Meet Emma and Ethan, Shell’s new virtual assistants

Shell is the first company in the lubricants sector to launch an artificial intelligence-driven service for customers – Shell Virtual Assistant. 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. Currently the Shell Virtual Assistants called Emma and Ethan are only available in the U.S.A. and the UK.

Emma and Ethan know the details of more than 3,000 Shell products and understand more than 16,500 different characteristics of these products, so they can provide customers with a wide range of answers to queries, including product pack availability, physical property details, such as density or flash points, and product performance benefits.

Using technology from Artificial Solutions™, the Teneo platform is an advanced automated Natural Language Interaction (NLI) development platform that enables the business user to quickly build sophisticated artificial intelligence into software applications regardless of device or operating system. The Teneo platform allows non-technical users to develop and maintain their own intelligent online virtual assistants in multiple languages. Equipped with the intelligence to learn, reason and understand, and then apply this knowledge to real customer interactions, a Teneo Virtual Assistant can resolve queries, answer questions, provide links to information or resources, even complete transactions through back-end systems, and update databases – all at the same time.

“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.

“Intelligent virtual assistants such as Emma and Ethan can dramatically improve the customer experience for organizations, not just in their ability to provide a personal touch with a two-way human like conversation, but also with their ability to provide a wealth of information at a moment’s notice,” said Andy Peart, CMO of Artificial Solutions.

Teneo is available in 21 languages and includes powerful analytics that deliver valuable insight into customers’ needs and behavior.

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.