Airline Scoot has launched a transactional chatbot – the first of its kind in Asia – named M.A.R.V.I.E. (Most Awesome and Resourceful Virtual Intern Ever), apparently.
In time for the one-year anniversary of the merger of Tigerair into Scoot, M.A.R.V.I.E. is the first Facebook Messenger chatbot by an airline in Asia to allow transactions, in addition to responding to customer queries.
A key milestone in Scoot’s vision of creating a mobile-first customer experience, M.A.R.V.I.E. was soft-launched on 2 July 2018 to handle queries from customers. In addition to handling queries in English, M.A.R.V.I.E. is able to assist customers to search for flights, display the same fares and availability as reflected on Scoot’s website and mobile app, make flight bookings, and allow payment by credit card – essentially a full transaction flow.
Since the launch, M.A.R.V.I.E. has serviced on average 50 unique users a day, and successfully resolved 37.5% of the queries that come through Facebook. This resolution rate is expected to rise as M.A.R.V.I.E. is in constant learning mode and its capabilities will improve over time as more customers interact with it. The most commonly asked queries to date pertain to baggage, the Scoot Insider programme, KrisFlyer integration, as well as flight search and booking, proving that there is indeed demand for transactional capability via chatbot.
“Our network now spans 66 destinations across 18 countries”
Scoot’s chief commercial officer, Vinod Kannan, said: “One year on from merging Tigerair into Scoot, Scoot has grown significantly and our network now spans 66 destinations across 18 countries/territories. In the meantime, we have also invested heavily in several initiatives to improve our digital capabilities and the customer experience.
“M.A.R.V.I.E. is one of the first of Scoot’s efforts towards this goal; instead of having our customers come to us, we are committed to meeting them where they are, when it’s convenient for them. As the first airline in Asia to enable flight bookings and payment via our chatbot, we aim to make it simpler and more convenient for customers to realise their travel plans with Scoot, through a mobile-first approach beyond just the website and mobile app.”
Aided by technology
M.A.R.V.I.E. was developed with the expertise of Caravelo, a technology company specialised in solutions for the airline industry.
“Pioneering conversational commerce”
“We are super proud of M.A.R.V.I.E. and of our long-standing partnership with Scoot. For the last two years, we’ve been pioneering conversational commerce in the airline industry and Scoot’s goals of meeting customers where they are and making travel planning simpler resonate with our view of digital servicing and retail. It’s great that Scoot and M.A.R.V.I.E are setting the standard in Asia,” said Caravelo’s chief commercial officer, Jonathan Newman.
In the future, M.A.R.V.I.E. will be able to accept promo codes, assist customers to manage and make changes to their bookings, purchase ancillary products such as preferred seats and travel insurance, make interline bookings involving flights by partner airlines, and accept more payment modes. There are also plans to make M.A.R.V.I.E. available in more languages and on more platforms, including Scoot’s website.
From now until 12 August, Scoot is also running an offer to win SGD 100 vouchers by chatting with M.A.R.V.I.E. on Facebook for your flight requests or any burning questions you have always had about flying with Scoot, to train him to learn and become better over time. The top three ‘trainers’ with interactions that help improve M.A.R.V.I.E.’s performance the most stand to win a free flight to any Scoot destination.