Royal Caribbean Cruises Decreases AHT by 47% with AI-Powered Virtual Agent
Boasting over 35 ships visiting 300+ global destinations, Royal Caribbean stands as the second-largest cruise line in the world. With the idea of integrating operational efficiency with seamless customer experience, Royal Caribbean partnered with SmartAction to bring AI virtual agents to their customers. In turn, customer service automation could help its human agents focus on high-value, human-only engagements.
Success by the Numbers
(up from single digits)
Any interaction that a customer has with Royal Caribbean — whether it’s before, during, or after a cruise — plays a vital part in determining their perception of the brand. Making sure customers have a positive experience at every touchpoint encourages repeat bookings as well as strengthens loyalty to the Royal Caribbean brand.
For any guest or travel agent with a question, the Royal Caribbean contact center served as the central hub for information. Live agents handled bookings, payment processes, informing guests on their remaining rewards balances, sending invoices and order confirmations, and more.
These many inquiry types created high volumes of inbound calls that drove up wait times and customer frustration. In a separate but related issue, Royal Caribbean struggled to collect customer satisfaction surveys via email and needed to improve survey completion rates.
Royal Caribbean enlisted SmartAction to redefine its self-service strategy and deliver a conversational AI solution that would enable the company to scale growth and innovation. With the objective to enhance the customer experience and improve operational efficiency, both parties worked together to develop an AI virtual agent that would understand guests and provide assistance in natural language.
Since the launch of the virtual agent, Royal Caribbean now automates:
- Payments – process payments securely, send booking invoices, and inform guests of their remaining balances.
- Invoice Requests – help guests and travel agents get a copy of recent travel invoices, so they can manage their balances and separate charges from multiple trips.
- Loyalty Program – inform Loyalty Program Members of their status, point balance, benefits, and more. This helps members remain up-to-date with their account and create new bookings.
- Surveys – automate survey campaigns, coupled with outbound emails to gauge customer satisfaction.
The SmartAction solution integrates with Royal Caribbean’s contact center platform, allowing a smooth transfer to live agents for additional questions and support. If guests need or request to be transferred, all of the data from the call is passed to the agent, reducing repetition for guests and equipping agents to provide better service.
Applications for Customer Self-Service:
A Payments application securely processes payments, sends booking invoices, and enables guests to check their balance. It uses reservation ID number as the unique identifier.
An Invoice Request application allows guests and travel agents to request a copy of a recent travel invoice. The application enables customers to keep their trips in order and manage balances for multiple trips.
A Loyalty Program application informs Loyalty Program Members of their status, point balance, benefits, and more. The solution helps members remain up to date with their account and facilitate new bookings.
An Automated Survey campaign launches in conjunction with an outbound email to get customer feedback on their experience and satisfaction.
By empowering customers to resolve issues through AI-powered self-service, with the option to transfer to a live agent if requested or necessary, Royal Caribbean improves CX and operational efficiency.
By automating repetitive customer inquiries, Royal Caribbean has reduced average handle time (AHT) by 47% and saved their live agents approximately 100,000 minutes a month. As a result, Royal Caribbean’s agents have been able to focus on high-value, human-only engagements and provide exceptional care at every step in the customer journey.