Conversational AI causes 47% increase in basket size profit for Cruise 1st

4th June 2018, London: Active OMG, the British company behind conversational self-learning AI, Ami, today announces the impact Ami has had on its travel retailer customer’s business. Since Ami has been live Cruise 1st has seen an increase of 47% in the average profit per basket and revenue growth of 3% from Ami initiated bookings. Cruise 1st also saw an 800% increase in lead capture with 60% of customers talking to Ami on the Cruise 1st website opting in to receive newsletters by email.

Ami reads the Cruise 1st website in real-time and independently decides how to use the knowledge to achieve goals. Ami’s mission at Cruise 1st is to generate qualified sales leads and provide customer support. Ami intelligently and conversationally interacts with Cruise 1st’s website visitors.

Simon Hoe, Global Head of Digital and eCommerce for Cruise 1st, explains:

“Before we introduced Ami, many more customers called with straight forward questions. Advisors would answer questions and look to progress the booking. In many cases the customers would want to end the call to spend more time researching their holiday. We felt these consideration phase questions could be better served by Livechat or a chat bot. We tried using the live chat service that came with our CMS but it didn’t work well. Our agents were unable to respond to telephone calls as they were tied up with live chats. After further investigation we found that a lot of people were phoning because they couldn’t find what they were looking for. Our agents didn’t want general enquiries; they wanted sales calls.”

“We needed something to filter out the tyre kickers. Cruises are a high ticket item so there is a long research phase. We wanted customers to phone us when they were ready to purchase. We want customers to arrive at the call centre at a deeper stage of the sales funnel.”

“Ami handles the customers’ research. The always-on nature of Ami means we are there for customers around the clock. Ami handles hundreds of simultaneous conversations; enquiries which would otherwise have been blocking the telephone lines. Ami asks trigger questions to question the intent: Have you got a destination in mind? Have you got a budget in mind? Are you looking to book this week? Three green lights triggers a triage intent to tell Ami to put the enquiry through to the sales team.”

“Ami is like another member of the team and as such needs to be trained and educated. There is a learning curve, which is quicker than a human and she doesn’t ever make the same mistake twice. Ami has her own targets just like a person for customer contact and target rate. We had a few teething problems as a result of the extra leads with people waiting to be connected on the phone with no agents readily available. We resolved the telephony issues so that if someone asks to be connected Ami takes the number and calls them back when there is a person free.”

“Ami is now a valued member of our sales team. She is delivering tangible revenue to the business. I see conversational AI as a really cost effective way of driving incremental sales and improving customer service. We are getting a higher conversion rate from the call center; overall it has gone up from 20% to 22% call to sale conversion. This has shown a business case to hire more staff to close more deals over the phone. In the media everyone thinks AI is going to get rid of jobs. In fact it has allowed us to man up.”

“Introducing Ami has impacted the wider business. Ami is our virtual shopkeeper. The unintended consequence has been an overall conversion rate whether the lead origination channels are TV, direct mail or the website.”

Summary of conversational AI Ami’s impact on Cruise 1st’s business:

  • 8x increase in lead capture with 60% opt in.
  • Email opens of 52.4% versus 14.8 industry average.
  • Email unique click throughs of 13.9% versus 1.59 industry average.
  • 3% revenue growth as a percentage of overall business over the first two months of Ami being live.
  • 3x direct return on investment.
  • The average profit per basket is up 47%.
  • Overall increase from 20% to 22% call to sale conversion.


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