FCM’s chatbot, Sam, launches in the Middle East

FCM’s chatbot, Sam, launches in the Middle East
Published: 30 June 2019 - 10:38 a.m.

Sam, FCM's "Smart Assistant for Mobile" is now available to its clients in the Middle East.

An industry first, Sam is technology that entirely enhances a traveller's experience whilst on the go. The mobile app blends a mix of Artificial Intelligence with the expertise of real FCM travel consultants to deliver personalized, relevant information to business travellers' mobile devices through a chat-based interface.

The interactive, travel-savvy app supports business travellers with all aspects of travel via a conversational interface to answer questions, make recommendations and perform actions before, during and post trip.

FCM was the first Travel Management Company to offer AI to its clients; launching Sam in USA in September 2016 and a worldwide rollout and multiple award wins followed. As of now, two versions of Sam are available to FCM clients and business travellers in the Middle East:

A premium version exclusively for FCM customers with additional features that are configured for these customers as part of their tailored rollout. These premium features include auto-synching the traveller's bookings, integrated self-booking tool, live chat with an FCM consultant to provide service and make or amend bookings on the move; weather, restaurants, traveller tips and the option for the user to ‘share location' as part of a mobile duty of care feature.

A basic free version that enables any user to add their trips manually, view weather, traffic and flight alerts, and connects with local ground transport options.

Ciarán Kelly, Managing Director Middle East & Africa of FCM Travel Solutions commented: "As a leading global TMC, we are the first to offer AI to our business travelers, and our Middle Eastern clients are now using Sam's ground-breaking interactive and supportive features while they are on the move. Sam supports the business traveler, and the Travel Arranger in an organization, understanding and reacting to their circumstances and enhancing their overall travel experiences. Our focus has been simple, make travellers happier and empower the people that have an impact on the traveler's journey.

Sam aggregates all the information a traveler needs at the point when the user needs it, offering an end-to-end experience across all aspects of travel.  However, Sam is designed to augment rather than replace our human consultants. Far from dry software the app has an emotional connection with the users; a professional and friendly approach, much like our travel consultants. FCM's approach is about blending the latest technology with personal and professional service."

Whilst Sam has only just become available in the Middle East, early data show clients are happy using it.  FCM has seen a retention of 80% in month one, which is far higher than the average of 50%

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