Passengers planning to travel on the Indian Railways will now be able to make reservations more easily. The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has launched a service that allows people to book tickets via an official chatbot.
In October 2018, Indian Railways launched AskDisha, an AI-powered chatbot, where Disha stands for Digital Interaction to Seek Help Anytime. At the time of its launch, one of AskDisha’s key features was to provide better customer service. These included query resolution and passenger customer service.
Passengers will also be able to make reservations for their specific destinations by using the chatbot. Customers will be able to avoid the hassle of visiting the IRCTC website or using the application by making reservations through chatbot. According to data, more than 10 lakh people visit the IRCTC website on a daily basis.
This enormous number does not include passengers who physically book their tickets at railway stations. The amount charged for making the reservation will reflect the same service charge as the website. If a passenger pays via UPI, IRCTC will charge Rs 10 more for the sleeper class and Rs 15 more for the AC berths. If you pay by any other method, the Indian Railways will charge you Rs 20 extra for sleeper class and Rs 30 extra for AC class.
This is one of many initiatives undertaken by the Indian Railways to improve the customer experience. Another recently activated feature allows railway passengers to order food via WhatsApp. A passenger can use the feature to have food delivered to their berths from any of the 500 railway stations.