprises use, they are simple programs that can automate even the mundane functions. There are low-priority, high-volume transactions occurring in the travel and tourism industry every second, making chatbots an ideal software to reduce workload.
1. Enable web check-ins
Chatbots can be implemented in social media, website, or instant messaging applications, enabling travellers to check-in for hotels and flights from their devices. Thanks to the pandemic, most airlines allowed passengers to check-in from their website. Often a time-taking nuisance, chatbots can make check-in a lot easier with people doing it from their mobile phone while stuck in the traffic en route to the airport.
2. Chatbot integration with instant messengers
Being a fast and convenient way to interact with other people, instant messaging apps have nearly replaced emails and text messaging for quick interaction. You can imagine the change they brought to the travel and tourism industry.
What's more, chatbots can take such transformation to the next level by conversing with the travellers through instant messengers. For instance, business owners like hotel owners and travel agencies use WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to automate conversations with their customers. Businesses in the travel industry can use IM-chatbot integration to have an always-on virtual assistant that can automatically respond to customer queries through instant messages. Indeed, airlines are already sending boarding passes and itineraries through IMs to travellers.
3. Flight booking with real-time price comparison
Not only passengers are taking the online route to book flight tickets but also prefer managing their entire trips on the go using their smartphone. However, travellers are still having trouble finding the best flight tickets. With fluctuating flight prices and the difficulty of going through multiple airline websites to find the best fare, even the most tech-savvy travellers can feel lost and tormented to keep track of everything.
Much like how travel business owners use chatbots for booking management, travellers can use it to discover the best flight tickets and enjoy an effortless travel experience. For instance, you can give the command to a voice-based travel assistant to find the cost of Delhi to Mumbai flight on any given day. The bot can then give results and make it easy to book or even look for alternative options.
Alternatively, users can instruct the virtual travel companion to set a price alert and get reminded when the flight price reaches a certain amount, similar to having a personal travel agent who helps you get the best deal.
4. Plan and manage a detailed travel itinerary
We have known people travel for two primary reasons - business and leisure. However, with millennials taking more business trips than other generations, there's a growing trend of extending business trips for retreat leading to a new travel type - bleisure.
In a bleisure trip, a traveller takes care of both business matters and leisure activities. Though mixing recreation with business trips feels exciting, finding nearby tourist attractions pose a new challenge for travellers. There are travel websites and blogs to help you with where, how, and when to go. However, they are written for people visiting the place for only leisure and don't have a business matter to look after.
For people wanting to get the best of their bleisure travel, a chatbot based recommendation system can help. The chatbot used to book flights can suggest nearby sightseeing areas. Additionally, travellers can use chatbots to plan the itinerary and avail deals for hotel bookings, creating a win-win situation for everyone involved.
5. Support travellers round the clock
Chatbots are virtual assistants available 24/7 to help travellers and do not require breaks, vacations, or off on weekends, making them ideal for performing customer support functions. Some of the responsibilities that chatbot can take include providing flight status updates in real-time, booking cab and hotel reservations, making changes to flight or hotel bookings, and more.
Moreover, if your business serves domestic and international travellers, you may not answer customer queries after the business hours, leading to delayed response and customer dissatisfaction. A travel bot can respond to basic questions frequently asked by your customers with bot-human handoff as a secondary option. The best part is that a single bot can answer dozens or more queries, interacting with multiple customers simultaneously.
Travel planning is an intimate experience for everyone. Businesses in travel domains must put efforts to implement technology solutions that improve the experience of their customers. An AI-based chatbot enables users to make travel plans, map out an itinerary, avail hotel booking deals, and much more. Further, travel businesses can employ chatbot to boost their productivity without putting forth a significant upfront investment.