The pandemic has brought long-term changes to how the travel industry operates. Much of these changes will come from the adoption of new technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning in almost every aspect of travel. The technology offers exciting new applications for the travel space and enables companies to create smoother, more efficient and interconnected processes across multiple platforms, all leading to better customer experiences.
For example, companies that have adopted AI-powered email marketing and predictive analytics have seen a higher return on investment (ROI) in lead generation. AI also helps process data based on the recency and frequency of customer interactions with the brand, helping businesses extend reach and ensure engagement. AI-powered email marketing technologies enable travel agencies to effectively engage with their target customers and offer personalized services based on their needs. Mr Amit Madhan, President and Group Leader – Information technology and e-commerce, for Thomas Cook (India) and SOTC in a chat with CXOtoday shared more thoughts on the same topic.
- What are the current challenges facing marketers in the travel industry?
The pandemic has had a huge impact on the travel industry worldwide and although countries have started to reopen their borders with relaxed protocols, the risk of sudden policy changes regarding air travel, visas and requirements quarantine poses dynamic challenges for marketers while promoting destination-based products. This directly affects customer behavior and therefore poses a challenge for target marketing.
- How is artificial intelligence being adopted in the travel industry? How can AI/ML-based personalization help improve customer acquisition and engagement?
We have implemented personalization for our users in which our web page appears differently to all of our regular visitors based on the topic/destination they searched for or viewed during their last visit. This was initially defined by our backend teams based on their understanding, but now with AI the system understands the customer requirements and bases the user behavior with our initial inputs designs the output/display of the webpage. We also plan to run similar AI-based logic in our chatbots.
Additionally, we have implemented a concept called “Customer Journey” using Netcore Cloud’s Customer Engagement and Experience Platform in which we send communications to our customers regarding new destinations, and depending on their commitment, the system consequently presents more targeted information on the destination/offers/products of their interest.
- How does Netcore Cloud enable Thomas Cook to create an effective communication channel? How does the brand benefit from it? Can you share an example?
At Thomas Cook India and SOTC, we use Netcore Cloud’s Customer Engagement & Experience platform for its comprehensive communication module to connect with customers. We segment our comprehensive database based on customer profiles and past behavior and communicate with our customers accordingly – whether by email, SMS, email and/or WhatsApp update. This allows us to connect with our customers through different mediums, but without bombarding them with ongoing communications.
We migrated 17% of our users from inactive to active and achieved 20% opens by implementing Netcore Cloud EMS.