5 Ways RPA Streamlines Customer Service in the Travel Industry

June 28th 2024
Daniel Kennelly
Intelligent Automation Manager | RPA & IDP Lead
Daniel Kennelly is an Intelligent Automation Manager and RPA & IDP Lead at Ciklum.
5 Ways RPA Streamlines Customer Service in the Travel Industry


Key Takeaway

  • Many processes in travel and hospitality are manual and repetitive 
  • Travel agencies customize offerings, but standardize internal processes 
  • Businesses can generate efficiencies for their customer service and IT teams
  • Other benefits include cost savings, increased efficiency, improved customer satisfaction, and scalability

What Is RPA and How Does It Work in the Travel and Hospitality Industry?

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is making real waves across the business world. It’s allowing repetitive processes to be automated using rule-based parameters, which is adding a new level of speed and accuracy to many of the mundane procedures that employees have to deal with every day.

It’s proving to be particularly useful in the travel and hospitality sectors, where many previously manual processes have been transformed by automation, from airline passenger data through customer service to personalization. In this blog, we’ll take a look at five of the most promising areas for RPA in travel and hospitality.

RPA in Travel

Five Ways RPA Streamlines Booking and Customer Service in the Travel and Hospitality Industry

One of the reasons that RPA is gaining so much traction in travel and hospitality is that the potential RPA use cases are so varied - and will only improve over time as the technology progresses and advances. But these RPA benefits show what can already be achieved:

RPA in travel and hospitality

Icon1_Automated Booking Systems Automated Booking Systems

Modern booking processes are so data-driven that the possibilities for travel automation are enormous. This includes passenger information, flight and trip details, the processing of payments, confirming reservations, updating bookings, issuing tickets and more. This is ideal for internal approval and reducing manual errors which can easily slip in, but can cause so much frustration for customers when their plans are disrupted. Furthermore, travel booking automation can also reduce the administrative burden on the bookings team, giving them more time to offer better customer service in other areas.

Icon2_ Enhancing Customer Service Response Times Enhancing Customer Service Response Times

We live in an age of rising consumer expectations, particularly when it comes to customer service. More and more people expect to get responses to their queries very quickly, and through whichever channel they choose to communicate, whether it’s a phone call or a social media message. This can be difficult when certain cases require the collection and processing of data from several systems, but RPA can make customer service automation a fast and easy process by collating data as and when service agents require it.

Additionally, RPA can be used for attended processes, standardizing web forms or email templates for customer queries. In a B2B context, an 'invoice status checking' RPA bot could provide suppliers with immediate updates on order status.

Icon3_Personalization of Customer Experience Personalization of Customer Experience

Consumers are also increasingly demanding experiences and communications that are personalized to their individual preferences and requirements. RPA supports this not only by freeing up more employee time to drive personalization measures elsewhere, but also by processing data that can then be used for analytics and important customer insights. These insights can then be used to tailor messaging that’s most likely to resonate - such as personalized flight deals, and upselling of related services - improving engagement and satisfaction.

Icon4_Managing Cancellations and Refunds Managing Cancellations and Refunds

When customers have to go through cancellation and refund procedures, they want everything to be as fast, smooth and stress-free as possible - which means there’s pressure on travel and hospitality businesses not to make any mistakes. RPA bots can help with this by entering and updating PNR information quickly and accurately, while also updating ticket cancellations and carrying out refunds efficiently. This all helps travel management systems operate seamlessly, even when disruption strikes.

Icon5_Inventory and Pricing Management Inventory and Pricing Management

In order to match both availability and profitability with demand, dynamic pricing and inventory management are useful tools for many travel and hospitality businesses. RPA can help here by automating revenue management processes, enabling deep analysis of competitors’ pricing levels, market demand and other variables to work out the ideal price for a particular journey, room or experience. This removes much of the manual effort and guesswork from managing pricing strategies in the long-term.

In summary: benefits of Implementing RPA in the Travel Industry

It’s clear that Robotic Process Automation is a real game-changer in generating greater efficiency, profitability and customer satisfaction in travel and hospitality. What’s more, lightening the load of repetitive admin from employees can make a positive difference to their wellbeing and productivity.

But to get it right, accurate planning for a focused RPA implementation is vital, in order to maximize its potential and ensure that return on investment is fully realized. Ciklum can help you on this journey, thanks to our experience and expertise with RPA technologies - find out more on our approach here.


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