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Ai travel industry_report

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  1. 1. Chatbots and Virtual Assistants How AI is impacting customer service and experience in the travel industry August 2018
  2. 2. AI (Artificial Intelligence) is… The development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages. What Is Artificial Intelligence?
  3. 3. Chatbot A computer program you can communicate with through messaging applications, chat windows, or by voice. (Facebook Messenger, website chat messages) Virtual Assistant A program that understands natural language voice commands and completes tasks for the user. (Amazon Alexa, Google Home)
  4. 4. Businesses Are Racing For Technological Advancement Companies are competing to keep up with emerging tech trends. Businesses are finding ways to enhance customer experience by implementing AI solutions. 37% of organizations have already started implementing AI for customer experience. 41% have plans to implement AI by 2020 to boost customer experience capabilities *Oracle Research
  5. 5. How Can Chatbots Enhance Customer Service And Experience In The Travel Industry? Airlines and hotels are implementing chatbots on their websites and using Facebook Messenger to provide additional assistance and solutions for customers. Messenger bots are beginning to complete more complex tasks such as recommending places to visit and handling bookings and payments. Chatbots provide customers with 24hr service and the ability to inform users from any device almost instantly. 24/7 Service Amenities Information Booking Hotel Rooms Booking/Changing Flights Check-ins FAQs Flight updates Travel Recommendations Capabilities
  6. 6. How Can Virtual Assistants Enhance Customer Service And Experience In The Travel Industry? Hotels are testing “smart room” technologies where guests will be able to interact with virtual assistants like Alexa, Siri, and Google Home. These systems would allow customers to access guest information, request services, and control room functions. Since guests tend to value convenience, the hospitality industry is working on enhancing their capabilities to make the travel experience more efficient and enjoyable. Check-ins Concierge or Room Service FAQs Flight Status Hands-free Music and Entertainment Room Temperature, Lights, Blinds Travel Recommendations Weather Updates Capabilities
  7. 7. Companies In The Travel/Hospitality Industry That Are Currently Using AI To Boost Customer Service And Experience
  8. 8. So How Can Businesses Benefit From All This? Cost-Efficient Able to process large amounts of data 24/7 customer service availability Time saving Helps improve customer experience 53% of employees say they can save up to 2 hours a day with automation and AI. (WorkMarket 2020 In(Sight) Report) AI technology, specifically chatbots, could save businesses $8 billion annually worldwide by 2022. (Juniper Research)
  9. 9. But What Do Customers Think?
  10. 10. Customers understand that companies across different industries are turning to artificial intelligence and digital tools. When it comes to the travel industry, guests can appreciate that businesses are coming up with more ways to improve customer service and customer experience. They like that they can have options to choose from when it comes to services for their travel needs, but digital services need to match or exceed human capabilities. Customers Want Fast, Accurate, And Efficient Service, Whether They Get It From Humans Or Technology What customers like about chatbots and virtual assistants: Sometimes faster than a human Chatbots can still assist guests with accents (Unlike virtual assistants that cannot understand international accents) Help staff be more efficient Provides travel booking assistance Inform about changes and delays instantly Quick searches and FAQs
  11. 11. What Are Customers Saying? Likes/Opportunities “If AI and Voice Activated Virtual Assistants were able to "proactively" communicate with United passengers in times of weather delays or canceling of flights with various rebooking options by calling the passengers mobile phone and quickly rebooking them by voice commands, then that would be useful. If they offered rebooked options or available flights on other airlines from the same airport, that would be even better.” – Justin M., United Customer “The opportunities for the travel industry are enormous - helping to choose a destination to visit, time of the year, type of flight, type of accommodation, additional tours etc.. anywhere guidance in decision making is required represents a potential opportunity.” – Rodney W., Qantas Customer “Chatbots allow a conversation with any customer about any issue at any time of day (e.g. browsing on website and chatbot ask if customer needs assistance). They can engage in friendly, non- passive interactions with customers, but they shouldn't replace virtual face time with customer service reps.” -Trish H., United Customer “
  12. 12. Customer service and efficiency are the main priorities for guests who are traveling. Customers say that these AI-powered tools need much more development before they can fully depend on its service. They prefer speaking to a real human because they can better understand customers’ emotions and complex questions. If digital tools are not performing well, customers would rather find answers themselves. However, Customers Think That Businesses Don’t Value Them Because Of The Lack Of Human Interaction What customers dislike about chatbots and virtual assistants: Cannot understand complex questions Doesn’t value the customer Needs more development Customers can find answers on their own Repeat themselves when they speak to a human Doesn’t always give accurate answers
  13. 13. What Are Customers Saying? Dislikes “I like having the instant ability to get simple answers on websites e.g. finding check in times and baggage allowances or hotel arrival times. It is nice to talk to a real human when I have a more complex issue though.” – Carol C., Air New Zealand Customer "I can see where chatbots would be helpful if a customer just had some straightforward questions - perhaps about room amenities, etc. But if you needed actual help in changing or making a reservation, I'm not sure that they would be capable of helping with that. Virtual assistants in hotel rooms might work well - for ordering room service or housekeeping needs, providing they're set up correctly. If not, it could just lead to frustration and dissatisfaction.” – Rebecca N., IHG Customer “The missing component perhaps is the emotional part of the system. Human relies on some form of emotion to enhance customer service. Chatbots and virtual assistants may not because it currently runs on a set of rules. Perhaps in the future, AI can be used to determine fairer travel system tailored to the customer by using logical decision making rather than an emotional one.” – Christopher S., IHG Customer “
  14. 14. So, what do businesses need to keep in mind to keep their customers satisfied? Customers are still fairly new to chatbots and virtual assistants, but so are businesses. Companies need to keep in mind that if they plan to fully implement AI-powered tools for customer service, the technology must be fully developed. If chatbots and virtual assistants are not advanced enough, businesses may worsen customer experience rather than improve it, giving customers more complications with their travel needs. The travel and hospitality industries focus on service and prioritizing the customer. If companies want to keep their customers happy, they need to make sure that digital tools and its capabilities are being leveraged for the betterment of their guests, and not only their business.
  15. 15. AI tools are not used to replace human interaction, but rather enhance and revolutionize customer experience… What role do you think AI will play in the years to come?
  16. 16. Appendix
  17. 17. ***Infographic and timeline by Futurism

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