2016 Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards Gold Winner – Jetstar
Company: Jetstar, North Sydney , Australia
Category: Award for the Innovative Use of Technology in Customer Service > All Other Industries
Entry Title: Jetstar
Jetstar Airways is the fastest growing airline brand in Asia Pacific, and one of the largest low-cost carrier airlines in Asia Pacific by revenue. Jetstar was experiencing major spikes in customer enquiries, leading to wait times of up to 45-60 minutes and increased costs to serve the customer. The airline went to market for an innovative solution to manage these issues and provide customers with simple and accurate access to important information. After a comprehensive evaluation, Jetstar chose to implement Nuance’s virtual assistant solution and Jess was born. Based on Nuance’s Nina, an intelligent virtual assistant that delivers human-like, conversational customer service experience, Ask Jess was deployed, making Jetstar the first ever airline to deploy a virtual assistant for improved customer service.
Research showed that despite the fact that many websites offer self-help tools to give customers the option of resolving their issues online, more than 58 per cent of customers found they were unable to resolve their issues. As a result, the majority of customers (71 per cent) said they would prefer to engage with a virtual assistant when navigating a website’s self-service tools, as long as the virtual assistant provided an efficient, human-like interaction to resolve their issue.
With evidence-based research and direct feedback from customers, Jetstar launched Nuance’s intelligent virtual assistant, Jess, to deliver a human-like, conversational experience to assist customers with their support-based travel queries.
The comprehension within the Ask Jess solution draws on Nuance’s industry-leading intelligent virtual assistant technology and leverages the natural language understanding (NLU) capability developed over many years. Jess delivers a human-like, conversational interface for visitors to Jetstar’s website. Nuance’s NLU technology allows the Ask Jess application to understand a customer’s intent through an interactive, text-based chat experience. By understanding what customers want, Jess provides a 24-hour solution for customers to gain immediate access to important information related to their travel plans, rather than navigating multiple pages on the airline’s website or calling the contact centre after failing to get an appropriate answer.
Jetstar’s new customer service application, Ask Jess, uses advanced technology to deliver a conversational experience that simulates a human interaction. It offers the best in online self- service, with the system not only understanding the customer’s words but also their intent. Ask Jess offers an innovative option for customers, linking customers into Jetstar’s booking system and providing personalised responses across more than 20 different topics.
Ask Jess engages in over 220,000 conversations per month, with a first contact resolution rate of around 80 per cent, which means the majority of customers are having their queries answered the first time they interact with the virtual assistant. As a result of the implementation, Jetstar has also seen an increase in the time contact centre staff can spend addressing the more complex customer enquiries.
Today, Ask Jess is capable of answering hundreds of questions across a range of categories. The virtual assistant’s ability to evolve and hold contextual conversations with customers continues to grow as more visitors to Jetstar’s website interact with Jess on a daily basis.
Ask Jess is now more broadly available across the Jetstar Group, providing virtual assistant access to over 180 million customers, across 75 destinations, within 17 countries and territories.
Since launching Nuance’s intelligent virtual assistant, Jetstar’s shopping cart conversion has doubled, with a $50 increase in the average cart value for customers using Ask Jess. Furthermore, Jetstar has seen a 20 per cent reduction in calls to the contact centre per 1000 passengers, and a 67 per cent reduction in general service chat.
Through its partnership with Nuance, Jetstar is a key example of a business providing a unique and personalised experience across multiple service channels.