Alaska Airlines has become the United States` first airline to provide assistance to its Web-site customers through instant messaging technology.
Users of its top-ranked Web site, alaskaair.com, can now access immediate on-line communication with the airline`s Web Help Centre. Horizonair.com, the Web site of Alaska`s sister airline, Horizon Air, is also using the technology.
Alaska worked with application service provider FaceTime Communications for the implementation of the instant-messaging technology.
Links to the text-based instant messaging are found at strategic locations on the Web site where customers are most likely to have questions regarding the site. Customers can access the instant messaging text box by clicking on the provided link, eliminating the need to download software.
The instant messaging service is particularly useful for customers who have a single line for both Internet and telephone use. They will be able to communicate immediately with the Alaska/Horizon Web Help Centre without having to interrupt their Internet connection to make a phone call.
The help centre also can assist customers by “pushing” a page or redirecting the customer`s browser to a particular Web page. This helps alaskaair.com users by allowing the help centre to make a Web page appear on the customer`s monitor without the customer having to search for the page.