AI Case Study

Avianca Airlines improves customer experience and cuts check-in waiting times in half with natural language processing

Avianca Airlines in collaboration with Accenture built Carla, a chatbot to assist customers with domestic check-in, itinerary checking, flight status updates, weather conditions, simple translations, and other useful reminders. The chatbot, which is available on Facebook Messenger, has been able to assist more than 1,000 customers as well as cut waiting times for check in in half.

Industry

Transportation

Airlines

Project Overview

"By supporting flyers through the more routine tasks – check-in, flight status, seat changes – with a simple and accessible mobile solution, they could lower the stress of traveling – and raise the bar for customer experience.

By creating a chatbot on Facebook Messenger, Avianca would have instant access to their customers through a widely adopted, familiar platform. So [IBM] built Carla, an Avianca-branded Facebook chatbot, using the latest in artificial intelligence technology.

Carla offers customers a simple, intuitive way to manage their travel at their point of need – on a platform they’re already using. That completely eliminates any need to make a separate phone call, download a new app or visit the company’s website.

Building Carla’s underlying platform in the AWS Cloud offered the development pace and processing performance Avianca needed. Plus, the company could scale during peak periods without affecting customer experience. And they could dynamically manage Carla’s dialogue during customer interactions.

In just six weeks, Carla was ready. She offered cutting-edge customer service through domestic check-in, itinerary checking, flight status updates, weather conditions, simple translations, and other useful reminders.

Best of all, Carla’s natural style of conversation would mean travelers never felt they were talking to a machine. With her pleasant tone, instant responses and ability to answer follow-up questions, she sounds just like a real person – but one that’s on call 24/7.

Reported Results

"After just one month, Carla had helped more than 1,000 Avianca customers simplify their business and leisure travel. Through nearly 4,000 different conversations, she was offering an easy and intuitive way to check-in, confirm itineraries, and do much more. That’s a fantastic new experience for travelers. But Carla had an equally impressive impact on business performance too. Waiting times were cut by half when Carla was used to check-in. That’s the kind of result a business sees when the idea of the digital core takes flight."

Technology

Function

Customer Service

Contact Centre

Background

"When you’re running to catch a flight, it’s not just big-ticket disruptions like cancellations that create worry. The little things matter too, especially for inexperienced travelers. Colombian airline Avianca, the second largest in Latin America, saw a way to differentiate their business in a very competitive industry."

Benefits

Data

Messages on Facebook Messenger