For today’s travellers, a seamless digital experience is just as important as the experience at the attraction itself, and Redwoods Treewalk® - one of New Zealand’s premier tourist activities - has built a seamless customer experience with its new website, launched in 2019.
The website features the New Zealand designed and built Yonder customer service chatbot, which has helped streamline Redwoods customer service. Most customer enquiries are now handled through the website and as a result, email and phone enquiries have become almost non-existent.
Maverick Digital, the power behind Redwoods digital marketing strategy, explains how the Yonder chatbot helps Redwoods deliver on its promise to customers.
Redwoods customers are booking the same day or the day before they want to come, so the capability to answer questions in the evening and outside office hours is very important because that’s when people are researching or looking to book, says Tim Olson head of digital projects at Maverick.
Yonder’s power is in its automated responses.
“Lots of businesses want live chat, but don’t always have the staff to resource it, and that sets up a false promise, which is bad for business. The Yonder AI chatbot answers automatically, 24/7, 365 days a year. It’s an always on solution.”
Yonder is helping convert enquiries to bookings and walk-ins because it offers clarity to customers during the planning and booking phase of their journey.
While not used by Redwoods, the Yonder chatbot can incorporate live booking availability from their online booking system.
In the busy 2019/20 summer period, over 90 days, the chatbot had 2,327 conversations, and just five percent were escalated to staff for response. The chatbot resolved 86 percent of enquiries on its own, saving around 274 hours of staff time.
Customers got the answers they wanted, when they wanted, and that led to bookings: click throughs to the booking system from Yonder sit between 110-150 each month, depending on the time of year.
During the summer, a chatbot message greets website visitors and conveys the Nightlights treewalk time that week to website visitors, providing a key piece of dynamic information for customers.
“The goal is always to increase online bookings,” says Tim. “Chatbots are a really powerful tool in the toolkit for businesses with high volume traffic to their website.”
For Redwoods owner, Bruce Thomasen, one of the main drivers for getting a chatbot was to free up staff time so that they could focus on more value-adding activities, and he is very happy with what the chatbot has been able to achieve for the business on that front.
Letitia Stevenson, customer service expert at Yonder, highlights that chatbot conversational data offers a rich source of business intelligence for marketers.
Thousands of conversations between Redwoods and its customers are analysed in seconds from the Yonder Customer Insights dashboard offering powerful insights, she says.
“Redwoods are using this data to inform website content changes. And it can also be used to discover keywords or phrases for use in Google Ads and search engine optimisation,” says Letitia.
“You don’t have to guess what your customers are saying anymore. With Yonder data, you know.”
Yonder is the only chat solution Maverick recommends, because it’s flexible, customisable, and scalable to meet the needs of tourism businesses of all sizes, says Tim.
An off-the-shelf solution often won’t deliver the results tourism businesses are looking for, because the solution can’t be easily or cost-effectively customised to suit.
“Yonder’s bespoke solution is built for each business and rather than getting a solution that’s ‘good enough’, Redwoods got something that was tailored to them, and now they are reaping the benefits.”
Maverick Digital is a digital marketing agency based in Auckland, New Zealand. They bring their digital marketing nouse to help the tourism industry harness the power of digital to build better customer experiences and increased sales.
Redwoods Treewalk™ is a 700-metre long, eco-tourism walking experience in the heart of Rotorua’s Redwood Forest that consists of a series of 28 suspension bridges among 27 majestic Redwood trees that are more than 118-years-old. The New Zealand Tourism Award winning attraction is a must-do activity for the thousands of visitors that enjoy the Redwoods Forest each year.
Yonder is revolutionising communication between tourism businesses and travellers, with our
AI chatbot and live chat software, which is purpose-built for the tourism sector. The solution is backed by our tourism expertise, which has been honed working alongside leading tourism operators in New Zealand and overseas.