British Airways Bot

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William GodfreyMaker@williamfgodfrey · Head of Digital Product Design
We wanted to test a couple of things with this. Could we get BA access to a new demographic? Could we use a bot as a piece of campaign collateral? Could a bot even hold up a whole campaign? Which is a question we are throwing around with a number of brands. Essentially how can a bot show the personality of a brand? Without over promising with an unrealistic experience (for the time budget etc). Ideally we would have kept more of the experience in messenger but i'm hoping this is one of many things that we can iterate and improve on. I think a number of bots will now have campaign elements as part of their offering. The ability to provide some kind of utility (be it very small here, but fun) with a low barrier to entry and existing penetration into the platform is a really interesting space, especially as bots get more sophisticated. Starting a narrative with a customer is obviously also very appealing for brands. And these kind of entry level games/ fun things are a really nice interaction with a brand that starts that conversation. Which could lead to an experience in or out of the bot. One of the more seemingly boring but important things is that we developed a pretty makeshift system to help us get the client to sign off copy quicker. Doing this more efficiently is a feature I would love to see added to some of the bot products i've used. So if your listening that would be nice!
Pablo Pera@espinchi · Reply co-founder
@williamfgodfrey that's a very creative idea for a bot, congrats. Great point about the copy sign off by the clients. We've had that frustration too, and just last month we released a mechanism to split the copy, the conversational flow and the backend integrations in a way that copywriters, UX designers and developers can collaborate on a bot efficiently. Hit me at pablo@reply.ai if you want to check out Reply.ai!
Chris MessinaHunter@chrismessina · Product designer & entrepreneur
After KLM, it's cool to see more airlines getting into the bot space — though this is an admittedly unique take!
What can you tell us about the process for developing this, @williamfgodfrey?
Tristan Pollock@writerpollock · Venture Partner at 500 Startups
@chrismessina what other airlines besides KLM and BA have created bots?
Pablo Pera@espinchi · Reply co-founder
@writerpollock we're exploring a handful of opportunities with airlines in several geographies (at Reply.ai). While I can't share the names here, I can definitely say that there's a lot of interest. And, as a consumer, I'm super excited! I would love to be able to do basic operations on a chat screen, such as check-in, seat selection, getting notified of delays, etc.