VIDEO: Conversational Technology in the Travel Industry

November 16, 2017

At the recent World Travel Market (WTM) event in London, Charles Cadbury, Co-founder of Dazzle discussed the use of conversational interfaces and their impact on the evolving travel landscape with Gemma Houghton at Webcertain.tv. 

Conversational platforms are gaining significant traction in the travel industry and are a key way for customers to engage with brands and immediately get answers to any questions they may have.  If we consider the way a large amount of the population now communicate with each other, more often than not, it is in a messaging environment. 

In a recent interview with Gemma Houghton of Webcertain.tv, Charlie Cadbury, Co-founder of Dazzle analysed the emergence of conversational technologies and how travel brands can incorporate them into their businesses.

Watch the full video here:

Adoption of Technologies

With the advent of a number of these types of technologies, there is always those brands that delay too long in adoption and essentially miss the boat. However, Cadbury warns that there is always a risk of brands engaging too early.  He cautions that bringing something to market, that isn’t well thought through enough, will not provide sufficient benefits to the user.

“You have to think about the specific problem you are solving and make sure you are testing that against your customer base and make sure they understand what benefit they are going to get from it.”

He also adds, “Building a conversational interface is hard. It’s like teaching a child how to talk. You need to start somewhere and it is going to be hard at the beginning.”

Language Complexities

A particular challenge regarding conversational interfaces in the travel industry is that brands are often servicing people all over the world and this means providing communication in various different languages. Cadbury explains that there are limitations in what companies like Dazzle can do due to what the platforms, such as Siri and Alexa, can currently support.

“(The language issue) will be a big challenge, because it’s not as simple as something like internationalising a website. A conversational interface is highly nuanced.”

The Changing Travel Landscape

Technologies such as AI and voice are game changers in an industry. There has a been a lot of recent discussion postulating how these will impact the direction of travel.  What does the future really look like?

Cadbury believes that conversational interfaces will make travel more personalised and frictionless. Brands will be able to work out who you are, where you are and what you like and provide you with offers “that you will find it very hard to say no to”.

Marketing your Brand

In such a competitive industry, brands are constantly looking for ways to differentiate themselves. Brands need to be brave and be prepared to invest in technologies even in their infancy, as opportunities like this can produce “novel ways to engage with the customer” and are “instantly PR-able”, says Cadbury.