How 333travel is revolutionizing the travel industry
Artificial intelligence to keep in touch, in a personal way, outside opening hours. That is what 333travel uses their chatbot Joy for.
The travel industry is an innovative market. The competition is prevalent and the urge for technological advantage is great but also difficult. If you do not operate technically independently in this market, there is a good chance that you will be absorbed by the crowd too much and can therefore no longer be unique in your proposition and your right to exist will be endangered.
We are constantly looking to improve our position on the market and every day we translate IT into the business in the right way so that IT actually works for us.
We are always looking for ways to better serve our customers and we want to do this in a personal way. Only in this way we can really build a relationship with our customers and offer fully customized solutions.
We are convinced that when you travel with us you will get the best possible experience of enjoyment because at 333travel we think along with you from A to Z and completely unburden you.
The use of artificial intelligence may therefore sound contradictory, but that is certainly not the case. We will of course also use this to provide our customers with the existing information / FAQ on our website if they have any questions about it.
But in addition to providing information, we will always try to direct to a personal contact moment. It is important for us to actually come into contact with our potential customer, in a more personal, easy and accessible way.
The automated collection of leads on a way that is as personal as possible is therefore our case for the implementation of artificial intelligence. The rest is a nice extra. We therefore strive even more for personal contact through this artificial intelligence. The focus is on creating value and optimizing the customer journey outside our regular opening hours.
Together with the Flow.ai platform, we have started testing to see in what personal ways we could request an offer.
The correct use of artificial intelligence is very important for this, but also the way in which you can train it. Because we wanted to create the most natural way of interaction, but we have to work with data such as “departure” and “arrival” to get an idea beforehand of when someone wants to leave for example, there is a greater challenge than it seems. We absolutely wanted to avoid that artificial intelligence does not immediately understand it when someone says “I want to Thailand on June 17 for 1 week”.
A natural interaction
We have therefore trained our bot so that it understands within a normal sense what the departure date is and when you want to leave. It is therefore not an absolute fact what we want from you, but it is a value that falls within the meaning of “when do you want to leave”. There are so many different but also correct answers to this question and if you take our requirements into account, this bot must also understand it if someone says:
- I want in the summer holidays…
- I would like to stay during the winter…
- In autumn i want…
- I want to be in Thailand for Christmas…
- We want to go to … next year
It immediately becomes customer unfriendly if after this question there is still a date field with when do you want to leave. Often a customer does not know when he wants to leave exactly. When he starts like this, is he obliged to fill in this information?
So we actually record the key information of the expected departure period. After all, this will be explored in more detail in the personal contact, but our specialists will immediately know what the intention is.
It is therefore also possible with our implementation to capture all the variables we need with one sentence from a customer before we can contact someone.
“Good afternoon, I am looking for a holiday starting in Indonesia and ending in Bali for 2 adults and 2 children with a hotel on the beach leaving July 21 and coming home August 3.”
The above sentence is a practical example of what comes in. We record these values and we immediately know that there is enough data. We only ask for the customer’s telephone number / e-mail address and call him at a preferred time specified by himself.
And also at the preferred moment we consciously chose not to let the customer choose something via a datepicker to keep the natural flow. The customer can therefore easily say: “next Thursday at 10 am”. From this we understand what the intention is and call that particular customer at that exact time. There are also plenty of customers who say they want to be called right now. Regardless of whether they can be called at that moment or not, they often drop out as soon as they get a data picker and often don’t even enter a time.
Because this customer comes in via the website, we also know which pages have received this request and we have even more information for our specialists to get an idea of what the intention is.
This data then arrives as a lead in our back office, after which they are picked up as quickly as possible.
Result: Joy sees the light.
After a number of internal tests, various tweak adjustments and testing various methods to achieve our goal, Joy was born. We have also given her a personal face because of our intention to keep the conversations personal. Of course, we do indicate that Joy is a “Virtual Travel Assistant”. Our real colleagues are still the travel specialists.
The most important lesson in this may be an open door, but make sure your goal is set on paper before you begin and that you start with the simplest implementation of this goal and slowly develop it into a working final product.
We first started to look at ways in which we can collect our required data with Flow.aiand to understand how this works. Then we tested these different implementations and slowly worked them out into one complete flow that combines the best of multiple flows. We immediately gained experience with the various options, which helped us in setting up the other flows.
We are well supported in this by Flow.ai, but due to our own in-house knowledge, we didn’t need the support all the time.
The system is well structured and is very logical and in my view quickly understandable. So this shouldn’t stop you from experimenting/testing with this.
Q1 is our busiest period in the travel industry. Because we put Joy live relatively shortly before this period, we have not yet definitively activated the option to Live Chat. So this is something that is activated after Q1. It is already ready.
In addition, we want to go even further in our development in the near future with Joy and make her THE assistant of our customer portal that will help you on your way after booking. If Joy does not know something, you will immediately get in touch with the specialist with whom you booked the trip. If you have any questions during your trip, please ask Joy. Do you have problems during your trip? Joy ensures that you get the answer as soon as possible and that you come into direct contact with us. This also coincides with our concept that at our destinations you also have good and free WiFi on the road during your trip.
We see Joy as a “Virtual Travel Assistant” where the very specific knowledge of our destinations and our knowledge of customization remains with our travel specialists, because this is the strength of our personal contact in which we personally make the difference, within our philosophy.