The Voice of the Cruise Industry

Tech talk: Finding the right blend of people and technology

Travel technology


Traveltek chief commercial officer Cressida Sergeant discusses what makes the ideal blend of people and technology.

How do you blend people and technology? I asked this question to ChatGPT – a generative pre trained transformer.

This is a natural language processing tool, driven by artificial intelligence, that allows you to have human-like conversations that far exceed those possible with a chatbot.

So, a few seconds after asking, this is what it typed back to me: “Blending people and technology typically involves designing technology and systems with the user in mind and involving users in the design process.

Traveltek chief commercial officer Cressida Sergeant
Traveltek chief commercial officer Cressida Sergeant

“This can be done by conducting user research, usability testing and gathering feedback from users to ensure that the technology meets their needs and is easy to use.

“Additionally, training and support for the technology can be provided to ensure that users are comfortable and proficient in using it.

“Ultimately, successful blending of people and technology requires a user-centred approach that prioritises the needs and experiences of the users.”

Pretty impressive, right? I’ve talked in previous articles about how travel agents should embrace technology to make their lives easier.

In the future, technology like ChatGPT could be trained to answer all the mundane questions with a slightly more personal touch than a standard chatbot.

The need for people

Consider how useful it could be to type in marketing ideas and destination content for your social media and have that help to articulate this content into usable written articles in a fraction of the time.

However, it’s important to note that a blend of people and technology will be needed, as you want to keep your brand and personality on all content and customer service.

This is hard for a robot to achieve without knowing your style. Also, it certainly won’t totally replace the need for people.

Not all of your customers will be technologically savvy, so the personal touch is still key. Some people still prefer to have their tickets printed and not rely on mobile options.

Others like to book online with limited interactions, while first-time cruisers and high-end travellers may want to interact with people.

Giving customers the choice and getting the right blend will be the key to creating a customer-centric, profitable and forward-thinking business.

Illustration: Phil Couzens

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