Leading airlines like Transavia know that in order to remain competitive, they need to be where their customers are. But in the ever-changing digital world, how can Transavia use the latest technology to stay one step ahead?
Mirabeau is always working with our clients’ best interests in mind. So after developing state-of-the-art solutions like the 'My Transavia' hub, improved e-commerce service and active social media components, we went in search of ways to do even more.
A golden opportunity
Mobile has quickly taken the lead in nearly every aspect of our lives: from communication to commerce. The rapid pace of development in this digital medium shows no sign of slowing. And chat is quickly becoming the interaction of choice among mobile users. Through cognitive services like conversational interfaces, customers can communicate and interact with companies from their messenger platforms, like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. And well-known Silicon Valley venture capital firm KPCB predicts that this will be a game-changing development.
A viable connection
Mirabeau’s exploration of chatbot technology revealed some interesting opportunities for our clients, including Transavia. We began to sketch an initial idea: a chatbot that allows passengers to book their flights through chat. We created the first prototype using Microsoft Azure’s Cortana, and contacted Transavia. Not only were they interested, they jumped right on board.
When Mirabeau approached us with their initial proposal, we were immediately enthusiastic,’ says Ines Verburgh, Innovation Lead at Transavia. ‘We knew that chatbots were the “next big thing”, and Mirabeau helped us see how to apply them to create real added value for Transavia's customers.’
Ines Verburgh, Lead Innovation at Transavia says that the teamwork provided the perfect combination: Transavia’s business knowledge and customer challenges, and Mirabeau’s technological and design expertise. ‘This is Agile and Lean working at its very finest,’ says Edgard Beckand, Strategic Director at Mirabeau. ‘We worked in one-week iteration sprints, which allowed us to quickly adjust the system according to specific questions and challenges we encountered. We tested everything with a group of Transavia and Mirabeau colleagues, and improved as we developed.’
An accelerated innovation
Just weeks after the initial concept was completed, the first minimum viable product was ready: Transavia Flight Search. With the right balance of text chat and click-based automation, Transavia Flight Search creates a flowing conversation on Facebook Messenger that smoothly guides customers through the ticket selection and purchasing process. ‘It was a pleasure to work with Mirabeau on this joint effort. And remarkable how quickly we were able to develop a minimum viable product that was ready for launch,’ Ines says.
It’s amazing how fast technology develops, and fantastic how quickly we were able to turn it into a go-to-market product.
- Ines Verburgh, Innovation Lead, Transavia
The key was finding the points in the interaction where chat can provide real added value. Then, we combined that element with some simple click-based functions to accelerate the process. Time-to-market was further shortened because we didn’t need to design an interface. The chat itself – the content – is the interface.
An exceptional team
For more than two years, Mirabeau’s developers have been exploring the possibilities of cognitive interface services from Amazon, Google, IBM and Microsoft. They know each service’s specific usability, trainability and capability. They have the knowledge and insight to take these new technologies and create relevant user experiences. The transition from concept to reality is remarkably short, because the team can quickly translate technological possibility into tangible solutions. And for Mirabeau, “tangible solutions” always involve a direct benefit for our clients.
A real-world test
The Transavia Flight Search bot is now live. Our dedicated team makes improvements based on real-time feedback and analytics. This is a radical change from the days when products went through months – or years – of internal testing before they were released in the market. With the development of this bot experience, Mirabeau leveraged all the advantages cloud technology offers to accelerate the time-to-market and gather real time feedback.
A calculated risk
It may seem like a risk to release a product in such an early stage of development. But for Mirabeau and Transavia, the risk is well worth taking. Through machine learning, Transavia Flight Search will learn from every user interaction. By creating a dialogue with users, Transavia can watch their game-changing offering develop in the blink of an eye. And they can rightly take their place on the forefront of the revolution.
‘Bots are here to stay and will change everything,’ Ines says. ‘Companies that have not yet started exploring the opportunities available should start doing so right away. The sooner you start learning and getting comfortable with the potential of this technology, the more prepared you’ll be when it becomes the industry standard – which may happen in a matter of months.’