Manage your trip with handy chatbots

Discover the virtual assistants who will streamline your business trip.

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Artificial intelligence for travellers

A chatbot is a programme which allows users to converse with a machine in a natural and spontaneous manner, as if they were talking to an advisor. It's user friendly and fun.
The advantage it holds over other customer service systems is that responses are instant, with the application being capable of responding to several customers at once. Bots are able to understand phrases written in ‘natural’ language, but they also learn to respond more effectively as and when they are used. It's this learning process which characterises chatbots as a form of artificial intelligence, even if it's still in the early stages... Nevertheless, thanks to chatbots, it's now possible to benefit from a variety of 24/7 services.

Virtual assistants offering innovative services

Chatbots often take the form of pop-up windows on transport company websites and are similar to instant-messenger programmes. They are often given an avatar and a name. For example, on the SNCF French tour operator website, you can converse with Léa, who responds to practical questions concerning bookings, and directs website visitors to what they need.
In March 2017, the Spanish company Vueling released EVA, a virtual assistant integrated into its new smartphone application. EVA sends reminders about the various stages of the journey, such as check-in alerts. She even directs the customer to the airport, thanks to GPS functionality.

Is Messenger being taken over by bots?

For many Facebook and Facebook Messenger users, interacting with customer service departments via the application is becoming increasingly common. Certain operators supported by the social network giant are going one step further by offering Messenger-integrated bots. Facilitating the creation of virtual assistants is now part of its strategy.
For example, to get the best possible prices from the German company Lufthansa, all you have to do is ask Mildred who, with her fuchsia-coloured hair and chic glasses, is programmed to find the cheapest flights over a nine-month period. To use this facility, all you have to do is enter the company name in the Messenger application’s search tab. By entering “SNCF travel bot”, you will be presented with SNCF’s virtual assistant which goes one step further than Léa, enabling users to pre-book a ticket. Users will soon be able to make payments using the application. The airline KLM sends updates about flight statuses directly through Messenger. 

More artificial intelligence means more business

Although the number of bots has skyrocketed, we're still only in the early stages in terms of potential. There is huge scope for bot development, with increasingly natural dialogue and bots which will undoubtedly have a more active role in the purchasing process. Basket recovery, sales jargon, reminders… Just imagine how e-commerce sales could be boosted by these well-informed virtual salesmen!

Published by Julie on 21/09/2017 Photo credit: © ©JIRAROJ PRADITCHAROENKUL
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