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Wed, 8 February 2023

AirAsia Upgrades Customer Service; Bids Farewell to Chatbot Ava

(08/02/23)  Capital A, the parent company of AirAsia, has upgraded its customer service with a much more advanced chatbot.

Since 2019, chatbot Ava has been handling customers queries and complaints for AirAsia. She has now been retired and her role has been taken up by Ask Bo which has enhanced artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) capabilities.

During her time, Ava handled more than 113 million customer queries, and at the peak of the COVID19 pandemic in 2020, she handled over 43 million queries that year alone.

Ask Bo can speak English, Chinese, Bahasa (BM, Indonesian), Thai, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese.

He has been designed to provide Live updates on flight status such as delays and departures, as well as boarding information. He will also send push notifications on any last minute changes on the day of operations, and give baggage information (tracking, arrival belt, mishandled baggage reports).

Travellers will also be able to use Ask Bo to change flights, request refunds, choose service recovery options, and by March talk live to a human agent during the Ask Bo interaction.

From left: Maryanna Kim, Group Head of Corporate Comms & Consumer Affairs, Bo Lingam, Group CEO of AirAisia Aviation, Kesavan Sivanandam, Chief Airport and Customer Experience Officer and Tony Fernandes, CEO of Capital A. Click to enlarge.
From left: Maryanna Kim, Group Head of Corporate Comms & Consumer Affairs, Bo Lingam, Group CEO of AirAisia Aviation, Kesavan Sivanandam, Chief Airport and Customer Experience Officer and Tony Fernandes, CEO of Capital A

Our guests have spoken, and we are listening and learning. We felt their frustration towards our first AI chatbot - AVA which was always a work in progress. We recognise she fell short of peoples expectations and we want to do better, said Tony Fernandes, CEO of Capital A. Given the size of the airline that AirAsia is, with thousands of refunds and flight change requests, humans alone cannot cope, we have to also use technology. We learned through AVA how to use artificial intelligence to answer complex and sizable queries better and faster. Over the last eight months, the customer experience team have zeroed in on what our guests need and want, what their top complaints are, and today we are happy to introduce Ask Bo, named after our airline Group CEO, Bo Lingam. He has been at my side for the past 21 years and is the go-to person with all answers to our groups airline questions.

In a bid to be more open and transparent, Capital A will also reveal live information on on-time performance, as well as baggage handling information on its website and super app.

The company has also vowed to continue to review guests' feedback from various perspectives across the group, support cross departmental collaboration and adoption of customer experience programmes into different business entities, while ensuring that leaders lend their full support in the successful implementation of CX enhancement initiatives.

Bo Lingam, Group CEO of AirAsia Aviation Group, said, I am happy to put my name and my face for this new and enhanced version of our customer concierge service, that promises to be more proactive and attentive. Lower fares doesnt mean lower service quality and it is very important to us that our guests feel cared for when they choose to fly with us, for the best fares and the best customer experience. The buck stops with me. Ask Bo will make the customer journey easier, simpler and more informative.

See also: Evolution of Airline Chatbots - Interview with Jonathan Newman, CCO of ( caravelo (.

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