Business announced TBiz Chat, a new feature allowing business travelers to
"connect live with a certified Travelocity Business corporate agent"
for help with site navigation, bookings, changes, invoices, receipts and other
text-based conversations offer "a unique chat forum that is a personal
one-on-one experience, as opposed to an agent participating in multiple chats
at one time," the company announced. Travelocity Business president Yannis
Karmis at an Association of Corporate Travel Executives conference last month
described the initiative as "something we're just testing." He said
that while there is "not that much chat technology deployed in corporate
travel," technology is the easy part. The challenge, he said, is
determining when to present it to travelers, what it's used for and how it's
studied as part of the overall travel operation.
a whole set of development and employee investment we have to make in order to
make chat work as well as in the traditional telephony channel," Karmis
told the ACTE audience that the industry needs to do a better job of offering
travelers "a more holistic online experience," incorporating more
functions than just bookings. "You don't just go to your bank for online
billpay," he said. "We need to have a consistent online and offline
experience with consistent tools and consistent processes built in. Travelers
want to interact with us in more ways than one, and we need a consistent way of
providing the solutions they need in real time."