Utilizing the conversational power of chatbots has become an integral part of the digital strategy in a number of industries over the past year or two. Putting the consumer in control of the conversation with bots has already proven to drive revenue growth and increase brand loyalty.
In the airline industry, customer service is often considered lacklustre, the traditional means of providing service digitally falling short of being able to handle the volumes of customer inquiries and requests in a way that’s personalized and fast.
The answer—chatbots—is not only simpler and more effective than traditional means, but faster and far less expensive to develop. Bots meet the desires of the contemporary traveller in a way that is personal, instant, and engaging.
Serve, Don’t Sell
Due to the rapid growth of social media and mobile technology, the expectations of today’s travellers are quickly changing to match the digital climate to which they’ve grown accustomed. Modern consumers are looking for quick, self-service options available anytime, anywhere.
Today’s consumer seeks a “serve, don’t sell” mentality. This is where chatbots come into play; bots are able to offer a truly personalized experience by “learning” a consumer’s preferences and delivering promotions, offers and travel advice that are pertinent to a particular traveller’s interests. Bots can send real-time travel updates without being prompted to do so, which turns a one-way transaction into a two-way interaction. Most importantly, bots provide relevant, actionable responses to inquiries and requests.
For example, if a traveller wants to know if there is a fee for checked baggage, they can simply contact the airline’s chatbot through the digital channel of their choice and get a response in seconds, without the need to peruse a website or wait on hold for a representative.
Alternatively, if a flight is delayed or there is a last-minute gate change, a bot can reach out to a customer via their preferred channel to alert them. Traditional service tools like websites and apps simply cannot adapt to this sort of personalized, anytime service.
Creating a Convenient Journey
Every traveller is different in their needs and preferences, and the ability to anticipate their questions and expectations is integral to an evolving digital strategy. Understanding the traveller’s perspective and creating a relationship between brand and consumer has, historically, been no easy feat, but chatbots allow enterprises to navigate that journey and engage travellers in a meaningful way.
Building and deploying a bot has never been easier. Bot-building platforms like SnatchBot provide a full development toolkit that requires little to no coding skills, providing everything needed to create, test, and deploy bots to a number of channels. Bot development cycles are measured in days, not weeks or months like traditional apps or websites.
The channel-agnostic nature of chatbots means that consumers are able to choose their preferred communication channel, be it a messaging app like Facebook Messenger or Skype, SMS, email, or more. SnatchBot is the only bot-building platform on the market today that offers seamless interaction across chat channels, which means that a consumer can start a conversation on a messaging app, continue on a website, and end talking to a live agent without interruption.
Airline customers are more than just a one-time transaction; it is a journey in itself, from the time a consumer books a flight to the time they step off the plane. Creating a convenient journey at every step makes for more than just a content customer, but a brand advocate.
The Added Value of Bots
Besides the ability to provide rapid, personalized service, bots offer a number of other benefits for the airline industry:
• Natural language and machine-learning capabilities allow bots to respond to frequently-asked consumer inquiries, anytime.
• Multi-channel integration allows bots to be wherever the traveller is.
• Personalized, proactive outreach and anticipating needs enhance the travel experience.
• Improved customer service directly correlates to revenue growth.
Bots are an important tool in a digital strategy that adds consistency and personalization in ways previously unattainable. Airlines that effectively employ bots into their digital strategy will quickly see the advantages in the forms of higher customer satisfaction and a cultivation of loyalty like never before.