Airbnb releases group booking features as it taps into AI for customer service

Airbnb’s summer release is usually a grand affair with tons of updates for guests and a few for hosts. This time, however, the company is introducing just a few updates for group booking along with a new category called “Icons,” which are experiences hosted by celebrated names in music, film, TV and sports.

Group booking features, which are probably the only update that will reach all users, allow people to create shared wishlists, and there are trip invitations for the group with details of the property.

Users can now invite friends or family to a wishlist through contacts on their phone or a link. Group members can add properties to a list, leave notes about a property, or vote on them to decide on the booking.

Image Credits: Airbnb

After the primary member books the property, they have to invite people to travel with them again on the trip with a postcard. The invitation card also has details like address, check-in instructions, and Wi-Fi passwords.

Airbnb is also introducing a new message tab where all travelers can chat with the host and react to messages. Hosts can use AI-powered suggestions to reply to questions, such as sending the guests the property’s checkout guide.

AI-suggested Quick Reply

Image Credits: Airbnb

Nathan Blecharczyk, Airbnb’s co-founder and chief strategy officer, said that the company built group features as more than 80% of trips on the platform involve more than one person. Plus, there is a lot of back-and-forth between the group members in terms of making decisions.

Apart from group features, Airbnb is releasing a new earnings dashboard for hosts with better insights and an experience category called “Icons,” which features properties like the X-Men mansion, the Ferrari museum, Prince’s Purple Rain House, and living room sessions with Doja Cat. These experiences will be available for a short time, and users will need to apply for them to get in. Airbnb is planning to accept 4,000 people across 11 experiences.

Using AI on Airbnb

Last November, in a conversation with TechCrunch, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky mentioned that the company is testing generative AI-powered review summaries. While Airbnb hasn’t made public announcements in this area, Blecharczyk told TechCrunch that the platform plans to use AI in multiple areas, including customer support.

“We are increasingly using AI to streamline our customer support to make sure that customers are routed to the right agents or to have tickets automatically resolved with AI-generated responses,” he said.

The Airbnb co-founder noted that AI-powered responses are applicable only to certain scenarios, and the company has been testing them in limited production.

“I think there is a lot of potential for applying AI to the business. We think a lot about how AI is going to change the experience at the consumer layer over time,” Blecharczyk said without sharing specifics of the company’s roadmap.

“We have a lot of reviews, and we sit on top of a lot of customer service data. So we are thinking about how we can use AI to succinctly give a better picture of a listing and its information.”

In November 2023, Airbnb acquired a stealth startup called GamePlanner, which was launched by Siri co-founder Adam Cheyer. Earlier this year, Chesky mentioned that the GamePlanner acquisition was part of the travel platform’s plan to create an “ultimate concierge.” Using AI-powered replies to solve customer queries is probably the first step toward that.

source
The article is sourced from the internet. Click the “Source” button to view the original content. If there is any copyright infringement, please contact our team for removal.

Share this article
Shareable URL
Prev Post

Explore the latest in AI, SEO, PPC, and more at SMX Advanced

Next Post

A leading clinical research organisation with an academic advantage

Read next
Subscribe to our newsletter
Get notified of the best deals on our WordPress themes.