How Amex’s AI-powered chat is a boon for business travellers

The Amex GBT virtual assistant can start a conversation with a traveler in under one second. 

B2B travel platform American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT) has introduced a virtual assistant capability on the Amex GBT Mobile app. The AI-powered service recognizes the user and can immediately fulfill simple requests or gather information before transferring to a live travel consultant.

Business travellers
Corporate travel managers believe that business travel is crucial to company growth.

Riccardo Vittoria, Director of Chat Platform and AI Strategy, at Amex GBT says, “Chat is becoming the standard service channel across many industries. It has the highest customer satisfaction rating of all our servicing channels. Volumes have been increasing by 50% month over month. Customers love the convenience of starting a conversation without being on hold.

“Travel is returning faster than many people anticipated. High call volumes are affecting service levels across the travel eco-system. The introduction of our virtual assistant capability is therefore very timely. It will help reduce call waiting times for travelers and alleviate pressure on travel counselors,” adds Vittoria. 

The Amex GBT virtual assistant can start a conversation with a traveler in under one second. It can automatically answer general questions about COVID regulations, invoicing and itineraries without having to transfer to a travel counselor.

If a traveler counselor is required, the virtual assistant uses the wait time to gather information before putting the customer through. This efficient use of time greatly enhances the traveler experience. Busy travelers can also choose to pause a conversation and restart it at their convenience.

Engineers at 30SecondsToFly started developing the virtual assistant using proprietary technology before being acquired by Amex GBT in 2020. The service includes natural language and free text input for requests, so it doesn’t limit the user to specific speech patterns or key words. Amex GBT customers in Australia, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States are currently piloting the technology.

Since it launched its first chat service in 2017, Amex GBT has expanded its digital channels to include popular messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Apple Business Chat – with plans to soon expand to more platforms and countries. Average customer satisfaction ratings for the company’s chat services were between 93% and 97% between January and April 2022.

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