Shell has launched an artificial intelligence-driven service for customers, the Shell Virtual Assistant. It is an interactive shop on the Shell website where customers and distributors can ask common lubricant-related questions, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Customers and distributors type in their question via an online message window, and avatars Emma and Ethan reply back with an appropriate answer within seconds. The interaction is similar to a chat conversation, but instead of a live person on the other end, it is all done through artificial intelligence via a technology known as Natural Language Interaction. This technology allows interaction using normal, everyday language and is also in use in certain popular personal assistant applications.
Shell Virtual Assistant is capable of answering questions such as: Where to buy lubricants and what pack sizes are available, as well as give information about product technical properties. The service can also attend to requests for brochures, Technical Data Sheets (TDS), Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS).
“Shell offers a wide range of lubricant-related services in addition to our product range. Our services help customers choose and use the right product to improve their operations. Shell Virtual Assistant is the next step in our delivery of great support – it is like having a technical expert at your fingertips, ready to answer your technical questions anytime. We are now evaluating launching Shell Virtual Assistant to other markets and in other languages in the near future,” said Roger Moulding, vice president of global marketing for Shell.
In addition to virtual assistants, Shell has a technical staff of more than 350 people.