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Continental Airlines Revolutionizes Customer Support With Online Virtual Expert



Continental Airlines Revolutionizes Customer Support With Online Virtual Expert


First network carrier to utilize online human emulation technology 

HOUSTON, July 30
/PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL) today
launched Virtual Expert technology, a new feature at continental.com,
offering customers 24-hour support on the Web for all their travel
needs. "Alex," the airline's Virtual Expert, interacts with customers
to easily and effectively interpret requests and provide accurate
answers to travel needs. Continental is the first network carrier to
offer human emulation technology. 
>From booking a flight, to helping customers understand visa
requirements for international travel, Alex allows Continental to
provide the same high-touch service available within the call center
environment, for customers on the Web. 
"Continental.com is our one-stop shop for travel planning and
information and Alex quickly and accurately guides our customers to the
answers they're looking for," said Mark Bergsrud, senior vice president
of marketing programs and distribution at Continental Airlines. "We are
constantly looking for ways to improve our ability to deliver the best
customer experience, and Alex will be an invaluable resource to our
customers." 
Developed by Next IT, the new technology emulates not only the look and
voice of a human, but also the ability to understand the intent of
phrases and dialog, guiding customers to information and making
continental.com a one-stop shop for travel planning and information. 
Customers visiting continental.com can click the Alex icon to open a
chat window where they can enter a question. Alex responds with both a
written and spoken response. The customer is then automatically
navigated to the specific place on continental.com that answers the
question and provides other helpful links in the chat window. 
Prior to launching the technology, Continental tested the product with
3,000 of the airline's most frequent flyers and with reservations
agents at Continental's call center in Salt Lake City. 
Reservations agents at Continental are using the Virtual Expert
technology to answer customer questions and improve the customer
experience during calls. The Virtual Expert helps agents locate
information quickly. 
Continental's Virtual Expert is one of the many services that the
airline has introduced to improve the overall customer travel
experience. Continental was one of the first carriers to offer
customer-driven technology that allows passengers to take control of
the check-in process through kiosk self check-in. As a result,
Continental customers enjoy one of the shortest line waits of any major
airline and employees are better equipped to offer more personalized
service. Continental's paperless boarding pass program allows travelers
to receive boarding passes electronically on cell phones or PDAs when
traveling from more than a dozen airports throughout its system, its
EliteAccess program provides qualified customers priority check-in,
security screening, boarding and baggage handling, and its corps of
more than 300 specially selected and trained concierges provide
individualized pre-and post-flight services for its BusinessFirst
customers worldwide. 
Continental Airlines is the world's fifth largest airline. Continental,
together with Continental Express and Continental Connection, has more
than 2,750 daily departures throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia,
serving 133 domestic and 132 international destinations. 
More than 750 additional points are served via current alliance
partners. With more than 43,000 employees, Continental has hubs serving
New York, Houston, Cleveland and Guam, and together with its regional
partners, carries approximately 63 million passengers per year. 
Celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, Continental consistently
earns awards and critical acclaim for both its operation and its
corporate culture. For the sixth consecutive year, FORTUNE magazine
named Continental the No. 1 World's Most Admired Airline on its 2009
list of World's Most Admired Companies. For more company information,
go to continental.com. 
SOURCE  Continental Airlines 
/CONTACT: Corporate Communications of Continental Airlines, +1-713-324-5080, corpcomm@xxxxxxxxx 
/Web site: http://www.continental.com 
/Web site: http://www.continental.com/company/news 
(END) 
URL for this article:
http://www.smartmoney.com/news/PR/?story=PR-20090730-002293-1308&cid=951 

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