How a travel group developed a self-service WhatsApp COVID response system in 4 weeks
Hotelbeds connects more than 71,000 travel distributors with over 300,000 properties, 18,000 experiences, and global transfer route coverage in over 195 countries worldwide.
Hotelbeds are global leaders in the TravelTech space. Their cloud-based technology platforms offer fast and simple access to a global network of travel products, from accommodation to ancillaries, while rich data helps to generate demand.
Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Hotelbeds are global leaders in the TravelTech space, connecting and empowering businesses by facilitating bridges in the ever-changing and expanding travel ecosystem. Their cloud-based technology platforms receive 4 billion searches per day and offer frictionless access to a global network of travel products, from accommodation to ancillaries and payments, while the rich intelligence of their 258 terabyte datalake generates demand.
By operating exclusively in the B2B arena, they are uniquely placed to drive growth without competing for the end customer. Hotelbeds’ teams of 3000+ experts on the ground provide local expertise and support to boost trading, even in the most hard-to-reach spaces. Their unique blend of technology, data and passionate people serves as a catalyst for travel players aiming to unlock their full potential.
Creating awareness about animal cruelty and improving engagement with prospective donors to improve leads
Humanizing support for our partners & travelers and reducing service requests and support calls
During the COVID pandemic, Hotelbeds wanted to communicate better with their customers and partners whilst reducing the mounting pressure on their customer service representatives.
Piling Customer Service Requests
As the pandemic hit, all travel came to a standstill. Borders started closing, and people who had planned holidays couldn’t travel, leading to a flood of cancellations.
Every incoming customer support request required an explanation of Hotelbeds’ COVID policy, as each travel partner applied different policies with regard to cancellations.
Missing proactive travel updates
During the pandemic, marketing promotions and work to optimize the booking funnel was stopped. Hotelbeds’ focus shifted to its customers and partners and, like most travel operators, it started announcing travel updates and policies on its website. However, since the updates were sudden and sporadic, customers and partners didn’t always receive the information as quickly or as clearly as they could have and so, they ended up contacting the support team.
Xavier Godoy | Customer Experience & Automation Director - Hotelbeds
A race against time
A proactive conversational interface to self-serve users on the latest travel policies & restrictions
A Platform that checked all the boxes
Landbot was a clear fit from the very beginning for this use case and and met our requirements:
✅ No-code drag & drop builder
✅ Rule-based flows
✅ Integration with Webflow
✅ Availability on Facebook Messenger & WhatsApp
Powerful integrations that helped go to market sooner
Building a proactive conversational interface required integrating more than a handful of tools.
- Dialogflow for Natural Language Processing to understand the user intent, context and phrases related to refunds, cancellations and modifications in real-time.
- Google Sheets to read, write and update user data.
This was easily done using Landbot’s library of native integrations.
Once Dialogflow understood the user query, it stored data in variables and relayed it to Landbot. The user was then directed to a particular flow based on the rule conditions.
A dash of Conversational UX to keep it human
Hotelbeds gathered the best talent in the company to train the chatbot, making it a knowledge repository and giving it a tone of voice and specific messaging that would make the end user feel comforted in uncertain times.
Double the reach: two channels, two brands & two languages
Landbot enabled Hotelbeds to build chatbots for WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, allowing the user to initiate a conversation on either platform. The primary function of the chatbot was to reply to COVID-related queries.
The team used conditional rules to define logic and validate the user chatbot channel, language and brand. This helped differentiate and create a personalized experience based on which channel the user started the conversation from, which language they speak (e.g., English or Spanish), and which brand they are interacting with (Hotelbeds or Bedsonline).
Powered by a delightful Chatbot Support
Step 4 - Campaign assets submission, review & approval
Category Manager at Hotelbeds
Marketing Manager | Conversational Design
Hotelbeds automated customer service for more than 13,000 conversations and handled 350k user queries
Since the ability to handle customer support requests was limited in the first wave of the pandemic, launching a chatbot using Landbot on WhatsApp and Facebook helped Hotelbeds address user and partner concerns proactively.
From idea to customer happiness within four weeks
Hotelbeds, like all other travel companies, had a race against time during the pandemic. Providing clarity and the correct information for their stakeholders at the earliest possible hour became the highest priority.
Using Landbot’s no-code chatbot builder, the team could reduce the time to market to four weeks, launching the chatbot on Facebook and WhatsApp and linking it to the website.
Reduced customer service backlog
The team allocated most of its resources to customer service and support. With every passing day, a new turn of events and developments around COVID restrictions led to an unprecedented surge in support requests which kept mounting and created a backlog.
But using technology to their advantage, the team used the chatbot to self-serve support requests and reduce the service backlog.
Expanded customer service reach and coverage
Social media platforms were a significant source of knowledge transfer and assimilation during the pandemic. For this reason, Hotelbeds launched its self-serve chatbots on multiple platforms using Landbot’s multi-channel chatbot builder.
Xavier Godoy | Customer Experience & Automation Director - Hotelbeds
Landbot enabled the team to easily replicate a chatbot flow for WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger and expand its reach on as many social media platforms as possible.
Humanizing client service, improving customer acquisition and revenues
Improving customer service & replacing signup forms with a chatbot
Bedsonline signs up around 2K travel agents each month via a form. They also have a commercial virtual assistant called Olivia. The team plans to invest more in virtual assistant chatbots and develop it to explain Bedsonline’s value proposition: the tool can be a powerful channel to sign-up new travel advisors, in addition to the website’s registration form. The team also believes that there’s a huge opportunity to assist customers and partners with proactive notifications.