Technology Driven AirAsia Shifts to Digital Channels with AI AVA

Published September 2, 2019, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

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Low-cost carrier AirAsia has introduced a chatbot – AVA or AirAsia Virtual Allstar – as part of an update to its website and mobile apps.

AVA will assist on live chat, responding to inquiries instantly, initially available in eight languages (English, Bahasa Malaysia, Thai, Bahasa Indonesia, Vietnamese, Korean, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese), now includes Tagalog, Japanese, and Hindi on the roster.

The chatbot was built by the AirAsia software engineering and technology and customer happiness team using technology from Ada, a Toronto based company that specializes in Artificial Intelligence (AI) that’s powered by customer experience. 

AirAsia deputy group CEO (digital, transformation and corporate services) Aireen Omar says the updated website and app work better, faster and more intuitively thanks to the AI.

With AVA, the Customer Happiness Team already generated an 8x growth increase in customer service.

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AVA entertains over 50,000 cases daily since the app revamped in February early this year. Initially introduced to communicate in 8 languages, AVA can now communicate in 11 languages, including Tagalog through its main website, the mobile app, and Facebook Messenger.

Speaking in front of local and international media, Chief Customer Happiness Officer Adam Geneave explained that the integration of AI in the Customer care significantly reduced waiting time from calls, inquiries, and complaints. “AVA provides hands-on experience to passengers, seven days per week, with immediate response to queries,” he said.

The Customer Happiness Team is divided into three departments: Allstar (Customer Support Team), Guest (Customer Operations Team), and Strategy (Customer Development Team).

Under Allstar, the team provides all support services to the Customer Happiness Team to ensure optimized resourcing, team empowerment, and effective operations.

The Guest department focuses on daily operations responding to all guests quickly and resolving queries in the first interaction and ensure to exceed guests’ expectations.

Geneave also added that one of the top concerns of passengers calling their attentions is when they ask about adding baggage’s on their bookings. Flight changes, flight status, booking concerns, and booking processing are also the main concerns of the passengers that the airline deals with every day.

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The Strategy team looks forward to enhancing the customer journey using digital enablers, insights driven decision making and agile project management to drive fast change through the business.

Aside from AVA, AirAsia also introduced the Fast Airport Clearance Experience System (FACES) to give guests a truly seamless travel experience.

Embracing digital does not mean there will be decline in human workforce. “In fact, with the volume of passengers we have, our staff embrace solutions that can ease their workload, so they can do other things better. Automation and the human workforce can co-exist in the way you release people from doing manual things and allow them to focus on more strategic things that use brain power,” said Omar in one of her interviews with the airline’s inflight magazine.

 
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