You see the words “Powered by the People and Technology of MyAssist” all over BHTP.com. So what’s with that? What is MyAssist, what’s the technology, and who are the people?
One thing at a time. MyAssist is the unique emergency-assistance and personal-concierge service started by John Noel in 2006. (John Noel, as you may know, is the travel-assistance pioneer who founded Travel Guard and is the president of Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection.) The idea behind MyAssist is pretty broad – okay, it’s really broad: Help people with whatever they need help with, wherever they are, whenever they contact us, regardless of the device.
Imagine a global game of Clue, and you get some idea of how flexible MyAssist needs to be. When a contact request comes in, it could be Quinton in Quito calling about quoits at quarter to three in the morning, or Petra in Petrov phoning about persimmons at half past two, or Tom in Toronto tweeting about a flat tire at twilight. MyAssist has to handle all those unique requests, and give back answers that are meaningful and useful to the person making the request.
It takes a lot for MyAssist to deliver that sort of informed assistance. Google alone can’t cut it; MyAssist needs – and has – a sophisticated and very deep database of knowledge built off of thousands of previous interactions. MyAssist operators dip into that database when a request comes in, and use it to deliver responses that are deeper, more useful, and more geographically aware.
Maybe the best thing about our database is this: Every time someone makes an information request, that information, along with the outcome (did they like the restaurant? Did the directions get people to their destination?) is added to the database. MyAssist gets hundreds of calls a day, so its ability to deliver even more pertinent information keeps on growing.
Technology helps MyAssist build and maintain that database. Our Unified Service Desk lets us take assistance requests from any device and channel – phone, text, LiveChat, Twitter, Facebook – and provide assistance through any device and channel, not necessarily the device and channel that the request came in on. We also capture all the details of the request, so we can better help people next time.
So what does that mean for you, Average Traveler? It means that if you have a problem when you’re traveling, and you’re covered by Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection, all that technology is working for you, to help you solve your problem and get on with your trip. You can tweet to us and we can text back to you, if that’s what you want. Then it means that we’re taking the things we learned from solving your problem and adding it to our database to help the next person who has a similar issue.
(However, one thing it does not mean is that we would ever think of sharing your data. We don’t share our users’ data. Period.)
The technology is great, but you’ll notice we say, “Powered by the People and the Technology of MyAssist.” The people come first. The people always come first around with MyAssist. Our operators are unique – intelligent, diverse, individualistic, and passionate about helping people. They understand all the dimensions of your situation, from how you feel to what needs to be done, and they work to address every one of those dimensions. The goal is not only to handle your problem, but to make you feel good about the way your problem was handled.
This is where the power comes from. Data is data; it’s only useful if people make it relevant to you – where you are, what’s going on, and what you need to make things better. MyAssist people make data and technology better. That’s why they’re the force behind Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection.