What do VIP experiences look like, exactly? We’ve pulled the top five ecommerce brands nailing their automated brand interactions.
5 Travel Brands Nailing Automated Brand Interactions
After a turbulent couple of years that have changed the way we work and vacation, we’re seeing new patterns emerge that will dictate the future of travel: a more thoughtful approach to corporate trips, new opportunities for remote work, and a surge in the private rental sector.
Travelers expect companies to look out for their best interest every step of the way, with increased safety measures, more flexibility and simplicity, and access to timely and accurate information. In other words, they’re expecting VIP customer experiences from the brands they choose to travel with.
While this might seem like a tall order, especially considering the travel industry hasn’t quite finished recovering from the effects of the pandemic, AI-powered automation provides a cost-effective solution to handle increasing demand and provide data-driven, personalized experiences for travelers at scale.
Let the below brands be a lesson to you — a good one! They’re paving the way for travel experiences of the future, with on point automated brand interactions that make every traveler feel like a VIP.
An early adopter of automated brand interactions (good on ya!), AirAsia is a global leader in customer experience and carries over 100 million passengers a year to more than 165 destinations around the world.
Time to take off. Here are our favorite flows from AirAsia.
Book a flight
These days, there’s no greater satisfaction for travel-seekers than a seamless booking experience. Well, look no further. AirAsia is serving up first-class vibes with automated interactions that guide pre-passengers to find the perfect flight. Simply enter your destination and preferred dates in the chat, and your options will appear in front of you.
Select your flight, and the bot will instantly validate it with their booking system behind the curtain. You’ll be given a link back to take you directly to purchase.
Dust off that neck pillow, it’s time to fly. ✈️
This is a great flow that drives ancillary revenue for AirAsia while providing travelers with a proactive, personalized experience.
As soon as you log into your AirAsia account, the bot recognizes you and uses your history with them to serve personalized add-on or upgrade suggestions or for an upcoming trip. You can select any add-on in the chat — additional baggage, in-flight meals, and so on — and you’ll be directed to the right place to complete your request.
Flight booking history and management
If you’ve booked with AirAsia in the past, you’ll inevitably be coming back for more. And you’ll be glad when you do.
AirAsia’s bot will prompt you to login to your account when you start up the conversation. Once you’re in, your past and present travel history is automatically retrieved, and if you’ve got a flight coming up, you can instantly access the booking to make changes.
In the event that the bot is unable to complete a booking change — for example, a particular airfare type is not eligible for the change requested — you would be seamlessly handed off to a specific live chat team based on your conversation with the bot. The agent you’re routed to will be the best person equipped to handle your request, and would have full context over the conversation so far. They can hop in and help you out quickly, and you would remain in the same chat UI.
Agent efficiency, check. Speedy resolution, check. Happy customer, check and check.
Proactively rebooking disrupted flights
When faced with a flight cancellation or disruption, AisAsia sends affected passengers an email about the disruption with a link that triggers the bot. The bot then proactively directs passengers to the service recovery flow, and would have all the necessary information pre-filled, saving the passengers time and effort.
This flow turns a potentially upsetting experience into one where travelers feel taken care of, and reduces the number of tickets that the support team would have to deal with manually.
Nothing can stop you from getting to your destination. Adventure awaits.
Flair Airlines is Canada’s only independent, ultra low-cost carrier. They make travel more accessible, more affordable, and more exciting to everyone, with automated brand interactions on the front lines of the customer experience.
Their mission is to provide affordable air travel that connects people to the people they love. “Plane and Simple.” Preach! 🙏
Here are our favorite flows from Flair.
Instant flight updates
When you’re planning a trip, a sudden flight cancellation can be dizzying. Passengers want (and quite frankly, deserve) instant and proactive flight updates.
Logged in customers who chat with Flair’s bot are greeted with the latest flight updates and changes they need to know about. This not only benefits the passenger, but Flair’s entire support team. With information they need upfront, passengers have their most urgent questions answered before they even need to ask. And support agents can focus on the customer interactions that drive the most value for the business.
Ada’s no-code brand interaction platform makes this a no-brainer. Flair’s team can quickly change the greeting on a moment’s notice so passengers aren’t left in the dark, wondering what their next steps should be. The bot provides all the relevant information you need to get you off the ground (and in the air).
Flight add-ons and next steps
Got an issue checking in? Need to add an extra bag to your trip? No problemo — if you’re flying with Flair Airlines, that is. Flair’s intuitive, self-service automation allows passengers to find answers to all their most pressing questions, add-ons, and next steps for their upcoming flight through a simple interaction with Flair’s bot.
And better yet, these easy-to-access flight add-ons and next steps increase ancillary revenue for the brand. How’s that for ROI?
Introducing Europe’s favorite private airport transfer company. Suntransfers provides unrivaled services and destinations, ranging from VIP city transfers to low cost holiday taxis operated from over 500 airports and travel gateways worldwide.
Their dedicated team is partnered with Ada to provide travelers with best-in-class experiences, online and en-route to their destinations. 🌞
Here are our favorite flows from Suntransfers.
Define your search
With Suntransfer’s bot, Amy, you can get a step-by-step walkthrough of the booking process. Amy allows you to book a transfer based on a number of options: transfer origin or destination, vehicle selection, or by providing accommodation and transfer details — all within the bot.
And you don’t need to start-to-finish in one place. You can book on the website and jump into the chat to make any changes, from adding a new destination or adding sport items, to booking accessible transfers or a child seat.
This guided trip booking experience is truly VIP. It makes planning painless. And when you interact with Amy, you’ll find that Suntransfers has thought of everything. The chat instantly serves up suggestions that anticipate those easy-to-forget details.
Amy is your personal travel assistant, and the ease by which you can interact with them drives more revenue and customer loyalty. It’s a win-win.
Let’s be real, wading through website pages to find out how to make small updates to your personal information or a booking is a modus operandi that doesn’t age well. No one likes waiting on hold and being tossed around from agent to agent.
People want instant access to their account and booking information to make changes in a pinch. And Suntransfers is delivering. In the chat, passengers are directed to the My Booking Panel to make any personal or booking updates on the fly. And if Suntransfers needs some clarified information, like passenger names, Amy asks for it. It’s like having a concierge that can make recommendations and save you time. Talk about first-class.
Hurb is driven by a team of self-proclaimed travel fanatics, with the goal to make travel easier. Knowing what their fellow travel enthusiasts want is their sweet spot — and it’s earned them the status of being the leading online travel agency with the best customer service in Brazilian tourism.🏅
Hurb offers hotel booking and travel packages that include accommodation, flight ticket transfers, tours, and more.
Here are our favorite flows from Hurb.
With Hurb, you simply send your preferred dates and travel plans and they’ll do the rest. Once you’ve filled out their travel form, you can quickly chat with their bot to get status updates on your travel “order.”
Hurb’s bot will ask for your confirmation code, and then instantly give you an update, like when you should expect suggested flights and accommodations to come through via e-mail or WhatsApp.
Life isn’t always predictable, but with Hurb, you can rely on swift cancellation of your travel plans. Surface your order in the bot using the confirmation code, and your options will instantly appear in front of you. The bot links you directly to where you can complete the cancellation and even walks you through the process.
Surface previous orders
If you’re a current or returning customer, Hurb’s bot will remember you. When you enter the chat, they’ll automatically surface your upcoming trip and predict your next step. They provide the options, and you get some precious time back in return. Score!
Busbud specializes in intercity bus tickets and travel. They provide people with the most extensive global network of city-to-city buses using their bus-booking platform, covering North America, South America, Europe, Africa, and Southeast Asia.
For those of us looking to take that bucket list travel trip to several destinations, Busbud is your new best friend. 🚌
Here are our favorite flows from Busbud.
Book a ticket
Busbud’s bot, Chester, asks all the right questions. When you enter the chat, you can select booking a ticket from the list of suggested actions and get started. Chester will ask you for the most important information: one-way or return tickets, departure date, age range, location, and so on.
Before you know it, a list of available bus tickets will appear before your eyes. You’re just one click away from getting closer to your destination!
Need a refresh on the details of your upcoming voyage? Chester’s got you. Enter the chat, and you’ll be able to bring up all the relevant information on your bus trip. It’s quick and painless, and you can rest easy knowing Busbud’s got your back.
Regardless of why people travel, passengers, laptop luggers, and thrill-seekers expect travel brands to invest in more consistent and predictable experiences — from the moment they start planning their trip, to the flight that gets them there, and the sophistication of the accommodation at their destination.
When your CX strategy is driven by automation, travelers will remember their customer experience for all the right reasons. And you’ll be top of mind when they’re planning their next trip.
Sarah Fox is a scuba-diving, animal-loving journalist turned content marketer. In her career, she’s covered stories on development, written profiles on notable philanthropists, and interviewed celebrities with a passion for giving back. When she’s not producing content for Ada, Sarah’s likely fawning over her dog somewhere in the woods.