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Travel Trades
Booking.com expands Global Access to the Booking Assistant

Mumbai, 12 December, 2017

Booking.com announced on 12 December 2017, the expansion of the pilot version of its new service and support chatbot, the Booking Assistant, now widely available to English-language bookings worldwide. As the latest evolution of Booking.com’s messaging platform, the Booking Assistant merges proprietary Artificial Intelligence technology with Booking.com’s already-robust customer service support. Available to an increasing number of travellers in advance of the busy end-of-year travel season, the Booking Assistant empowers customers to get first-line support for their upcoming bookings, including timely responses to their most common stay-related requests, all through a single intuitive chat interface. Built entirely in house, the Booking Assistant leads the industry when it comes to quickly identifying and automatically responding to an increasingly broad range of post-booking related questions from travellers, all via their preferred device and platform

Customer-first AI - The Booking Assistant leverages natural language processing technology to identify the most frequently asked questions from customers, including topics such as payment, transportation, arrival and departure times, date changes, cancellation requests, parking information, extra bed requests, pet policies, Wi-Fi and internet availability, as well as a wide variety of greetings and thank-you messages.

James Waters, Global Director of Customer Service at Booking.com said, “For us, AI is not about replacing human interaction, but is instead a vehicle to facilitate an even more personalized, instantaneously gratifying and frictionless travel experience for consumers. As we operate in an industry that is incredibly personal, emotional and complex, maintaining the right balance between genuine human interaction and efficient automation is something we're always trying to fine-tune and optimize throughout every stage of the consumer journey, including with the Booking Assistant.”

According to recent research conducted by Booking.com with 19,000 travellers in 26 countries, 50% of consumers don’t mind if they deal with a real person or a computer, so long as their questions are answered. Coupled with Booking.com data that 80% of customers prefer to self-serve in order to get the information that they need, the Booking Assistant is filling a need for travellers to get the quick support they require without having to engage with more traditional customer service channels, such as phone or email. In addition, as a hybrid chatbot experience, human back-up is always available within the interface itself with no need to reach out via alternate channels for assistance.

 



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