Booking.com is getting on the chatbot bandwagon as it starts to roll out a chat tool for customers to communicate with the hotel they booked. The messaging tool, built entirely in-house, will be made available via its website and mobile apps first, but the company says it is working on integrating it with some popular messaging apps, including Facebook Messenger. Users can ask hotels questions or make requests with their Booking account, and hotels can initiate a chat with a customer to ask for information about their arrival time and accommodation preferences. Booking.com does not specify whether the chat tool is powered by a chatbot or real human customer service reps, but it looks to be a mix of both.
What Brands Need To Do
With the roll-out of this chat tool, Booking.com joins fellow travel booking sites Kayak and HotelTonight in modernizing their user experience and customer service with messaging. With more and more smartphone users relying on messaging apps as their primary communication channel, it is crucial for brands, especially those in the service industry, to update their touch points and communication channels with messaging tools so as to better serve their customers.
For more information on how brands can effectively reach consumers on messaging apps and other conversational platforms, we recommend reading the Conversational Interfaces section in our Outlook 2016 and our Fast Forward analysis on chat bots.