Built on the Alme for Airlines natural language processing platform, the leading Brazilian Airline expects that ‘Julia’ will become one of the most important channels to answer customer inquiries
Spokane, Wash., June 20, 2013: Next IT, the world’s leading provider of intelligent virtual assistants (IVAs) is proud to announce a key addition to their growing list of travel clients – Brazilian heavy-hitter TAM Airlines. The launch of the IVA, ‘Julia,’ is exciting as TAM expands its commitment to serving – and delighting – their online travel customers in a way that is intuitive, simple and natural by adding the power of conversation to their website.
Serving Portuguese-speaking customers traveling to and from Brazil, Julia engages with passengers in need of travel assistance. A user starts interacting and Julia responds in kind to help travelers better understand booking and managing flight reservations, web check-in, flight status, baggage fees, flight regulations and more.
"Our business and customer service goals are fully integrated. Next IT gives us a solution that helps to engage our customers in the online channel they prefer, in the language they speak and at the speed they need," said Rodrigo Trevizan, Director of Direct Sales at TAM Airlines. "We're excited to introduce this offering and take our customer experience at TAM to the next level."
TAM chose IVA travel-veteran Next IT knowing that Julia would start out with the knowledge and language understanding to best meet the needs of their customers. The IVAs created through theAlme travel language-model from Next IT have answered over 95-million travel-related questions since 2008, making for a robust, seamless customer experience. Whether navigatingwww.tam.com.br or looking for answers regarding flight reservations, web check-in, flight status or flight regulations, ‘Ask Julia’ will be ready to assist customers 24/7.
According to Trevizan, most of the clients that connect to TAM’s service center already accessed the company's website.
“We wanted to deliver a world-class web experience that would give customers their own travel-concierge – connecting them to the information they desire on the channel they turn to first,” he said.
"Working with our affiliate, Next IT Brazil, we are delighted to partner with the most valued travel brand in Brazil,” said Jeff Brown, EVP Sales at Next IT. “Our mission is to deliver highly rewarding user interactions, every time, and to take as many questions out of the travel experience as possible, for every traveler. For a brand like TAM, that also means delivering outstanding service through every part of the travel experience – especially important for a country hosting so many major events in the coming years. Julia is ready for it all."
TAM joins travel experience trend-setters Alaska Airlines, Amtrak, United/Continental Airlines, andVirgin Australia in the online customer engagement revolution. Using IVAs, these companies are able to serve customers in an infinitely scalable way – on the channel of their choice and on their terms.
"Having TAM as our first customer in Brazil is a great honor for Next IT and we stand fully committed to providing the best experience possible to its customers. What makes technology like Julia so exciting is that her capabilities are ever-evolving. Just like a good customer service professional, Julia will continue to learn from each customer interaction – making her a long-term, trusted source for assistance and information. We are thrilled to have TAM Airlines on board," said the partners of Next IT Brazil EDSA Sampaio and Henrique Cardoso.
TAM Airlines (www.tamairlines.com) operates direct flights to 42 destinations in Brazil and 18 cities in Latin America, the United States and Europe. Through agreements with companies abroad, TAM's network encompasses a further 92 international destinations, including in Asia. The company was founded in 1976. TAM has established itself as Brazil’s leading airline, with a domestic market share of 38.4% in April. TAM is also the country's leading carrier among Brazilian airlines that operate international routes, with an 88.7% market share in April. TAM offers customer service manifested by its ‘Spirit to Serve’ initiative that seeks to make air travel more accessible to the general public. TAM was the first Brazilian airline to offer a loyalty program; TAM Fidelidade, which today has 10 million members, has already issued more than 25 million tickets in exchange for points and is part of the Multiplus network. TAM is a member of the Star Alliance and, since June 27, 2012, the company is part of the holding LATAM Airlines Group S.A., a result of its association with LAN Airlines S.A. This merger has created one of the largest airline groups in the world with a route network that offers passenger flights to around 135 destinations in 22 countries and cargo services to nearly 144 destinations in 27 countries. The group currently has a fleet of 318 aircraft.