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Cheapflights (a flight search website) is the market leader in the UK, US, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, generating over £2 billion in global downstream revenue for its partners as it expands into numerous other territories. Over 120 million users visit its websites and apps each year, receiving more than two billion search results a month from across 900,000 routes. As part of their expansion strategy, they continuously strive to reach potential consumers across a variety of platforms, and always by focusing on their core message; ‘Smart Search. Made Simple’. Being an active brand on social media they experienced people requesting flight prices directly on Facebook. In fact, 80% of all messages on Facebook were flight price request (across all the markets). This, of course, had a negative impact on labour, and customer satisfaction, as Cheapflights couldn’t respond as fast as the flight service does using their app or website. This project shows the utilisation of the Facebooks Chat SDK combined with Cheapflights flight search API to build the service called Chat Travel. Credits from: https://danishdigitalaward.dk/projekt/chat-travel/ Category: INNOVATION - ESTABLISHED/BRANDS, Mobile - Service & Tools apps Winner of Mobile - Service & Tools apps: Bronze Winner Cheapflights Lydia Curtis Global Digital Campaigns Manager Pleasance Coddington Global Head of Content, Social Media, Digital Campaigns and Productions Uncle Grey Thomas Ilum Creative Director Charlotte Porsager Client Service Director Collaborators Look At Me now, Magnus Kristoffersen Motion Designer Andrei Andreescu Creative tech Background Cheapflights (flight search website) is market leader in the UK, US, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, generating over £2 billion in global downstream revenue for its partners as it expands into numerous other territories. Over 120 million users visit its websites and apps each year, receiving more than two billion search results a month from across 900,000 routes. As part of their expansion strategy they continuously strive to reach potential consumers across a variety of platforms, and always by focusing on their core message; ‘Smart Search. Made Simple’. Being an active brand on social media they experienced people requesting flight prices directly on Facebook. In fact, 80% of all messages on Facebook were flight price request (across all the markets). This of course had a negative impact on labour, and customer satisfaction, as Cheapflights couldn’t respond as fast as the flight service does using their app or website. With 80% of all direct messages on Facebook being flight price requests Cheapflights wanted to reduce the manual handling to maintain and leverage Cheapflights customer relationship. The overall objective for year 1 launching the Chat Travel was to bring the direct messages down with 25%. Solution Search on mobile devices continues to grow and data shows that for Cheapflights 63% of all traffic and 54% of the revenue comes from this platform. Research furthermore shows that Cheapflights appeals to a younger audience; consumers that expects seamless interaction with brands and who are not afraid to try out new ways of communication. This group applauds challenger brands that dare to stick out in the category. In order to differentiate Cheapflights from its competitors the idea should leverage the possibilities of combining existing and new technologies to make the search experience even more personalized. We utilized the new Facebooks Chat SDK and combined it with Cheapflights flight search API to build the service called Chat Travel. The technology was uniquely curated to offer a human response, which embraces the Cheapflights brand warm, witty personality and adds to their suite of products that allow users to be connected, wherever they are. Whether users are a fan of ‘dropping the f-bomb’ (or worse) or a fan of a ‘winter-is-coming--sword-fighting-like’ series, the bot has an answer for them. If they’re a fan of another flight search competitor, well, then not so much. Chat Travel is a personalized chat bot servicing the thousands of flight price requests that Cheapflights gets on Facebook messenger. Chat Travel responds immediately, 24/7/365, to all flight searches, without Cheapflights having to lift a single finger. The chat bot was created with a warm, witty persona, which truly gave fans an experience of chatting to a human. The bot was launched across all of Cheapflights markets through social media, and has due to its massive success become an on-going platform that Cheapflights keep building on. Result With the build of Chat Travel thousands of flight search requests are now automatically handled in just a few seconds, giving thousands of customers an instant respond. Before 80% of all messages on Facebook messenger were flight search requests, now they’re dealt with, so Cheapflights spend less time with manual labour searching flights for people. So now the brand can spend more valuable time with the customers who have other request. In just a few weeks 20.000 people searched 28.000 Flights, and a staggering 36% clicked book now. Chat Travel has become an on-going platform for Cheapflights to maintain a direct relationship with a demanding audience on Facebook.
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