Industry Update
Supplier News 4 July 2017

Travel Brands Falling Short in Chatbot Deployment

Chatbots are a potential route to billions of consumers but travel brands are failing to fully take advantage of their possibilities according to the new Are Bots Worth the Bother? Report for EyeforTravel and Travelaer.

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The report looked into how far travel brands have made use of Facebook Messenger to deliver customer service and booking to customer. It finds that while 93% of these airlines have a Facebook page, and 81% a Messenger link, only 38% of the 206 contacted responded to researchers' messages, with a third of those contacted taking at least a week to reply.

The full report can be downloaded here.

From the just over a third of airlines that responded through Facebook, most used generic messages pointing to their website or reservation team, but not necessarily including links or numbers.

The report notes that airlines are not alone, with no vertical in the travel space yet to fully take advantage of this emerging and powerful technology.

Companies are beginning to get a handle on replying to customers, with nearly two-thirds of airline brands (64.1%) getting back to customers within 24 hours, ahead of hotels, airlines and car rental companies in that order. Hotels also performed well, with 81% of brands monitored responding in under week. However, when it came to driving potential customers towards a booking, both fared far less well. Just under half of Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) half provided assistance for booking through a Messenger chatbot, compared to 18.8% of car rentals, 15.2% of hotels, and 8.7% of airlines.

The report finds that brands need to move into this space as consumers are spending increasing time using social media and messenger services and are also gradually coming to expect to interact with brands over this medium as well. Moving onto these mediums can provider travel and tourism brands with a low cost booking channel and also ease the burden on customer service provisions according to the report.

For more and chatbots and to download the report click here and find out:

  • How market conditions are creating an environment ripe for chatbots.
  • How many chatbots are deployed with travel brands currently and what level of functionality they have.
  • How they work, what tasks they can perform, and where their limits are.
  • What the costs associated with a chatbot are and how it can help your brand save money.
  • How chatbots can improve customer service.
  • What effect they are currently having and will have on the travel industry.

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