Messaging-based customer service, powered mostly by Facebook at the moment, is tipped to become a part of the mainstream brand-to-consumer relationship.
Interacting with brands using the social network's messaging platform has, so far, been seen to be a bit on the novelty side of communications.
But consumers appear to be willing to accept that a robot might be the easiest way of engaging with a travel service.
For example, when asked in a recent survey about whether they would accept travel brands proactively sending them messages, nearly half of a 2,000-sample of consumers in both France and the UK said they would be interested if the hotel or airline was sending an exclusive offer or deal.
Furthermore (and perhaps surprisingly), over half (53%) of regular users of Facebook Messenger and sister service WhatsApp claim to have interacted with a brand within the messaging environment, or say they will happily do so.
Just over a quarter (28%) do not want any form of message-based interaction with brands.
Other findings suggest that 15% liked the idea of setting up group interactions with brands, such as discussing how to research or book a try within a network of friends.
A third also say that the complete history of any conversations with a company being contained within the relevant application is an advantage when dealing with a company, with no need to search through emails, or notes from telephone calls to a customer service centre.
Matt Vignieri, managing director in EMEA for Kenshoo, the digital agency behind the study, says:
"Mobile messaging presents a new opportunity for businesses to connect directly with individual consumers - and potentially build long term customer relationships.
"Many consumers can see the advantages too – but their expectations are high. They expect timely responses and will want communications to be personal to them and in context.
"If businesses get it wrong, then messaging could quickly turn into a channel for complaints. And because users can easily share negative experiences with their contacts, things could easily get from bad to worse."
NB: Facebook Messenger image via Pixabay.