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Booking.com reserves mobile messaging for real-time customer interaction

Booking.com is replacing outdated email communication methods with a streamlined mobile chat within its application, allowing users to submit inquiries and book travel accommodations.

Customers can now interact with Booking.com through a messaging interface on its app and Web site, which brings the travel inquiry experience to a speedier, convenient and more modern encounter. While users will still be able to communicate via email, the chat allows customers to natively messaging within Booking.com’s digital platforms on mobile and desktop.

“Booking Messages was optimized for Android and iOs mobile devices, so consumers simply need to download the Booking.com app,” said Leslie Cafferty, vice president of global communications at Booking.com. “The platform enables push notifications for a simple and quick correspondence with the host or front desk of the user’s accommodation.

“One of our main goals when building any product is to help take the friction out of the customer, and hotel partner, experience,” she said. “We have learned that 75 percent of our customers who reach out to their hotel or apartment proactively prefer to take care of simple requests via self-service tooling, so we set out to build an interface that can do this in the most seamless way possible.”

Mobile messaging
Booking.com users can now communicate with front desk personnel and hotel associates through a chat interface that acts as a mobile messaging platform. Users can complete various tasks regarding their stay as well as ask questions.

The new integration assists property managers, as well as customers. The chat is available on all Booking.com apps and platforms, including its Pulse app for home owners and property managers.

The chat interface automatically translates 42 languages. Booking.com is working on future capabilities within the chat such as express check-in, rates, reviews and service bookings for restaurant reservations or spa treatments.

Now, travel employees can ask users questions regarding their stay and preferences, such as when their arrival time will be, for a more personalized experience. The chat also has automatically pre-translated templates for various predefined requests for common questions such as parking and bed preferences.

Booking experiences
Booking.com recently revamped search on its mobile and digital properties so users can find travel destinations that fit their passions, supporting the discovery of new locations (see more).

The travel also linked consumers’ New Year’s resolutions to travel bookings via a new mobilized Web site that matches an adventure to a user’s goals (see more).

“Facilitating direct communication between guests and properties removes a layer of friction in the experience, and that is what we are about,” Ms. Cafferty said. “Adding automatic translation functionality guarantees that no matter where a traveler comes from and no matter where they are going, no one makes it easier for them to experience the world through Booking.com technology.”