In a visionary move designed to transform the cruise industry, Slalom and Virgin Voyages have teamed up to launch one of the first generative AI-powered digital humans built on Salesforce named Vivi.
The new chatbot will underpin Virgin Voyages’ online customer experience and help reshape the way Sailors can use technology to plan their perfect trip. Vivi bolsters Virgin Voyages’ commitment to innovation and was built using Slalom’s digital expertise with the goal of redefining customer satisfaction in the cruise industry by creating a more engaging and realistic customer service chat experience.
“At Virgin Voyages, we’re incredibly passionate about crafting our Sailors’ experiences and making them brilliant from start to finish,” said Michelle Bentubo, SVP of Service Excellence and Travel Operations. “The Vivi chatbot has incredible potential, and we’re working closely with Slalom to create a streamlined, more exciting booking experience for our Sailors. We ultimately want to harness this Gen AI technology to provide our Sailors with immediate answers so they can spend less time searching and more time dreaming about their getaway.”
Relaxed, flexible, and always authentic, Virgin Voyages is where laid-back tranquillity meets exhilaration. Founded in 2014, Virgin Voyages’ goal is to be a leader within the cruise industry for pre- and post-booking Sailor satisfaction. Normally, customers spend several days researching competitive routes and offers before reservations are made. Most Sailors are looking for answers to commonly asked questions and can spend hours searching FAQ pages or engaging with basic chatbots in help centres. Vivi, the Gen AI-powered chatbot, is expected to significantly reduce the time it takes for Sailors to find the information they need. Vivi can provide seamless and natural answers to inquiries, in turn, helping Sailors expedite their decision-making process.
Previous generation chatbots tended to provide prescriptive responses from a pre-determined list of topics. Now, Vivi embodies a human-like conversational experience, even enabling Sailors to engage in multi-faceted queries. For example, imagine a question like, “I want to know if I can bring my service dog on the cruise, but I can’t find the right policies that showcase the differences between pets and service animals. Can you let me know where I can find the answer?”
- A traditional chatbot could answer, “Here’s a link to our Service Animal Policy”
- With Vivi, the answer can be more understanding of the Sailor’s concerns and respond with human-approved content, such as “Hi Sailor, I’m sorry to hear you haven’t been able to find an answer to your question. Yes, your service dog is permitted on-board. Service dogs are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, such as guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling wheelchairs, etc. The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the person’s disability.”
Vivi uses Salesforce Einstein and Slalom’s Generative AI framework for Salesforce to fuel semantic knowledge retrieval and model training that delivers a truly AI-powered experience.
“Virgin Voyages came to us with a challenge to evolve their customer service experience and reduce the frustrations that Sailors may have with interacting with previous generation chatbots,” said Katie Dunlap, General Manager of Global Salesforce at Slalom. “Built with Salesforce technology powered by generative AI, we designed Vivi with the ability to comprehend nuanced questions and respond with Virgin Voyages’ distinctive tone and language. This is a watershed moment in using generative AI to power customer interactions.”
Improved interactions with Sailors also means less time managing common and repeated inquiries for Virgin Voyages’ Sailor Service department. It allows agents to spend more time helping Sailors curate their perfect vacation experience.
Vivi is now live for Sailors to interact with on Virgin Voyages’ website. Slalom will show a prototype of Vivi being used in a digital human form at Dreamforce this September.
To learn more about Slalom’s approach to AI, please visit www.slalom.com/ai.
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Slalom is a purpose-led, global business and technology consulting company. From strategy to implementation, our approach is fiercely human. In eight countries and 45 markets, we deeply understand our customers—and their customers—to deliver practical, end-to-end solutions that drive meaningful impact. Backed by close partnerships with over 400 leading technology providers, our team helps people and organizations dream bigger, move faster, and build better tomorrows for all. We’re honoured to be consistently recognized as a great place to work, including being one of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For eight years running.
Learn more at slalom.com.
About Virgin Voyages:
Set Sail the Virgin Way with Virgin Voyages, the irresistible travel brand founded by Sir Richard Branson. Delivering epic vacations at sea, Virgin Voyages launched at the end of 2021. The brand’s four Lady Ships – inspired by 50+ years of Virgin history – include Scarlet Lady, Valiant Lady, Resilient Lady and Brilliant Lady. Designed for discerning travelers, Virgin Voyages offers relaxing, exclusively adult (18+) sailings. Working with a Creative Collective of the world’s most sought-after designers, performance artists and architects, Virgin Voyages delivers an enchanting boutique hotel at sea with fresh, elevated spaces that strike the perfect balance of nautical chic and glamour. Currently departing from the sun-soaked cities of Miami, Barcelona and Athens – and soon to include San Juan and Melbourne – the fleet offers itineraries to more than 100 awe-inspiring destinations across four continents. Virgin Sailors are spoiled for choice with 20 eateries offering Michelin-star culinary experiences all included, a festival-like line-up of entertainment, stylish and comfortable cabins, Rockstar Quarters, authentic and locally inspired shore excursions, and a dose of Vitamin Sea with well-being naturally intertwined throughout the experience. Promising to Create an Epic Sea Change for All, Virgin Voyages also puts sustainability front and centre.