European ferry operator Stena Line has launched a new chatbot to provide UK customers with 24/7 assistance and help them to book ferry trips.
Named Stina, the chatbot is based on IBM Watson and uses artificial intelligence (AI) and detailed insights from information collected by Stena Line’s contact centres to instantly answer guests’ most commonly asked questions. Stina can provide updates on departure times, ticket prices and delays, and she can help customers to book tickets or change their existing reservations.
“When chatting with Stina, she will help you find where and when you would like to travel, and then she funnels you into our web-based booking system to finalise the booking,” said Anders Hellberg, head of Customer Acquisition and Conversion at Stena Line. “This is a unique service in the ferry market and just one key feature that makes Stina smarter than others, along with her ability to keep track of delays in real time.”
Stina has already been introduced to the UK market and customers can access her by visiting the ‘Need Help’ section of the company’s website or by using the TravelMate. Once Stena Line is satisfied with Stina’s performance, the company will train her to understand more languages and introduce her to other markets.
“Our goal is to have her speaking the native language for all of our regions, and next up is Swedish and German,” said Hellberg. “We are also looking at voice command to see if would be possible for our customers to speak to Stina as you would talk to Siri or Google. Last but not least, we are working hard to have Stina support our customers through the whole booking process, from start to payment.”
The chatbot is part of Stena Line’s aim to become the world’s first “cognitive ferry company”.
“This is one of many great examples of how we are using AI to increase our efficiency and improve the customer experience,” said Jari Virtanen, chief transformation officer at Stena Line.
|Caption||Stina will answer customers' questions and help them to book ferry trips (Image: Stena Line)|