Working with MCI and Caracal Studio, we have developed a chatbot that helps thousands of young people while they are travelling in Europe. Thanks to the Discover EU initiative, young Europeans can get access to free Interrail tickets. But while travelling, they might face some issues…
Discover EU is a project initiated by the European Commission giving every 18-year-old EU citizen the opportunity to discover Europe by train. In that way, the young generation can get to know different cultures, build new friendships across the continent and develop a deeper understanding about what it means to be european.
Being 18 years old, for a lot of them it’s the first time really travelling by themselves. Whether traveling solo or in a group, many will encounter situations for the first time and will learn how to deal with them on their own.
Even though getting out of your comfort zone can lead to growth, getting too far out can be quite daunting. Therefore, the Discover EU project has set up a team of agents helping out the young travellers and are available to answer all sorts of questions ranging from how to arrange the booking procedure, to what to do when you miss your train or you lose your ticket.
However, with thousands of travellers across the European continent, agents are flooded daily with many questions. Coupling that with many requests being very similar, simple and repetitive, and the young generation being very open to new technologies, meant that there was an obvious opportunity to introduce message automation in Discover EU’s communication strategy. Moreover, automating part of the messaging meant that DiscoverEU’s agents had more time to focus on the more complex and unique situations where, along with a mere pragmatic approach, an emphatic touch is often also required.
In cases where the bot doesn’t (yet) know how to help someone, it hands over the conversation to one of the agents. Using smart tagging technology, the chatbot adds tags to the conversation with relevant information that allows the agents to understand the situation faster, and enables them to prioritise cases without having to delve deep into each one.
Though the project has been temporarily put on hold due to the lockdown and the associated travel restrictions, the DiscoverEU chatbot has been widely used in its first months of operation, holding over 700 conversations and having sent over 3000 messages and 150 conversations have been transferred to a live agent. The current version covers 19 intents (including the necessary small talk).