Meet Julia – TAM Airlines’ most famous new hire

Founded in 1976, TAM Airlines is a leader among Brazilian airlines with a market share of approximately 86% and 38% of the country’s international and domestic flights, respectively. TAM provides direct flights to 42 destinations in Brazil and 20 in Latin America, the U.S. and Europe. In 2012, they established a union with LAN Airlines, creating LATAM Airlines Group S.A., one of the largest airline groups in the world – allowing them to offer passenger services to 135 destinations in 24 countries and cargo services to 145 destinations in 27 countries. TAM’s fleet includes 321 aircraft. LATAM Airlines Group has 53,000 employees.

Customer challenge

TAM Airlines is dedicated to their customers and constantly searches for new ways to establish and build loyalty. TAM knew that their online sales channel was increasingly relevant, so they set out to improve upon the overall online customer experience. Their goals were to improve site usability, increase conversion rates and improve customer satisfaction.

In 2012, TAM decided to look into innovative technology solutions that would reduce costs, increase revenue and impress customers. They knew that 49% of customers trying to reach their call center had first attempted to self-serve on the TAM website. On their checklist of factors to take into consideration were scalability, eliminating wait times, increased availability, automating repetitive questions and providing consistent and accurate resolution. They also hoped to ensure that this solution would be intuitive and seamless, improving the customer experience.

“Next IT’s technology successfully emulates a human being and serves customers through context recognition, allowing the virtual assistant to recognize the channel a request is originating from in order to maintain a conversation as a human would.”
Maiara Munhoz, Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst

Results

Since Julia went live in June of 2013, she has helped more than 6.3 million customers and answered 16.2 million questions with a 90% success rate. Julia’s effect on TAM’s bottom line is impressive, too: customers interacting with Julia have both a higher conversion rate and a higher cart value, resulting in significant revenue improvement.

In addition to assisting with top-line revenue growth, Julia’s implementation, along with a number of other initiatives, has led to some significant operational improvements, including a 33% call-volume decrease.

  • Since her launch in June of 2013, Julia has answered 16.2 million questions, helping over 6.3 million customers
  • 90% success rate
  • Reduced call-center calls by 33%

Next steps

Due to her popularity and strong business results on the web channel, TAM’s Julia has an exciting future ahead of her. In the spring of 2014, Julia became animated when engaged, creating a more dynamic experience. Soon, this animation will be further leveraged to proactively welcome each visitor to TAM’s website. For a more intuitive user experience, new features are under analysis, including an input box within Julia’s launch icon, multi-language capabilities and proactive engagement in the event of error messages.

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