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Shell recently launched an artificial intelligence-driven service for its lubricant customers. Shell Virtual Assistant is an interactive one-stop shop on the Shell website where customers and distributors can ask common lubricant-related questions, 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, which is in use in certain personal assistant applications, allows interaction using normal, everyday language.
The new lubricant service is currently available to customers and distributors in the United States and the United Kingdom. It is capable of answering questions such as where to buy lubricants and what pack sizes are available. The service can also give information about product technical properties and attend to requests for brochures, technical data sheets (TDS) and material safety data sheets (MSDS).
"Shell Virtual Assistant is the next step in our delivery of great support," said Roger Moulding, Shell's vice president of global marketing. "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."
In addition, Shell Virtual Assistant can make product recommendations based on customers' equipment by linking to Shell LubeMatch, a free online service where customers can find the right lubricants for their vehicles and equipment. It is available in 138 countries and 21 languages.
Shell Virtual Assistant also complements the company's LubeAdvisor, which helps customers optimize lubricants in their machinery. It includes a Web platform, a technical helpdesk and local application experts for deeper technical support. In fact, for more complex technical questions that Shell Virtual Assistant cannot answer, users are re-directed to Shell LubeAdvisor.
For more information, visit www.shell.com.