Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) has developed an AI-enabled chatbot, ‘Urja’ — the first in the country's oil and gas industry — to provide its customers an interface for a seamless self-service experience and faster resolution of queries/issues.

The chatbot is “an intelligent virtual assistant with AI/NLP (Natural Language Processing) capabilities and trained on more than 600 use cases,” the company said in a statement.

Seamless self-service experience

The virtual assistant offers services such as LPG booking, price and payment status and delivery status of booked LPG cylinder and refill history. It also allows users to change LPG distributor, update mobile number, request services from BharatGas distributors like mechanic services, and seek double bottle connection (for single bottle connection customers). It can help locate the nearest petrol pump and provide the price of petrol and diesel. It can also be used for seeking doorstep delivery of fuel.

With the objective of making BPCL's customer interface comprehensive and integrated digitally, ‘Urja’ is now available on the company website for any queries for both B2B and B2C. “The virtual assistant is designed to deliver a seamless self-service experience and enable faster resolution of consumer queries/issues,” it said.

Integrated communication platform

BPCL said it has initiated ‘Project Anubhav’ with an objective of delivering to its vast retail (B2C) and commercial (B2B) customer base a consistent superior and unified experience across multiple touchpoints.

"Under Project Anubhav, Urja represents an integrated communication platform that connects all BPCL communication to any channel, unifying all customer touch points with a single and cohesive voice," it said.

“After a successful 6 month pilot on WhatsApp for enabling LPG bookings, Urja today speaks in 13 languages (English, Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Telugu, Marathi, Gujarati, Oriya, Bengali, Punjabi, Urdu and Assamese).”

Over 45 per cent of the conversations with Urja are in the non-English languages ensuring inclusiveness for all types of customers of BPCL.

BPCL has a domestic LPG customer base of 8.5 crores plus customers across the country, served by more than 6,000 distributors. With over 19,000 petrol pumps spread across the country, BPCL today serves about 30 per cent of the fuel requirement of the country.

In addition, BPCL also services over 12 lakh B2B customers for their fuel, lubricants and gas requirements across industries. “Urja plays a vital role to answer and provide solutions for consumer's queries and requirements with its Artificial Intelligence," the statement said.

"Through our ‘Urja’ chatbot, we aim at providing an entirely new experience for our consumers and creating an AI based virtual assistant for availing key services and to provide real time resolution of queries," Arun Kumar Singh, Director Marketing, BPCL said.