12 April 2019
FCM Travel Solutions’ friendly and intuitive chatbot travel app, Sam, has been awarded for the ‘best user experience’ at the 2019 Mumbrella Travel Marketing Awards in Sydney.
In front of a packed audience made up of Australia’s top travel companies, FCM was called to the stage to accept the accolade, following the official launch and roll out of Sam to customers in May 2018.
FCM Australia Marketing Manager, Kimberley Saddington, said she was thrilled to see Sam acknowledged at the event following excellent take-up and feedback on the app since the roll-out last year.
“Our AI-powered pocket travel assistant has experienced quite the journey since being conceived,” Kimberley said.
“There was a lot of in-depth customer research and development that went into building Sam, including countless interviews with travellers, travel bookers and procurement teams. We wanted Sam to be fun and informal, while at the same time supportive and able to solve a traveller’s problem.
“More often than not, Sam is the first to alert our travellers of flight delays and disruptions to their travel plans and Sam is always awake to support our travellers. Sam is a unique traveller focused app that is an essential tool for our clients,” Kimberley said.
“Sam is designed to make business travel easy and enjoyable by employing a blend of AI and integrated consultant support and expertise. FCM was one of the first travel management companies to create an app with Sam’s traveller-specific technological capabilities.”
Kimberley said Sam’s creation drew inspiration from three key areas including booking capabilities, contextual information and alerts, as well as traveller support on the go.
“The app has proved to be a game-changer and works by using a simple and intuitive chatbot-based interface, which makes it just like using Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp,” Kimberley said.
FCM’s app organises and sends corporate customers up-to-date and practical information based on context, relevance and their preferences. From pre-trip information, including weather updates, check-in capability and gate changes or flight delays, Sam is the ultimate pocket travel assistant.
Kimberley said FCM as part of the corporate division of Flight Centre Travel Group, had been innovating hard in the past few years to future proof corporate travel programs and the tools business travellers had available to them.
“We were also thrilled to see the Flight Centre Travel Group’s corporate division highly commended at the Mumbrella Awards for ‘Bringing AI-inspired business travel to Australian organisations’. Our submission for this award included Sam and our industry leading AI-powered online booking tool Savi, which is also innovating and enhancing the customer travel experience through machine learning and user-specific functionality," Kimberley said.
"It’s an exciting time to be working in the corporate travel space and I can’t wait to see what’s next on the horizon for corporate travellers!"