Accessing customers closer and faster with artificial intelligence
Digital assistants now accompany the entire customer journey
March 9, 2022
Artificial intelligence as an opportunity for a new form of brand communication – this was the subject addressed by Denise Böhm, Technical Lead, Social Media at the German National Tourist Board (DZT) and Alexander Wahler, CEO and co-founder of Onlim GmbH. “Artificial intelligence has now arrived in tourism”, commented Denise Böhm. Using digital assistants as an example, the DZT showed how technology is already changing brand communication throughout the entire customer journey, and bringing progress with it.
Machine learning and the intelligent linking of data, for example through algorithm-based, automated recommendations for potential travellers, or real time information during the stay in a destination country, are playing an increasing role in the tourism industry. Artificial intelligence (AI) is now among the most prominent forces driving technology in all aspects of digital transformation, and the tourism industry is part of this rapid process of change.
The DZT believes that new attitudes are now urgently needed, thereby harmonising the opportunities offered by the technological possibilities with entrepreneurial reality. The most critical issues involve the subject areas of added value, transformation, data analytics, the ethics of the algorithms and digital assistants.
“However, people are at the heart of digitalisation”, Alexander Wahler emphasised. They will not be replaced by AI, which nevertheless provides an opportunity for reaching people faster, identifying their wishes and needs more precisely, and for providing a new quality of customer satisfaction through personalised services. “In order to do this data must be collected and developed”, Wahler added. The longer an app spends doing this, the more intelligent it becomes. Data must be transformed into knowledge, and this also benefits chatbots such as the digital assistant Anja on the DZT website, which makes use of databases such as knowledge graphs.
Both speakers agreed that the pandemic has acted to accelerate digitalisation and the acceptance of technology in this area. Denise Böhm explained that the entire customer journey, from initial inspiration through planning, reservations, anticipatory pleasure, the actual journey, reflections about it and back to inspiration can now be accompanied by digital assistants. In 2021 the DZT assistant Anja conducted 10,000 conversations and dealt with more than 60 topics. “AI is seen as one of the most important instruments worldwide”, according to Böhm. The technology is still in its infancy and rapid progress can be expected.
“And the DZT intends to be involved as a first mover!”
The DZT chatbot Anja can be found at www.germany.travel, where the magazine “Artificial Intelligence” can also be downloaded.