A chatbot is an automated messaging software that assists a business with answering commonly asked questions, booking requests or weather forecasts. With the advent of chatbots, customers can interact with businesses by simply texting or messaging their inquiries via SMS, Facebook Messenger, Web Chat and many other messaging services.
Here are some examples of popular chatbots:
Poncho is a weather forecast chatbot with a lazy, funny cat.
Botplan focuses on Real Estate and generates leads through conversions. Here’s a snapshot of the bot for a company named “Remax Results”.
What are the characteristics of a good chatbot for tour operators?
A chatbot for tour operator understands the challenges facing tour operators: High commissions, low direct bookings, customers demanding prompt responses, etc. A good chatbot can address some of these concerns. Travelers get 24 X 7 instant response irrespective of their location. Some bots even offer instant booking within a bot, so a customer doesn’t have to leave the chat window. Bots come in many flavors: you can have a bot integrated with a tour operator’s website, a Facebook messenger bot, bots for Slack, Kik, Telegram etc. Identify the channel where you are getting the most traffic and choose a bot for that channel.
Bots can also help with automated notifications and reminders. After a great trip, the bot can encourage customers to leave a review and automatically post it on many platforms (TripAdvisor, Yelp, Google, Facebook, etc.). 53% of people are more likely to shop with a business they can message directly. Instead of filling in an unpersonalized contact form, people appreciate chatting, even if it is not with a real person. Users feel that they are receiving a personalized service and that the tour operator cares about them by helping them find answers quickly. Here is an example snapshot of a facebook bot for tour operators.
Chatbots can be a great complement to a tour operator’s support staff. They can take care of common questions with relatively straight-forward answers and seamlessly transfer control to a human operator for complex questions. A bot with a personality that reflects a tour operator can enhance their brand. With prompt accurate responses and a fun personality, a bot can win customer trust, resulting in increased direct booking for a tour operator; a win-win situation!