Ever imagined checking in your baggage with a virtual robot? Well, this is becoming the reality. And it’s only the start. Soon, there’ll be plenty of science fiction-like big data experiences for travelers.

At first, it was a case of leveraging digital technologies and operations to assist in delivering a better customer experience in the travel sector, but since the introduction of chatbots, artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT), the digital world has become an ever-changing evolution of emerging technology trends leading to a completely immersive travel experience for customers.

Here are a few ways in which big data will change the way you book in upcoming years:

Conversational interfaces

Artificial intelligence and natural language processing (NLP) have become the two power players that work together to deliver a personalized experience. The way these two applications work is by helping the computer to understand the conversational language your customers are communicating in and then responding with the information that is most useful to them in that particular moment.

Most interfaces or chatbots we’ve come to know today are text driven, with some innovative brands starting to include voice commands too. While voice search works brilliantly with day-to-day requests, messaging is currently the preferred medium when it comes to travel bookings.

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR)

If you’re familiar with VR, you’ll know that the experience is quite surreal. Many retail brands have already taken advantage of these artificial tools to improve customer experience and you can only imagine how captivating a travel or booking experience could be with the help of these tools. In short, the biggest advantage of AI tools in travel are that they take the guesswork out of the equation since you’ll be able to experience a location before you book. If you don’t choose to use virtual reality, you can make use of augmented reality on a smaller scale for visual, creative information. For example, showing your customers, by use of an app, a glimpse of an experience. You can feature airline tours or unique hotel quirks according to their choosing.

Big data allows for personalization on a bigger scale

Big data is starting to make it possible for travel agents and industries to personalize their customer’s experience with their website. Based on your customers’ searches, you’ll be able to offer them their ‘dream’ vacation right in front of their eyes the minute they arrive on your website. Not only does big data give you the option to personalize your customer touchpoints, but it also helps you to speed up customer service according to user behavior, preferences, interactions, and preferred communication channels.

With the introduction of the latest GDPR regulations, however, it’s going to become increasingly difficult for businesses to automate processing practices and procedures to suit these regulations. But, taking these challenges into account, businesses should try their best to work around big data profiling and ensure that transparency and privacy are put at the heart of their travelers’ needs no matter what.

Ready for take-off?

Customers are mostly unsure of how big data is being used to make their brand experiences unique and more personal. These experiences can still be the same, if not better, if your customers agree to have their information used for their benefit. Going forward, the entire travel industry will be able to offer customers a virtual, surreal experience from the minute they arrive on your website to book their vacation, to the minute they check in at the airport.

With emerging technology trends changing overnight, you can only imagine how big data will continue to transform the way businesses conduct operations and meet the future needs of their customers. In order for businesses to keep up, they’ll need to offer their customers a greater return on investment from their customer service.

Clickatell Touch is an omnichannel customer service solution that enables businesses in any industry to instantly resolve customer queries on their website, social media channels, and chat apps - all from one easy-to-use web interface. Travelers expect fast, live chat customer service via multiple channels, which is what this tool will help you achieve. Now, you’ll easily be able to unify your response teams across inbound channels for consistent, real-time messaging, and on-demand customer service delivery. Read our recent article to see how you can harness the power of automation and give your agents the tools they need to take your travel business to new heights.

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