Alexa. Alexa. ALEXA!!!!
My new Amazon Echo doesn’t like my voice. The advert told me it would change my life, but no matter how many times I say the activation word, it still fails to switch on.
I partly bought the so-called virtual assistant as research, since artificial intelligence (Alexa learns to adapt to your voice and commands) is a major theme for 2017. At TTE I’m looking forward to Flight Centre’s Peter Stephens’ “Leveraging chatbot technology to enhance a mature/established business offering” session on Thursday at 12.30pm in the Tech Huddles area.
Some experts I’ve talked to recently are worried too much technology can detract from the customer experience – yet say that if used correctly it builds relationships. Switched on travel companies are investing in this type of technology to improve the customer service, and artificial intelligence to better predict or source the right holiday, at the right time and right price.
In this supplement we also hear how good relationships between travel sellers and technology suppliers are key, as several Vertical Systems customers explain how a good rapport has underpinned their business success.
Vamoos’s Tony Bean, meanwhile, tells us how an open dialogue with customers continues to lead to new features being added – for free – to his B2B documentation app.
Internal relationships also count, as DataArt has proven with its recent project with JacTravel and TotalStay; it leveraged 20 years’ experience of its financial services team to unite the accommodation wholesalers’ systems.
It doesn’t matter how sophisticated the technology, it’s people that count. But in the meantime I’ll continue to shout at my Echo; it may just be the future.