AI ChatBot for Tour Operators: 2021 in Review

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Back in 2019, our team was on a mission to find a solution to one of the biggest problems facing our clients. Many tour operators we spoke with expressed frustration at the hours spent every day answering the same questions, over and over, despite having optimized their website and FAQ pages. Our solution? The TOMIS AI ChatBot. A conversational, customizable AI customer service agent meant to take on those frustrating FAQs and convert them to closed deals. Beyond serving as an automated customer service agent, the AI ChatBot has proven to be a very successful sales enablement tool. The Bot helps push website visitors down the booking funnel by providing the information they are looking for, at the very moment they are looking for it. 

Safe to say we’ve learned a lot over the last three years of bot building, and 2021 was our best year to date. We improved our bot build process, released our mobile app, and introduced SMS chat – which partners with the AI bot to provide a seamless customer support experience. 
 

In 2021, the average TOMIS ChatBot answered 2,795 questions with a 92% average success rate, with higher volume operators seeing 10,000+ questions last year. This means that the TOMIS ChatBot was able to successfully handle a majority of all inbound questions, never needing to hand off the conversation to a human. This is well above the ChatBot industry average of 80%

Not convinced that the ChatBot is the right move for your customer support efforts? Consider the recently reported statistic that 1.4 billion people use AI ChatBots on a fairly regular basis (Acquire). And of those who use ChatBots, 64% say that the best feature is the 24/7 support that comes from an AI support bot.

Because we specialize in AI ChatBots exclusively for the tours and activities industry, we are able to train each bot with a solid foundation in industry-specific information. For example, the following data comes from our largest whitewater rafting client. We knew that handling check availability was going to be a major draw for visitors on their site, but we also had a good idea of what the most frequently asked questions would be. In 2021, you can see that the top questions this operator received were “What are your hours?,” “What is the age requirement?” and “Where are you located?” 

We knew that handling these types of questions would be key to reducing the amount of inbound calls and emails this operator was fielding. We made sure these questions were handled, as well as supporting rafting-specific questions that customers would also be ready to ask. From “What half-day options are available?” to “How are the rapids classified?” the ChatBot was able to provide customer support for all areas of the business. Our bot team has built ChatBots for every corner of the Tours & Activities industry, so whether you offer an off-roading tour in Australia, a food tour in Florida, whale watching in Mexico, or bike tours in San Francisco, our team is ready to build a bot for you.

Our real-time check availability feature sold more tours than ever before this year, thanks to partnerships with reservation platforms such as Rezdy or Xola (more platform partnerships to come in 2022). The average TOMIS ChatBot led to $23,502 in online revenue, converting bot users at an average rate 230% higher than all website visitors.

But don’t just take our word for it. In the spring of 2021 High Country Adventure, a rafting & tubing operator based outside of Provo, Utah, reached out to our team with a familiar problem. As they faced down their busy season, they were already finding themselves overwhelmed by an inbox of unanswered questions and never ending phone calls. We worked closely with the HCA team to create a custom AI ChatBot paired with our SMS Chat service, allowing guests to interact with the ChatBot first and fallback on live text support if needed.

After just three months, the High Country Adventure ChatBot has provided immense value to the HCA team. The bot handled a total of 4,531 customer messages, booked 185 tours directly within the bot, and generated $43,976 in revenue. Sean, owner at High Country, said “I really like the TOMIS chat! Way better than Chekkit and better than Podium.”

With so much growth in the last year, our team is excited to be looking ahead at the new functionality we’ll release in 2022. With additional features being added to our customer communications suite and upcoming partnerships and integrations with the key platforms that drive your business, we’re sure that the TOMIS ChatBot will only get better in the new year.

Curious to know how the TOMIS AI ChatBot can save you time, enhance your customer experience, and increase your direct bookings? Reach out to our team at grow@tomis.tech to see how the bot can support you today!

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