Travel site Expedia has launched an Alexa skill that let Amazon Echo users ask for updates on flights, hotel bookings, and rental car reservations without lifting a finger. Expedia customers can use it to check their loyalty points balance. At launch, the skill does not support booking flights or hotels via Alexa directly, but Expedia says it is working to add the feature soon.
This is not the first time Expedia has seeked to connect with travellers via conversational interfaces. In June, the popular travel booking site launched a Facebook Messenger bot, which allows users to search for hotels via chats and can direct them to the Expedia site to complete booking once an option is selected. At the moment, Expedia and its competitor Kayak remain some of the few skills in the Alexa Skills Marketplace that can track flight information and plan a trip.
What Brands Should Do
This serves as the latest example of how voice-based assistant services may transform customer experiences in hospitality. As Amazon continues to improve Alexa’s functionality and expand the underlying deep learning technologies to more services, it is time for brands seeking to stay ahead of the digital curve to start exploring how incorporating conversational interfaces may help improve the customer experience.
The Lab has extensive experience with building Alexa skills for brands. If you’re interested in learning more about this or have a client opportunity, please reach out to our Client Services Director Samantha Holland ([email protected]) to schedule a visit to the Lab.