Industry: Consumer Goods (non-food)
Category: it.human

Digital booking assistant to boost conversion rate and optimize customer experience

Through a co-creation project, EcoHotels and NTT DATA created the digital booking assistant, Eva. The project began in January 2024 and aims to boost conversion rates and improve the customer experience.

When you book travel and hotels, it often involves larger amounts of money, which is why credibility is essential. Face-to-face transactions automatically feel more trustworthy, and that is what we gain with our digital human.

Patricia Plesner, CEO, EcoHotels.

About EcoHotels

Founded in 2020, EcoHotels is a booking platform with a special commitment to supporting sustainability focused projects and NGOs. Fast forward to 2024 and the company has 11 employees and operates 100,000+ hotels across the globe. EcoHotel’s headquarters are located in Copenhagen.

Learn more: https://ecohotels.com/

Business needs

  • EcoHotels sought to increase the conversion rate of website visitors.
  • There was a need for expertise on how to utilize AI to improve the customer experience.
  • As a relatively new player in a competitive market, they wanted to stand out with an innovative solution.

Solution

  • Digital human platform by NTT DATA Business Solutions

Outcome

  • An AI-driven digital booking assistant to enhance the booking flow by helping customers find the best hotel.
  • 24/7 support for customers around the world with immediate response.
  • A wealth of data gives customer insights that can be used to identify patterns and improvements.

Why NTT DATA Business Solutions?

  • EcoHotels trusted NTT DATA’s experience and expertise to create an avatar that reflects their brand and boosts customer experience.
  • As the solution is built on cutting-edge technology, the project required a high degree of co-creation.
  • Looking ahead, NTT DATA will support adjustments and improvements as part of an ongoing collaboration.

 

 

 

 

 

Digital booking assistant to boost conversion rate and optimize customer experience

Business need

Innovation and increased conversion rate
In 2023, EcoHotels was searching for ways to increase their conversion rate of website visitors into customers, as part of their commitment to always explore ways to do things better and smarter.

“It’s essential that small businesses leverage emerging trends to gain a first-mover advantage,” explains Patricia Plesner, CEO at EcoHotels. With AI gaining legitimacy and widespread acceptance, EcoHotels recognized an opportunity to boost its conversion rate with an innovative solution. To explore the potentials of utilizing AI, they partnered with NTT DATA.

Human-like assistance
Initially, EcoHotels considered a chatbot. But when NTT DATA presented their digital human platform, a new idea arose.
“Despite rapid technological advances, many people still prefer human-like assistance. So, we saw a potential in an AI-driven avatar that embodies human qualities to enhance customer connections,” says Christoffer Bak Christensen, CFO at EcoHotels.

Through a co-creation project, EcoHotels and NTT DATA created the digital booking assistant, Eva. The project began in January 2024 and aims to boost conversion rates and improve the customer experience. EcoHotels will launch Eva soon, making them one of the first to utilize a web-based avatar in the industry.

Solution

The perfect avatar
Through a design process and multiple user tests, NTT DATA’s UX designers and EcoHotels determined what Eva should – and more importantly, should not – be able to do to provide the best customer experience.

Eva aims to reduce the number of general inquiries without completely replacing customer support, as Christoffer Bak Christensen explains: “Many inquiries will still reach us directly or via email, which is not something Eva has to resolve. Her focus is primarily on making the booking flow easier and more manageable to increase the conversion rate.”

Based on key customer insights and aligned with EcoHotels’ brand values, Eva is designed with an elegant, natural look, and a professional yet down-to-earth appearance.

A modern booking assistant
Built primarily on IBM’s Watson X Platform, Eva consists of several connected large language models, trained with all available data from EcoHotels’ website. This enables Eva to interact with customers. Initially, users will be able to communicate with Eva via a chat field, but the platform itself can support both spoken and written input.

Focusing on questions about the hotel, she can help filter hotels based on the customer’s unique criteria – such as pet-friendliness or distance to attractions or public transportation. When Eva goes live, she will be able to guide customers in two ways; filtering hotel descriptions to fit customer questions and calculating distances using her integration with Google Maps.

Outcomes

Improved customer service and data insights
With Eva, EcoHotels can offer 24/7 support with instant responses, enhancing customer service and speeding up the booking flow. During the booking process, Eva can also suggest additional services – such as adding breakfast or spa access – to customize the stay, and help hotels upsell.

Furthermore, EcoHotels will gain new data insights into customer needs and behavior, so they can identify patterns and improvements regarding the website, offerings, and overall user experience.
According to Patricia Plesner, EcoHotels will also benefit from a solution not seen before in the travel industry: “Eva offers a different booking experience – and hopefully, it’s a solution that some will prefer and choose over others.”

From booking assistant to travel agent
Looking ahead, the vision is to develop Eva from being a booking assistant to become a travel agent, who can help customers plan a full itinerary from airport transportation to restaurant recommendations. However, more immediate priorities are to integrate pricing and availability filters, while also expanding to
languages other than English to cater to a larger target audience.

Apart from supporting these next steps, NTT DATA will assist in developing Eva and updating her continuously, so she always has the latest knowledge on hotels and filters, or if a trend arises, making sure that it is factored into her algorithm.

Find more references

About NTT DATA Business Solutions

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