Chatbots for airlines is a hot topic. With a massive volume of requests, customer support is a challenge for even the most established players in the airline industry. However, excellent service is critical to improving customer satisfaction and increasing loyalty.
With thousands of calls per day, airlines can struggle to provide quick, personalized service to each passenger. It should come as no surprise as to why they’re looking for ways to offer an excellent customer experience while also keeping their support costs in check.
The challenges of airline customer service
We’re all familiar with the phrase, “Please wait, an agent will be with you shortly.” It’s one of the most frustrating customer service experiences. Even asking customers to wait for a few minutes can have a devastating impact on their perceived satisfaction with an airline. After factoring in how passengers’ communication channel preferences are rapidly shifting towards self-serve digital messaging platforms, airlines’ current approaches to customer support become even more worrisome.
Another problem with the existing customer service model is the cost. On average, airlines spend €2 answering each support call. With thousands of calls per day, the bill at the end of the year can be staggering. These calls are often about things as simple as flight updates or baggage allowances.
However, this presents an opportunity. If an airline can quickly address simple questions without a human agent, they can provide better travel experiences for their customers while also significantly decreasing their support costs and freeing up their agents to focus on complex requests.
The chatbot solution
Offering mass personalized service is a costly challenge for airlines. The key is finding a solution that can solve a substantial amount of customer requests without the involvement of a human agent. This is where chatbots come into the picture.
Satisfying customers’ emerging preferences for self-service tools, modern chatbots can automatically solve up to 80% of requests. From providing boarding passes, answering check-in questions in simple text, sharing maps of gate locations, and upselling customers on ancillary services, chatbots can handle the simple questions that once required a human agent.
Chatbots also work in the digital communication channels preferred by modern consumers. Airlines can create bots for their websites and mobile apps or deploy them on Whatsapp, WeChat, or Facebook Messenger.
By automating a large portion of requests, agents have fewer calls to answer and more time to concentrate on providing customer care and driving sales. For the airline company, it also means the reduced call volume that will help keep their support costs in check.
Building a bot
Creating an airline chatbot is an attractive idea. The question is how to go about doing it. Generally, there are three options:
- Build it internally: While the airline will have full ownership of the project, creating and maintaining a chatbot without support is extremely time-consuming and expensive.
- Hire an agency: Chatbot agencies are often able to create a functional first version of a chatbot. However, they often lack industry expertise and their bots are rarely designed to be scalable.
- Work with a specialist: The best option is choosing to work with an industry specialist. Working with a specialist allows an airline to quickly create a scalable chatbot. The provider’s industry expertise means that they already know the main use cases and pain points. They’ll be prepared to train the bot’s artificial intelligence and ensure that it’s properly maintained and improved over the long-term.
Introducing fully-trained AI-powered chatbots for airlines
This past week at the World Aviation Festival, we announced the launch of our fully-trained airline chatbot. Our chatbot is pre-trained on airlines’ most valuable use cases so it can be launched quickly and provide a positive ROI just as fast.
With our conversational AI solution, airlines can skip the costly and time-consuming chatbot design and implementation steps. Leveraging our experience with industry-leading airlines like Iberia, Vueling, and Air Caraïbes and our cutting-edge natural language processing (NLP) capabilities, our chatbot can start resolving customer issues in less than a month.
With Mindsay, airlines can rapidly implement a ready-to-use chatbot that will help to quickly lower support costs, improve customer loyalty, and increase revenue.