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Artificial intelligence continues to evolve at a rapid
pace. 

Companies from various
industries are becoming more familiar with its capabilities and more adept at harnessing
its power, including Boeing, Johnson
& Johnson and Exxon Mobil
, which are using AI to improve operational efficiency and
customer satisfaction. 

The travel sector is no
exception. AI holds substantial transformative power in the field, and its
proper application can yield considerable benefits. From hotel chains like
Hyatt and IHG to emerging startups, travel companies are quickly capitalizing on this opportunity

Contrary to popular belief,
AI will not replace travel advisors’ jobs since they require a deep and
thoughtful human touch. However, AI does offer unparalleled opportunities to
streamline operations and enhance the overall customer experience. 

Accelerating onboarding and
reporting processes

This starts by creating
comprehensive guides that detail every process and then handing them over to
artificial intelligence. Doing so facilitates the development of individualized
programs for people who are new to the industry, something that will be
critical to onboard new hires.

Here, it is paramount to
provide the AI system with context regarding each employee and to outline their
past experiences in detail. Then, AI will craft an impressive guide that is
tailored to their skills and profile. At Voyagu, we have managed to reduce
training time from eight to only two weeks by leveraging this approach. 

These same benefits can
also apply to reporting. Again, digitizing all the information available and
keeping it in the database is key. This helps to maintain updated analytics and
maximize the odds of effective decision-making backed by reliable fundamentals,
which can also be used to draw conclusions and make very accurate forecasts
based on data. This will provide a fresh perspective, since the forecast can
predict how our entire strategy will fare, and then, we can adjust
accordingly. 

Optimizing project
management

It happens often that when
a project is being executed, information is communicated in a scattered fashion
across various channels. What ensues is that a considerable amount of knowledge
gets lost without being reviewed by all stakeholders involved. 

Fortunately, tools like
ClickUp, Asana, Trello, and Monday make it easier to ubiquitously monitor
information, analyze it and act as a project manager that is accessible to
everyone. This unified interface permits real-time updates, collaboration, and
the escalation of concerns as needed. By adopting AI-powered project management
tools, travel companies can boost the quality of their offerings and magnify
customer satisfaction. 

Additionally, implementing
cross-functional team communications is a must to ensure all departments are
working in synergy. Now, technology makes it possible to introduce AI-generated
meeting summaries, which provide a concise overview of discussions and action
items. Last but not least, conduct quarterly analyses based on digitized call
data. This will be very valuable to extract insights for strategy refinement,
and enhance the company’s overall performance.

Elevating the customer journey through AI 

Artificial intelligence can
be used to optimize the customer acquisition journey, which can be attained by
enhancing both communication and interaction. If done correctly, this can boost
sales both for B2B and B2C solutions. 

To kick-start the process,
travel companies must comprehensively store all communication-related data,
including transcripts of phone calls converted to text format. Although it
might seem mundane, this data is a very valuable resource to increase the accuracy
of any AI-powered analysis, since it provides a deep contextual understanding
of past interactions and customer preferences and subsequently empowers the AI
system to deliver personalized and timely guidance at each juncture of the
customer journey. 

For example, when it comes
to closing a deal with a customer, AI can suggest effective strategies that
have yielded successful results in similar situations. These might include
recommending specific products or services that are tailored to what the customer
wants and needs, as well as emphasizing a particular value proposition that is
likely to elicit a positive response from the prospect. 

Furthermore, AI can serve
as a compass to determine the best timing to respond to a customer inquiry. By
analyzing historical data and patterns, the system can identify the most
opportune moment to engage with customers, maximizing the likelihood of a positive
outcome. 

This not only enables
travel companies to grow their revenue and increase conversion rates, but also,
fosters a solidified trust between the business and its clients, to the point
where the travel company understands its customers as if they were their friends,
and delivers accordingly. 

Final thoughts

While the integration of
these solutions seems very appealing and can bring enormous benefits to travel
companies, it must be said that it requires a systematic and well-thought-out
approach from within the organization. Yes, this 2024, travel companies can
gain an edge in the market by leveraging AI to accelerate onboarding and
reporting processes, to manage their projects more efficiently and to elevate
the customer journey. 

However, businesses that
expect AI to magically solve their problems will most likely fail, since
every AI project requires good
governance
, realistic expectations and thorough financial audits. It is
critical to have thorough preparation and well-oiled processes that ensure that
all information is digitized and readily available for AI to do its work. This
highly increases the quality of the results obtained. In the same vein,
insufficient groundwork may lead to worse outcomes compared to what the company
would have achieved without AI.

About the author…

Ivan Saprov is CEO and founder of Voyagu.



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