Odeon first cinema in Europe to launch consumer chatbot

Odeon first cinema in Europe to launch consumer chatbot
Rachael Power writes for TechForge Media, writing about marketing tech, connected cars and virtual reality. She has written for a number of online and print titles including the Irish Times, Irish Examiner, accountingWEB and BusinessZone. Rachael has a passion for digital marketing, journalism, gaming and fitness, and is on Twitter at: @rachpower10.

(c)iStock/Amanda Lewis

We all know by now the scope of how consumers can interact with brands via chatbots is growing by the day, with more platform integration as well as smarter apps on the rise.

Consumers can have their complaints handled, find out opening times, order a pizza and book an appointment via chatbot so far – but what about booking cinema tickets?

This is the goal Odeon is trying to reach with its new Facebook Messenger chatbot, developed by social technology company Gruvi. 

According to Odeon, this is the “first major entertainment company to use such innovative technology in this way”.

Odeon customers can simply pop onto the brand’s Facebook page and click ‘Message’ to start the chatbot. They’re then asked for their location or what film they are interested in seeing and the chatbots finds out times and dates, allowing people to also book films through the chatbot.

We’re very excited to be the first cinema chain in Europe to offer our guests this type of innovative servic

Queues may well become a thing of the past in cinemas, which get quite crowded around major blockbuster releases such as the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. 

Online bookings will become much more simplified via chatbots, which generally are more user friendly than, for example, booking via a website as people are used to using chat interfaces on a daily basis.

In 2015 Gruvi started collaborating with the ODEON cinema chain in the UK to promote the films screening in their cinemas through a series of social media-centric tools. The two companies are working together to further improve the customers’ experiences and engagement by creating solutions such as chatbots.

According to Peter Waugh, head of digital and CRM at ODEON Cinemas: “We’re very excited to be the first cinema chain in Europe to offer our guests this type of innovative service. 

“With one billion users worldwide, Messenger is the perfect place to offer ODEON assistance. We’re always looking for new ways to give our guests a better service – and the chatbot will help us to answer a wide variety of questions and give a lot of information, while also allowing our guest service teams to concentrate on providing more bespoke assistance to other guests,” he said.

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