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Thought Leaders in Artificial Intelligence: Dave O’Flanagan, CEO of Boxever (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Apr 4th 2016

Learn how the airline industry is using Artificial Intelligence to market to their customers in context, with personalization.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by introducing our audience to yourself as well as to Boxever.

Dave O’Flanagan: I’m the CEO and Co-Founder of Boxever. Our customer intelligence cloud powers one-to-one customer experiences for some of the biggest travel brands in the world including Emirates, TigerAir, and over 20 airlines around the world. We help them create unique differentiated experiences in the digital and the real world to help them personalize for each of their individual customers. We were formed in 2011. We’re about 70 people and we’re based in Dublin, Ireland. We have offices all over the world.

Sramana Mitra: Pick some of your customers and let’s do some use cases of exactly what these experiences look like and what you do to power these experiences.

Dave O’Flanagan: Boxever’s platform consists of a couple of key things that allow us to create these smart and intelligent experiences for customers. First thing is that we help our customers create a unified view of platform of all their data from a customer perspective. We connect to legacy systems, transaction database, the behavioural feeds such as web, email, and mobile.

We connect all that information and give them a high-fidelity view of every one of their customers, both identified customers and anonymous visitors. That then powers our predictive analytics platform that allows us to mine specific insights that in turn allow us to determine what the next best action or next best offer is for the customer. That has a broad range of applications but we primarily sell to the customer experience division within an airline.

One example is that when somebody is in the airport, we can geolocate their device. We can score the customer base on their lifetime value or what they’re worth to the brand. We can then determine what the next best offer is. Sometimes, if there’s a delay in security, we can offer them a free fast pass as the next best offer.

Another example is the types of information we can sequence over the web channel or email. If somebody is on the website, we are determining in real-time who the customer is and what they are likely to buy. Then we start to filter and sort the flight options for the airline or make sure that the right opportunities for cross-sell and up-sell are particularly unique for that customer so that they are more likely to buy and have a more calm and focused experience.

Some interesting challenges in the airline industry, and travel in particular, is that there’s a huge amount of choice. When you book a flight, you may get an offer from New York to LA on an online travel agency. That can be very overwhelming. Some customers are thinking about time and schedule. Some customers are thinking about price. Other customers are thinking about the whole duration of the flight.

Understanding who the customer is, aligning that customer with customers similar to them, and then filtering and sorting the number of offers has a huge impact on the customer experience as well as on the actual conversion on the site, which generates more revenue for our customers. There’s a lot of retail vendors that do some things very similar to Boxever in the retail world.

Some of the challenge that we’re faced in the travel world is that the products are constantly changing. Prices are fluctuating. That places real challenges for our modelling and our predictive analytics to make sure that when we filter and sort, we are generating an offer that is purchasable at that specific point in time.

This segment is part 1 in the series : Thought Leaders in Artificial Intelligence: Dave O’Flanagan, CEO of Boxever
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