Top Chat and Messaging Providers for Tour and Activity Operators

How to decide if you need a chat and messaging platform, what type of chat will work best for you, and the top nine chat providers to consider.

Reading Time: 2 minutes 40 seconds

“What can I help you with today?”

Chatbots have become ubiquitous, and as the latest Arival research shows, operators have a lot to gain from adopting chat platforms as part of their customer service. However, should operators be rushing to jump on the chatbot bandwagon?

“Operators are usually worried of losing the personal touch,” says Daniel Pino from TourOpp, one of the chat and messaging providers included in the recently released Arival Guide: The Power of Chat. “However, if you have a bot taking care of 80% of your most common, repetitive questions, you will have more time to take care of those customers who really need your attention.”

When considering adopting any new technology, there are a few steps you can take to make sure you’re making the best decision for your business.

1. Do an Internal Assessment

Before you jump into evaluating chat platforms, take a close look at your own business, including your current communication flow. What are the pain points or service bottlenecks, and where could chat automation help? Consider also your current booking system and other software that you’ll want to ensure can integrate with a potential new chat and messaging system.

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2. Ask the Right Questions

When looking at potential chat platforms, there are five key questions to ask, as outlined in the Arival Guide: The Power of Chat:

  1. What type of chat does it support? (In other words, can you send all of the messages you need to? How customizable are the messaging templates to send all of the messages needed for your business?)
  2. Does it support the messaging apps or services your customers use most?
  3. Will it integrate with your booking system, marketing platform, and other tech?
  4. What internal resources do you need to implement and support the platform?
  5. What support is available from the provider?
What kind of messaging apps are your customers already using? | Photo: Unsplash / Adem AY

3. Evaluate the Options

In developing this guide, Arival analyzed more than 20 chat platform providers, and included the top nine in a comparative matrix. Here are the top chat and messaging providers from the guide in alphabetical order:

  • CM.com: A customer communications platform for tour and activity operators
  • Curated Planet: A customer communications platform for tour and activity operators
  • Hubspot: Customer relationship management (CRM)
  • Podium: Customer communications platform for tour and activity operators
  • Salesforce: Customer relationship management (CRM) for travel and tourism
  • Swell: Customer communications platform for travel and tourism
  • Tars: Chat automation platform for travel and tourism
  • TOMIS: Marketing & chat platform for tour and activity operators
  • TourOpp Go!: Chat automation for tour and activity operators

To learn more about the process of evaluating chat platforms, and to see the details of how each of these chat platforms ranked in Arival’s review, download the guide free here, and join a webinar presentation of this research on February 1, 2023.

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