Airlines are Using Chatbots to Streamline the Customer Experience
The real reasons why airlines need chatbots, instead of mobile apps.
(Image courtesy of Storyblocks)
Airlines are rarely known for their customer service: Canceled flights, delays, overbooked flights, those ever-rising baggage fees, etc. and you understand how customers can get frustrated.
In hopes of make flying a more seamless experience and improve airline customer service, aviation companies are looking to new technology to market their products while helping fliers find ease through what can be a potentially frustrating endeavour.
APEX recently reported that 14% of aviation enterprises are now using AI-powered chatbots for airlines. The CIOs of these companies intend to push this percentage to 68% by 2020. It seems like the future relationship between air travel and chatbots will be bright, so let’s see how it is blossoming.
Booking Flights With a Chatbot for Airlines
Icelandair recently launched a Facebook Messenger chatbot that allows passengers to book flights right within the app. It asks them where and when they’d like to fly, for how long, and even asks if they would like a stopover.
The reason this is such a successful CRM tool for airlines is that it is all done in the form of a conversation. As a result, the customer service interaction feels natural and personable, as opposed to the user just entering information. Additionally, the airline chatbot tool responds immediately to the customer’s question, thereby offering an even better service experience than a traditional email intake form.
When users are ready to to choose seats and pay, the app redirects them to the Icelandair website. Unlike a traditional airline customer service experience that directs people to a different landing page, though, they shouldn’t notice any transition going between the Messenger chatbot and booking page. Instead, the UI and UX is set up in a way that the users will actually feel like they never left the messenger app.
This seamless experience is essential for great airline marketing: By allowing and encouraging the customer to go from the chatbot right into converting, the odds of completing a purchase are greater
Flight Check-Ins Improve Airline Customer Service
Companies such as Colombia’s Avianca, are using chatbots for airlines to help travelers check into flights with Facebook Messenger. This helps keep the lines at airline counters shorter and, as a result, far less stressful.
By improving the passenger experience before they even arrive at the airport, these chatbot tools are being leveraged as the ultimate airline customer service tool. Not only is Avianca able to reach customers directly and improve their marketing initiatives, but also they can create a more positive travel experience that increases brand loyalty and satisfaction.
Answering Questions With an AI CRM Tool for Airlines
What terminal is my flight? What gate do I leave from? How much luggage can I bring? What gate does my connecting flight leave from?
These are all common questions from passengers. Now, with the right CRM solutions for airlines, all the answers are just a text away.
For example, Mexico’s airline Volaris launched their airline concierge, Vale. Along with helping passengers book flights, their airline customer service and marketing tool is available 24 hours a day to answer any flight-related questions.
Dutch airline KLM is helping you store and access all of your flight information in one place: Facebook Messenger. Customers can find their boarding passes, booking and flight information, as well as any extra details, right within the app with their airline chatbot. With this customer service solution, passengers don’t have to search between multiple places (i.e. email, website, Apple Wallet, actual wallet) to find the information they need for their journey.
While these chatbots for airlines will not be able to solve every problem pertaining to air travel (we’re still waiting on a solution for runway congestion), they are certainly making strong improvements to help a flier’s journey go as smoothly as possible.