In today’s rapidly changing world, various industries are turning to cutting-edge technology to meet the changing needs of their customers, and the travel industry is no exception. As Artificial Intelligence takes centre stage, travel businesses are able to take advantage of opportunities to enhance their services. By embracing AI technology, travel companies can discover a plethora of opportunities to gain a competitive edge, presenting a transformative path to elevating travel businesses to new heights, and revolutionising the experience for both customers and employees alike.
1. Inspire travellers - Destination and Trip
AI-powered algorithms are revolutionising how travel businesses inspire potential customers, with their analytical effectiveness allowing travel businesses to curate personalised destinations along with trip recommendations, creating ideal itineraries for each individual traveller. AI-powered algorithms can curate enticing travel options tailored to each customer. By gathering information for each individual, AI can suggest destinations based on the traveller's interests, as well as create a customised trip based on a variety of different criteria, including budget, type of destination (city-break, road trip, camping getaways, etc.), as well as types of activities, amongst many other levels of customisation. (1)
This level of personalisation not only inspires travellers but nurtures a sense of connection, enhancing the likelihood of converting potential customers into loyal clients. AI’s comprehension of customer desires helps travel businesses distribute relevant, engaging content, ultimately inspiring travellers to embark on unforgettable journeys.
2. Natural Lead Collection & Qualification
Gone are the days of manual lead collection and qualification processes. With the help of AI, travel businesses can streamline lead collection and qualification processes. AI-driven chatbots such as Maya can engage potential customers in fluid, human-like conversations with the use of Large Language Models (LLMs) such as ChatGPT, GPT-4, or Bard. While helping to inspire and form travellers, it feels natural for them to share a lot more information than they would in a form. This allows travel companies to get a better understanding of the specific traveller, and their customers in general.
However, it is a fact that some customers prefer interactions with real workers at travel companies, and value the opportunity to hear opinions from these professionals. Amadeus suggests that AI is a valuable asset to workers in the travel industry. With tailored suggestions and assumptions about preferences, travel companies can optimise their sales efforts, prioritising leads that are more likely to convert, as well as spending less time on less engaged potential customers ultimately allows a more personal, attentive interaction with each individual traveller.
3. Answer Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Customer support is, without a doubt, a crucial aspect of the travel industry. Nevertheless, responding to the same questions over and over again is not only time-consuming, but also frustrating for staff. For customers on the other hand, it's annoying that the response is typically not instant. While adding FAQs to the website can take away some of the burden, many customers don't look for these or can't find them. That's where an AI chatbot can come in - by understanding the users question and context, it can answer specific questions instantly, helping customers better and freeing up time of travel agents for more value-adding tasks.This seamless support offers customers instant solutions, alleviating the burden on staff, all while tirelessly fostering customer satisfaction and building trust in the brand and its services. (2)
4. Route to specialist or book meeting
With AI-driven chatbots and intelligent routing systems, travel businesses can efficiently route customers to the most suitable specialists within their organisation, transforming the way customers are connected to specialised experts and travel professionals. When customers have complex inquiries or specific requirements, AI algorithms can quickly and accurately analyse their needs and connect them with experts who have experience with the given destination and/or topic. This process creates an efficient way to resolve various issues such as getting answers to detailed questions about specific destinations, hotels, etc, ultimately leading to improved customer satisfaction as well as company efficiency.
Moreover, AI integrations offer a convenient and customer-centric approach for booking meetings with specialists. This not only benefits the customers but optimises workflow for travel businesses. Valuable staff time is saved, creating the possibility for staff to dedicate their focus to higher-quality interactions, improving their overall customer service. (3)
5. Answer questions about booking
It is inevitable that customers will have inquiries about their bookings, and with the help of AI’s capabilities, travellers will no longer have to wait more than a few seconds for help with any of their concerns.
With real-time assistance, 24/7 support, and zero wait times, customers can get immediate answers to their questions across time zones, catering to international travellers and ensuring customer inquiries are addressed regardless of the time of day or night. This enhances customer experience, as there is no chance for delayed responses. The sophisticated and proactive support can set travel businesses apart from others, driving increased customer loyalty. (4) Compared to a standardized online process, chatbots can make it easier to find the right options to customers' inquiries. For example, customers can ask for clarification on cancellation policies, prompting questions for the chatbot such as How much refund will I get if I cancel now? AI’s ability to answer to each specific case in real time is a more efficient way for customers to ask about their bookings.
6. Book trips within the chat
A capability of AI-powered chatbots is the possibility of integrating booking systems, where travellers can book directly within the chat. This ability enhances customer engagement, as travellers don’t need to continuously switch between tabs, will receive instant responses on their inquiries, ultimately making reservations without delay, boosting conversion rates and maximising revenue potential. (5)
Not to mention, many travellers prefer their questions to be answered by AI chatbots. A recent study from TravelDailyNews concluded that 37 percent of users booking both vacation and business travel online prefer to deal with an intelligent chatbot when arranging travel plans or comparing booking options in comparison to lengthy processes such as emails, phone calls, and searches.
In today’s ever-changing travel landscape, where customers are in search of seamless interactions alongside personalised attention and experiences, embracing AI technology is strategic for travel businesses. By integrating AI-powered assistants like Maya, travel companies can elevate their services, bettering the travel experience for both its customers and employees.
Incorporating AI assistants like Live the World’s Maya into travel business opens a world of opportunities for inspiring travellers, optimising processes, and striving ahead in the field. With Maya’s personalised, attentive capabilities, customers will be able to curate inspiring trips, recommending incredible itineraries for each traveller, while employees can focus on enriching the customer experience, using Maya as a tool to thrive in this competitive market.
To flourish in this quickly evolving market, travel businesses should incorporate new technologies to improve their services, setting them apart from other competitors. Implementing these state-of-the-art tools such as Maya can enable companies to move faster and leapfrog more digitized competitors. It is faster and cheaper than developing something in-house or with consultants, and allows to immediately leverage best practices.
- The New York Times: Can ChatGPT Plan Your Vacation? Here’s What to Know about A.I and Travel.
- Hubspot Blog: AI in Customer Service: 10 Ways to Use it [+ Examples]
- Publicis Sapient: How Can Generative AI Improve the Guest Experience?
- Hotel Tech Report: AI in Hospitality: The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on the Hotel Industry
- CNBC: ChatGPT and generative A.I are already changing the way we book trips and travel