It is an interactive one-stop 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.
This new lubricant service by Shell is now available to customers and distributors in the United Kingdom and the United States. Shell Virtual Assistant is capable of answering questions such as: where to buy lubricants, what pack sizes are available and 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, Shell Lubricants.
Shell Virtual Assistant can also make product recommendations based on customers’ equipment, by linking customers to Shell LubeMatch, a free online service where customers can find the right lubricants for their vehicles and equipment in seconds. Shell LubeMatch provides over two million product recommendations for Shell customers every year. It is the most robust oil selector tool in the market, available in 138 countries and 21 languages.
Shell Virtual Assistant also complements another Shell value-added lubricant service, Shell LubeAdvisor, another widely used service that helps customers optimise lubricants in their machinery. It includes a web platform, a technical helpdesk, as well as 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.
Shell’s business customers also want personal technical advice and support close by. In response, Shell now employs 350 technical field staff and 30 Product Application Specialists working directly with customers – more than any other lubricants supplier.
Shell Lubricants also offers other technical services such as: Shell LubeAnalyst, an oil condition monitoring service and Shell LubeCoach, a robust training programme for customers’ employees.
For more detailed information on Shell’s lubricant services, visit www.shell.com/techservices.