Article

5 reasons why tourism operators are adding automation to their customer service

A chatbot is an amazingly efficient extension to your in-house customer service team.
Jose Reader
August 17, 2020

A chatbot is an amazingly efficient extension to your in-house customer service team. I appreciate that you might be sceptical about the benefits of chatbots - probably bedded in poor experiences you’ve had using chatbots yourself. Let me start by saying not all chatbots are created equal…and that makes a fundamental difference to how well the bot performs.

All the examples and stats in this article relate to an AI chat solution that can have contextualised conversations with customers, not an off-the-shelf bot that is difficult to customise. (Check out this article if you want to know about how AI chat works and why it’s better.)

We work with tourism businesses around New Zealand and the Pacific, and we see customer service teams that take advantage of the relative strengths of humans and AI chatbots like Yonder are onto a winning combination. Here’s why...

Improve website conversion

Simply put, automated chat helps win bookings. Our clients typically get around 10% of those using chat clicking through to the booking system. Answering questions when customers ask instantly removes a potential barrier to booking, which is why our customers report an increase in website conversion once chat goes live. Even a small uplift in website conversion has an impact on the bottom line, so why wouldn’t you consider chat?

Offer on-brand, consistent responses

Off-brand, inconsistent responses offered by inexperienced staff are a thing of the past when the chatbot uses automated responses to answer between 65% - 85% of the frequently asked questions on your website. Every automated answer is scripted, and the responses can even be used as training for new staff coming on board.

Gain deeper, richer insights into customers

Use the rich data from chat conversations to drive business improvement. With most chatbots this data isn’t available (especially off-the-shelf options), or very accessible, but Yonder has a powerful feature that  analyses the data from conversations at the touch of a button. This provides rich and detailed insight into phrases customers are using, which can be used to improve your search engine optimisation, Google Ads and other marketing. No longer do you have to guess what customers are asking or trawl through thousands of conversations one by one, you know exactly within seconds. Not many other customer service tools offer such clarity and insight into customers with so little effort.

Offer personalised help 24/7

It’s a myth that chatbots can’t offer personalised help. Using a series of pre-determined questions relevant to the business, the bot can ask about preferences, preferred travel dates, number of people, their age and more, eventually presenting the customer with options that suit the answers provided. This replicates the service offered by your in-house team… at a fraction of the cost, in seconds, and at any time of day or night. Not too many downsides in this scenario for you or your customer.

Offer a welcoming experience to website visitors

If you think of your website home page as the online equivalent of the reception at your bricks and mortar business, then it makes sense to have someone welcoming visitors to your website… which is exactly what a chatbot does. Change the look and feel of your chatbot to suit your brand - you can even make it look like a real person - add a message to engage visitors, and your website concierge is ready to go.

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