Accenture Helps Avianca Design and Launch a Travel-Experience Chatbot for Its 28 Million Customers

PRESS RELEASE: Accenture has helped Avianca Holdings SA, the national airline for Colombia, develop a chatbot to enhance the airline’s digital customer experience by providing travelers with a range of helpful travel-related services and real-time information.

The Facebook Messenger chatbot – named Carla and based on an existing prototype from Accenture Interactive – opens an intuitive new channel for customers to interact with Avianca. Carla enables Avianca’s customers to confirm itineraries and flight status, locate luggage and for domestic flights in Colombia travelers can actually check-in through Carla all using a mobile device. Customers can also consult Carla regarding ticket refunds and use it to provide real-time feedback to Avianca’s customer service.

Carla supports several travel-related queries beyond those provided by single-purpose industry chatbots. For example, Carla can also show customers weather forecasts for their destinations, and alerts can easily be set to remind travelers to pack their passports or pick up clothes at the dry cleaners before heading to the airport. In the future, Carla will be able to translate words and basic phrases, such as “I’m allergic to peanuts” from Spanish to six languages, including English, Japanese and Chinese.

“Carla enables us to connect with our more than 28 million customers in a simple, intuitive way, offering helpful services on a platform they use daily and is one of the first virtual assistants to be launched in Colombia,” said Rodrigo Trevizan, digital experience director at Avianca Holdings S.A. “Carla marks Avianca as an innovator in the airline market, as we continue to take advantage of the newest digital technologies to meet the individual needs of our travelers.”

Accenture and Avianca developed and launched Carla in just six weeks, leveraging the existing prototype and collaborating with Accenture Interactive customer experience specialists as well as mobility and industry experts from across Accenture at the Accenture Mobile Apps Studio in Madrid.

“Chatbots open up a new way for people to plan and manage travel,” said Jonathan Keane, managing director of Accenture’s Aviation practice, “Carla offers Avianca’s customers a fast, easy way to interact, helping them build stronger customer relationships and improve service.”

Anatoly Roytman, head of Accenture Interactive in Europe and Latin America, said: “The time of lengthy development cycles is over. Brands wanting to stay ahead of customers’ increasingly liquid expectations need to rapidly ideate, test and deploy new digital experiences as customer experiences are evolving as we speak. This offers tremendous opportunities to companies such as Avianca that are eager to try something new, fast.”

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