All Aboard – A Q&A with Allen Sebrell, Amtrak

Verint TeamJanuary 19, 2021

When it comes to customer experience, the travel industry is not only one of the most competitive. It has a lot to win or lose based on speed of service and the experiences they provide through a growing number of channels. Luckily, Verint helps businesses leverage a vast portfolio of self-service technology to help our clients create and scale the best customer experience operations.

That’s why Amtrak turned to Verint when they wanted to make it even easier for their website’s 375,000+ daily visitors to book tickets online. Verint Intelligent Virtual Assistant helps Amtrak’s website visitors with instant access to online self-service, giving them answers to their questions and assistance with transactions without having to call or email a representative.

Since going live in 2013 with their intelligent virtual assistant (IVA), Julie, Amtrak’s results speak volumes, but to get an even better sense of how Amtrak is transforming the customer experience, we chatted with Allen Sebrell, Manager of E-commerce, who was kind enough to let us share this brief interview with our readers.

Verint: What business results do you attribute to Ask Julie, the Intelligent Virtual Assistant Verint developed for Amtrak?

Sebrell: “First of all, Julie answers about 10,000 customer queries per day, significantly more than any live agent can address. What’s even more impressive is the quality of Julie’s work. We’ve seen a 20% reduction in unnecessary escalation calls to our contact center agents.

That’s in large part because Julie’s accuracy rate is greater than 90% appropriate. Which is impressive when you consider that we define accuracy in terms of whether the system delivers an adequate response to an inquiry, the first time a question is asked.

Julie also assists in the transaction and conversion process, allowing us to redirect users to our booking tool – so not only is it saving money (cost) it is helping to drive conversions and revenue.

Since deploying Verint’s solutions, we’ve also been able to develop a better content management strategy. We use the data submitted through the IVA to understand customers’ pain points with our website content, functionality, user interface, new product suggestions, and more.

We’re leveraging our IVA as a 24/7 usability-feedback tool that surfaces valuable, data-driven insights.”

Verint: Are you ever frustrated with IVA technology?

Sebrell: “No. In truth, we appreciate how effective IVA technology has been in strengthening an already good product and customer experience. Verint’s technology allows us to make constant improvements to our system’s interactions, so there’s an opportunity to continuously improve.”

Verint: Do you think AI-assistant technology is ready for “prime time” in corporate America and why?

Sebrell: “Absolutely. We were an early adopter of the IVA technology: We’ve been using it for several years, and it has provided a great deal of business value.

The travel industry is not alone as it addresses the ever-changing needs of its customers. Businesses of all shapes and sizes are adopting A.I.-powered intelligent interfaces to improve their customer experience operations.”

At Verint, we believe intelligent interfaces like IVAs like Julie are essential for keeping pace with the changing demands of today’s customers. If you want to learn more about how our conversational AI solutions can transform your business, get in touch. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!