Building Blocks for Successful Travel CX | Uniphore

Building Blocks for Successful Travel CX | Uniphore

5 min read
Omer Minkara and Annie Weckser are successful in building blocks.

In our recent webinar, “Intelligent Customer Service for Travel & Hospitality”, Omer Minkara, Vice President and Principal Analyst for Aberdeen Strategy & Research joined Uniphore’s Chief Marketing Office Annie Weckesser to discuss the top CX trends, challenges and opportunities shaping the travel and hospitality industry. Couldn’t attend the live event? We have you covered. Read on for part four of our webinar recap: The Building Blocks for Driving Successful Travel CX.

Understanding the Travel Customer Experience

As we’ve mentioned before, travelers today have more options at their fingertips than ever before. That’s why getting the travel customer experience right is vital to travel and hospitality service providers. To remain competitive—or even viable—in today’s crowded marketplace, companies need to understand their customers’ experience—how they interact with their company along the customer journey. Are customers abandoning self-service? Are they experiencing frustratingly long hold times during live assistance?

In his presentation, Minkara explores how artificial intelligence and automation are helping travel companies improve their self-service and agent-assisted CX. Here’s a summary of his findings:

Empower Agents and Minimize Customer Effort by Using AI in Assisted Service

Looking at agent-assisted customer service, Minkara illustrates how AI-enabled service providers routinely outperform their non-enabled peers in four key areas:

Agent Assistance

Thanks to advanced conversational AI, companies can now assist agents during live customer interactions—in real-time. Examples of real-time agent assistance include automated next-best action and just-in-time prompts as well as the ability for leaders and/or coaches to intervene when necessary. As a result, agents are able to improve their skills during live calls. “Agents [who use AI] are not just more productive; they’re also more efficient at issue resolution,” Minkara explains.

Knowledge Management

Few things drag down Average Handle Time (AHT)—and consequently customer satisfaction—than cumbersome knowledge management systems that require customers to wait while agents hunt down relevant information. Minkara explains how AI can help, “by designing AI algorithms to find out what knowledge base articles are working, what are the right workflows, and what is the next-best action criteria to be able to resolve customer issues.”

Call Routing

“Seventy-one percent of contact centers with AI are telling us that they’re routing customer issues to the relevant agents based on context, based on complexity, as opposed to 50% of non-users of AI and automation,” Minkara says. By more effectively connecting customers to the right agent for their needs, businesses can drive higher First Contact Resolution (FCR) and reduce repeat calls.

Interaction Analytics

Customer interactions are chock full of data. Using AI, companies can easily analyze interactions for actionable insights into customer behaviors and overall satisfaction. Customer service leaders can then use these insights to better train and coach agents. According to Minkara, companies that utilized AI-powered interaction analytics were more than twice as likely to identify customer issues that could be resolved through self-service.

Empower Agents and Minimize Customer Effort by Using AI in Assisted Service

Leverage AI to Deliver Truly Intelligent Self-Service

Minkara next turns to the building blocks of successful self-service. Here, he focuses on five key elements (some of which echo those for assisted service):

Repeat Caller Data

When customers call back again and again, something isn’t working. By analyzing repeat caller data using AI, companies can get to the root of the problem and correct it within the self-service workflow. This minimizes customer effort—and subsequently customer frustration—and increases self-service adoption and success.

Multichannel Integration

Self-service doesn’t exist in a vacuum. To truly be successful, it must connect seamlessly with other service channels as needed. “Make sure that self-service is not in a silo,” Minkara cautions. Make sure that it’s integrated. If a customer is starting out their journey in self-service and that conversation evolves into assisted service over the phone, make sure that the customer does not need to provide the same information over and over. That’s an area where AI and automation users excel.”

Workflow Automation

Remember how AI and automation can optimize live service call routing? The same holds true for self-service workflows. “There are great tools for automating workflows to become more intelligent,” Minkara says, “to drive what we call hyper-personalized self-service experiences.”

Personalized Service

By using workflow automation and customer data analytics, companies can do just that—create hyper-personalized self-service experiences. This is an especially valuable building block for travel and hospitality companies trying to differentiate themselves from their one-size-fits-all peers.

Self-Service Opportunities

Interaction analytics isn’t just for calls and live chats. By analyzing data from self-service and live agent interactions, companies can identify new opportunities for self-service engagement (and call center deflection). Minkara urges companies to ask themselves, “What kind of issues can be resolved via self-service? Are there issues that customers are repeatedly contacting [you about]?”

Leverage AI to Deliver Truly Intelligent Self-Service

Four Key Learnings

In addition to sharing the building blocks for successful self-service and agent-assisted customer service, Minkara revealed four key AI and automation lessons that every travel and hospitality company should take to heart:

Faced with the need to adapt to a changing digital landscape, service leaders must prioritize AI and automation.

Firms using AI and automation tools to build intelligent service programs achieve significant performance gains in efficiency, CX and financial results.

Leading service organizations must establish and nurture five key building blocks to maximize their intelligent self-service program results.

Travel and hospitality firms are among the first to observe and experience changes in buyer behavior. As a result, it is necessary to constantly innovate to deliver better service.

Couldn’t attend the webinar?

Intelligent Customer Service for Travel & Hospitality

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