Is this the dawn of the chatbot era?
Chatbots taking over?
Amazing Social Data for Travel Companies
A huge number of travel related conversations is happening every day on social networks.
Based on nmodes Twitter data (averaged over 1.5 years of observations) there is
- 1 conversation every 15 minutes in which people notify that they are going to NYC;
- 1 conversation every 43 minutes in which people from the USA express intent to go to Europe;
- 1 conversation every 4 minutes with interest or intent to go on vacation;
- 1 conversation every 3 hours in which people are asking for hotel recommendations.
And this is just a tip of the iceberg.
(nmodes currently has 70+ travel-related topics and intents, and growing.)
For travel companies all these are qualified leads, potential customers, and attentive audience.
Reaching out to these potential customers results in a positive consumer experience, brand recognition, and, yes, sales!
Travel Chatbots Update
These are early days for travel bots. They mostly specialize in customer service, customer information and sometimes online booking. Advanced AI technology is good and getting better by the day, but it does not replace a person. And that's unlikely to change for a while.
In order to create a positive and enjoyable experience it is imperative to have a clear understanding of what bots do well and what they don’t.
One area where they have clear advantage over humans is response speed. Using bots makes your travel business scalable. Bot can handle mutlple user conversations simultaneously and replies instantly.
The part of the bot technology that needs significant improvement is understanding of the meaning of what customer said. The solution is to take the user off the bot when this stage of the converastion is reached. One of the popular techniques is to redirect the user from bot to the website when the questions get complicated. The majority of users are at ease with website navigation where they find themselves in the familiar environment.
This approach allows to utilize the scalability of the chatbot while maintaining the high level of customer service.