IRCTC is the first PSU to introduce the services of Artificial Intelligence based ASKDISHA chatbot in October, 2018 with an effort to further enhance the user experience of its 5.2 crore customers visiting its ticketing website www.irctc.co.in and  tourism website www.irctctourism.com for booking of rail and airline tickets and tourism products.

The chatbot is a special computer programme designed to simulate conversation with users, especially over the internet. AskDISHA has been answering in Hindi as well as English to the queries of users on reservation of tickets, cancellation, enquiry of refund status, fare, PNR search, train running status, enquiry about retiring rooms and tourism products without the need for human agent intervention. To further ease out the interaction between the customers and chatbot, AskDISHA has now been programmed to understand ‘Hinglish’, a mix of Hindi and English during conversation.

IRCTC has recently upgraded its AskDISHA chatbot with the capability to reply live queries from users related to rail ticket refunds arising out of cancellation, TDR filing and failed transactions as these constitute around 50% of the total queries of the customers. The users can now either key in or verbally communicate their PNR or Transaction details to AskDISHA and get their ticket refund status immediately.

Through this newly added feature of AskDISHA, IRCTC plans to minimize the time and efforts of its customers in getting refund related information as the users can now get the required information by direct interaction with the chatbot without the need to call 139-Rail Madad enquiry number or logging in to their user accounts.

Within less than two years of its launch, more than 178 million users have availed the services of AskDISHA. About 5 million users have asked refund specific queries since its introduction in the month of Apr,2020. The overall response of the customers towards the services of AskDISHA has been very encouraging with 92% positive feedbacks while the accuracy of the chatbot in understanding and communicating with the customers has been a whooping 95%.

AskDISHA chatbot has been developed by IRCTC in collaboration with a Bengaluru based Start-Up providing AI based digital interaction assistants. IRCTC’s AskDisha Chatbot has been conferred with Asia Leadership Award for ‘Innovation Using Technology’ in November, 2019.

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