Self Service and the Rise of Travel Bots
Even though it hasn't finished yet, by no doubt 2016 is the year of chatbots. Chatbots are artificial intelligence solutions that use instant messaging as an application interface. Companies within all industries are exploring these new
Even though it hasn’t finished yet, by no doubt 2016 is the year of chatbots. Chatbots are artificial intelligence solutions that use instant messaging as an application interface. Companies within all industries are exploring these new ways to serve and interact with their customers through chatbots. While there are already some interesting and super-intelligent bots available, the market is still in a very early stage especially within travel industry.
This botmania has become easily accessible with the launch of bot platforms. There are bots for Facebook Massenger, Slack, Telegram and even Skype. You can add bots to your friends lists and chat with them just as if they were human beings. Though, in reality your not talking to a human but to a natural language processing program.
The fashion for bots is a natural result of another trend – self service. Let’s look just at travel industry. Self service is at every step of our journeys – from airport luggage drops and airport scanners for check-ins to hotel check-ins. We embrace new technologies that allow us to do things independently, especially because this lack of human interaction usually means less anxiety and less waiting. We are this strange society that can travel without even speaking to another human being in the process. We actually even enjoy the fact that we don’t have to interact with others, be it travel agents, hotel concierges or tour guides.
This fact is particularly strange as the whole travel industry relies heavily on providing human service.
That’s why we can see the emerge of digital-only travel companies. We actually prefer to interact with a bot that another human being.
At Halfway we decided to build a service complementary to Halfway App – a personal travel concierge bot. Team chat app Slack has become our platform of choice for our AI-based solution HalfwayBot. With our travel slackbot you can search easily for flight connections. HalfwayBot has a cool inspirational feature in which the bot will suggest destinations to go based on traveler’s requirements. Is your slackteam a group of remotely working developers who want to meet? HalfwayBot loves to organise group travels for slack teammates. If your team is looking for a destination that’s convienient for each and everyone – HalfwayBot will help you out. Go ahead and see for yourself!
Not so long ago we asked ourselves ‘Who needs text messages when you can just call somebody?’. Nowadays we all love the simplicity of chatting as a form of communication and we are happy to see absence of human interaction in services we use. We’ll see what future brings but travel chatbots might finally provide hassle-free travel experience for the traveler.