Booking Travel? There’s a Chatbot For That

Booking Travel? There’s a Chatbot For That

March 1, 2017
3 min read

It is estimated that over 3 billion people accessed messaging apps in 2021,  and this number is only expected to grow. While some of the largest travel brands are using Facebook Messenger to connect users to customer service, other travel platforms are developing and launching their own travel booking chatbot. These are built within their website or app with the goal of offering features that exist beyond customer service.

Chatbots offer travel website and app visitors opportunities to “talk” with a customer service bot to ask questions or to help book travel. Our 2022 our Travel Booking report revealed that over half of consumers would like travel booking apps to display alternative dates and times with lower costs. Similarly, 3 our of 10 adults who booked a trip in the last 12 months used an app to do so. With technology ever evolving its important travel booking companies stay ahead of trends and provide users with a variety of options and information to ensure a successful booking completion.

How is Appealing to Consumers is a half-bot, half-human hotel booking service that helps travellers find hotels based on a specific budget.The app searches travel sites, scouring for the best “secret deals” available and provides users with options to best fit their needs. With consumers wanting a chatbot to service all their needs from research and recommendations to booking a holiday package; it is more important than ever for companies to provide as much detail as possible.

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What We Think of Chatbots

Brands are embracing the opportunities that social media and messaging apps can provide for their customers. Messaging apps and channels are offering real-time and quick communication platforms for travellers, making the booking process far easier. In a connected world where adults already access social media and apps messaging services are a convenient and accessible avenue of communication between consumers and brands.

The success of chatbots will hinge on their ability to understand, address and alleviate the concerns customers may be having and easily communicate with them. Brands must diligently work toward ensuring a consistent tone in their communications, as well as providing timely responses as immediate responses will become a standard expectation for communications. Continuously evolving to meet the changing needs of customers will also be important for chatbots to become a sustainable form of customer service.

While brands across a range of industries develop their own chatbots, they are likely to be met with some scepticism from consumers. For travel booking, some consumers may be uncomfortable with making expensive purchases through an app. Conversations with chatbots may also be too impersonal for some consumers. Making sure that communication is human-sounding and conversational will likely help alleviate this concern. Brands should make a conscious effort to help solve consumers’ needs without being overbearing with their communication outreach.

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Gina Cavato
Gina Cavato

Gina Cavato is a Research Analyst at Mintel. She writes varied consumer reports across several categories, including lifestyles and leisure activities.

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