Customer service flexibility, enabled by voice and AI, helps sail through storms
When a low-pressure weather system, dubbed a bomb cyclone, hit the eastern half of the United States in early January, New York’s LaGuardia and JFK International airports shut down. All told, roughly 6,000 flights had to be cancelled over the course of about two days. Most roads in the hardest hit areas were impassable and would-be air passengers were forced to stay put and spend a night on the floor at whatever airport they found themselves.
Severe climate events took a toll on many areas of the country in 2017 and forecasters anticipate extreme weather events will continue increasing in frequency. Which means that travel and hospitality service providers should take heed and continue to find innovative ways to adapt to scenes such as these.
Not to mention, this is an era when consumers expect more than ever from travel experiences and service providers in general.
We’re at a crossroads where travel and hospitality industry players are poised to make great advances with technology. The Next Web reports that, based on data from an IBM report, more than a third of travel industry leaders will have four or more cognitive projects underway in 2018, and 41 percent plan to launch a cognitive project.
The article goes on to say that “the most cognitive-ready businesses in the industry considered personalization of the traveler experience one of the most important points to focus on. The report stated that an unnamed global airline was investing in a Siri-like AI that would communicate with travelers in natural language to put together a personalized travel plan. That personalization would be bolstered by analysis of interactions with other travelers and large data sets about preferences.”
Deloitte’s 2018 travel and hospitality industry outlook calls out data-centric personalization as a major area where the industry will soon find opportunity. “The travel industry is on the verge of an evolutionary leap where the relationship between customer and brand becomes truly real-time and relevant,” according to the report.
“Technologies such as AI and machine learning, IoT, and near field communication (NFC) are coming of age, and together share the potential to create personalized moments that matter and bring joy to a travel experience still riddled with pain points, interruptions, and a lingering one-size-fits-all mentality.”
In that vein, American Express announced Jan. 30 that it has acquired a provider of an AI-based virtual travel assistant. Mezi, as the company and app known, allows travelers to book flights, hotel or restaurant reservations via text. The app learns the preferences of the user and becomes more knowledgeable on how to serve over time.
“Mezi’s AI-powered experience opens up exciting new ways for us to connect with and serve our Card Members and creates opportunities for us to build more meaningful relationships with them,” said Phil Norman, Vice President of American Express Digital Labs.
Liveops, a call center services provider to travel and hospitality clients, is using AI to provide interactive voice response (IVR). Liveops creates an optimal, end-to-end customer experience that engages and informs callers. So far, clients are reporting that IVR is dramatically improving conversion rates. Data show that our IVR solutions:
- Outperform traditional IVR solutions by up to 30 percent.
- Incorporate elements with the client’s branding.
- Retain callers’ initial enthusiasm.
- Benefit from save-the-sale capabilities.
- Gain performance insights for future optimization.
IVR embodies the core of what’s important during these volatile times: Technology that enables travel and hospitality providers to be flexible in all the ways they serve travelers.
Everything in Liveops’ suite of products for the cloud-based contact center enable flexibility designed for delivering high-touch customer care.
Liveops, a call center services provider to travel and hospitality clients, has a workforce of call agents who not only are experienced in travel and hospitality but also hold industry certification. Tools such as performance-based routing enable customers to achieve amazing results:
- Higher conversion rates
- Higher revenue per order
- Longer continuity cycles
- Customer experience that leaves the caller feeling good about their purchase
Liveops also supports inbound efforts:
- Certified independent agents to handle calls with call routing optimization for top performers.
- Analysis of core demographic groups to identify the best potential offers.
- Continuous A/B testing and script optimization for each call type.
We flex to match your needs with the unique nature of the travel and hospitality industry. This means proactive planning for spikes so you are aware of your workforce needs in advance and have a plan for downsizing just as quickly.