Although the lights of Broadway have gone dark during the COVID-19 pandemic, the work that goes into ticketing and customer service is busier than ever. Ticket holders want information about refunds and rescheduling of shows and an AI company is helping them access it in a timely manner.
Broadw.ai, an AI company specifically focused on servicing Broadway ticketing and customer service platforms, has announced it is adapting its software to better respond to customers impacted by the closure of Broadway. AI, machine learning and automation are already playing a significant role in the customer service industry. And the coronavirus has further propelled their adoption and integration as organizations seek ways to offer better and quicker customer service in a time of unprecedented demand.
“The easier you can make it for fans to get the information they’re looking for in this highly stressful circumstance for all involved, it provides you a better opportunity for them to come back at a later date and hopefully to the show,” said Micah Hollingworth, co-founder and chief executive of Broadw.ai. The company's software has been dealing with an influx of questions about cancellations and ticket refunds since the shutdown of Broadway on March 12. With no return date in sight for Broadway shows, the questions are only increasing.
Broadw.ai serves nine Broadway and two off-Broadway clients through its AI solutions. The company, in tandem with its sister company Satisfi Labs, has developed natural language processing AI software, which is programmed to recognize and respond to human language. It has been integrated with several Broadway show websites and is also used for ticket-buying integrations with Amazon Alexa.
The company focuses on collecting all available information about a show or event and programming it into its AI software. The offering is then able to generate answers to customer queries based on what they type or speak to a website. When the system is up and running, Broadway.ai employees monitor the responses generated by the software and update the site's database in real time. New keywords, along with information about show schedules and performers, is added as it becomes available.
Since the closure of Broadway, the company has worked to handle the surge of questions about ticketing, integrating responses to keywords like "coronavirus" and "shutdown." Hollingworth said all Broadway.ai chat programs were updated within two hours of the closure to include information about how and when customers could receive refunds.
He added that many shows have experienced a 50-percent increase in overall inquiries within the past week regarding cancellation, refund and exchange policies. To respond to the uptake, the company has developed a new feature called Knowtify, which enables ticket holders to subscribe to email and text alerts. These alerts will include information about rescheduled dates as well as offers about future ticket purchases.
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