KLM use of artificial intelligence to answer passenger queries

Use of AI means that agents can spend more time on questions in conversations with passengers that need a human approach

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is using artificial intelligence (AI) within its social media service to answer questions from passengers.

The airline now gives automated answers to general repetitive questions from passengers without the intervention of a human service agent.

KLM says it gives agents more time to focus on questions in conversations with passengers that require a human approach.

The AI, provided by DigitalGenius, has now been is use for 18 months and now supports over 50% of all inquiries.

When agents need to answer questions, AI provides them with a possible answer. The AI system learns from the service agent’s actions and gets smarter over time. Until now, the agents had to decide if the proposed answer suits the question, adjust the answer if necessary and send it to the appropriate social media channel.

With the high volumes of passenger questions that the AI system has handled, KLM is now able to automate the answers to the most common questions on any subject without the interference (KLM’s word) of a human service agent.

It is the first airline to offer a combination of human agents and artificial intelligence in a single conversation on Twitter, Messenger and WhatsApp.

KLM receives over 130.000 mentions via social media per week. This number has grown since the introduction of WhatsApp as a service channel. A team of 250 social media service agents engages in 30,000 conversations each week. On average, conversations consist of five or six questions and answers between KLM and its passengers. Questions that can be answered automatically with the use of artificial intelligence usually come at the beginning of the conversation.

Pieter Groeneveld, Senior Vice President Digital, Air France-KLM:

By using artificial intelligence, KLM makes conversations with our customers even more timely, correct, and personal. This is what characterises KLM. Heavy snowfall in the Netherlands last week, caused a significant increase of the number of questions on social media. Passengers obviously expect a timely answer. With the use of AI we support our service agents with technology and should be able to answer many more questions in a shorter period of time. This is exactly what the customer needs.

N.B. Image credit: screenshot from Digital Genius

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