New York, NY -- Last July at GBTA clients of FCM met Sam, a travel-intelligent "chatbot" with the expertise of a skilled consultant that delivers invaluable assistance to business travelers' fingertips in the form of an app. One year later, Sam has matured; now Sam 2.0 is available in an android version and to clients of multiple Flight Centre Travel Group brands in the USA, including Corporate Traveler and Campus Travel. Originally launched within the FCM 360 suite of products, Sam, short for "Smart Assistant for Mobile," is available at all times: pre-, during, and post-trip. Later next month, for the first time ever, a live chat integration will be launched within the app, enabling clients to speak with an agent in seconds. Additional enhancements to the updated app that will assist travelers before, during and after the trip include:
- City guides to 60-plus destinations: More than just a city overview these guides have local maps, all modes of available transportation, helpful hints (how to tip, public Wi-Fi, what converter/plug to use, etc.). There are medical resources and emergency contacts (it's not 911 everywhere), cost of living differences between hometown and current destination (for coffee, a beer, a burger), top three attractions and restaurants and much more.
- Departure gate and baggage claim information: No searching for screens or straining to hear announcements needed.
- Improved geo-location directions: Travelers can get around with ease with detailed, accurate instructions in cities they are unfamiliar with.
Designed to simplify life for corporate travelers, the anticipatory, travel-savvy "chatbot" will assist with all aspects of travel - itineraries, gate changes, driving directions, weather, restaurant recommendations and reservations. Because no man (or app) is an island, the "call or SMS my consultant" option gets you to a live FCM, Corporate Traveler or Campus Travel consultant 24 hours a day for live assistance on the go.
Sam 2.0 is highly interactive and speaks to clients how and on which chat platform they prefer. With the ability to communicate across numerous supported platforms (Facebook Messenger, SMS and more), Sam picks up on cues, such as travel patterns and preferences, and updates travelers accordingly. For example, if it is your first time in a particular city, you will receive more information and recommendations than if it was a standing monthly trip. With rules and settings that can be customized to fit a company's travel guidelines, Sam will, for example, send a reminder to use taxis over other transportation options if company policy so dictates. Sam can send a prompt to submit a lunch receipt thanks to the integration with Certify, an industry-leading travel and expense management solution. Sam is also integrated with Lyft, a national ride sharing service, to easily help travelers book rides.
FCM's largest clients put the app to the test with its most frequent travelers challenge Sam to be sure it was smart and anticipatory, without crossing the line and being intrusive with an abundance of notifications. The feedback has been extremely positive, hence the rollout to Corporate Traveler and Campus Travel now.
There is a self-booking option that is shaped by corporate travel guidelines and preferred supplier plans. Built with speed in mind, the entire process from search to booking can be completed in less than 10 touches (contract-specific option, not available to all).
Other features of Sam include:
- User-specific customizable profiles that allow for anticipatory, savvy service delivery
- Information-rich itineraries presented in chronological order
- Gate and flight change notifications
- Flight/Trip Change & Cancellation Options
- Destination-specific weather updates
- Car rental
- Option to speak with an FCM consultant with the touch of a button (SMS option to connect to consultant also available)
- Communication across multiple platforms
- Lyft capabilities for ride sharing (company-configurable, and can be enabled or disabled upon request)
- Expense management with Certify integration; Sam's savvy comes into play here as it knows the context of the trip and can prompt to photograph receipt and launch your camera app automatically.
- Driving directions
- Restaurant recommendations
Sam is live in the US iTunes App Store (search "FCM") for Apple devices and is also available for Android devices. For more and to download the app visit:
Media Contact: Carla Caccavale Reynolds, 914-673-0729, CarlaCaccavalePR@gmail.com