Triptease has unveiled its new chat bot for hotels to help them improve direct bookings.
Co-founder Alasdair Snow told delegates at Travel Technology Europe that Auto-Agent is “consistently excellent” and helps boost conversion rates on hotels’ websites.
It can be embedded into hotels’ websites and uses machine learning and natural language processing to answer questions from people looking to book a room.
“Obviously it’s a machine,” said Snow. “But to replace the level of service with a human would involve a lot of cost for a hotel.
“Hotels are really intrigued about this because it’s a machine – it doesn’t get tired or irrational and never wants a pay rise. It’s also really good for guests and can be used in any language.”
Snow showed delegates the results of a Triptease study which found that conversion rates for hotel websites were typically around 1-2% when the potential guest received no messages in response to an enquiry.
That conversion rate rose to around 13% when its trial bot, Elizabot, was used to respond to guests.
“It’s really quite powerful technology,” added Snow. “It provides a consistently excellent experience.”
Snow had given an introduction on the rise of artificial intelligence where he said he believed machines can be better than humans at jobs they are programmed to do, but caveated that by making the point that they have no empathy.
He said he believed this meant that AI would not replace human jobs, but “free-up” employees’ time to concentrate on more customer-centric roles, something he said was crucial in the hotel industry.
Auto-Agent will be programmed to increase and encourage direct bookings on hotels’ websites.
Snow admitted it was “early days” for the technology but said that he believes it can be used by hotels to improve service during stay and also to increase direct bookings and thus reduce reliance on bookings made via online travel agents.