Cinema chain Finnkino brings personal customer service online in 2020 with chatbots

Finnkino's queue length drops 65% when they use LeadDesk chatbot with their live chat, keeping customers informed and giving agents time to focus on more complex questions.

Also available in: Nederlands Français

Finnkino is a major cinema theatre operator in Finland since 1986. It serves around 6 million customers per year, and as part of the Odeon Cinemas Group, is owned by movie theatre chain AMC. Finnkino also imports and distributes films for the Finnish market.

Finnkino’s goal is to provide a complete theatre experience, offering high-quality entertainment with the best viewing experience augmented with excellent complimentary services.

Results in Brief

+24% more chat conversations

After chatbot implementation, Finnkino saw a rise in average conversations per month from 2.2k to 2.9k.

-65% wait time to agent

Average live chat queue length went from 104 seconds to 36 seconds when both live chat and chatbot were online.

-62% live chat agent load

When chatbot and live chat operate side-by-side, live chat agents deal with 1.4k fewer conversations per month on average.

Need: give customer service agents more time to focus on complex customer issues

Finnkino invests heavily in customer experience, with the majority of their staff working on the ground directly with customers every day.

Saara Porkka, Guest Service Manager for Finnkino, recognised that while in-theatre experience is an essential part of their success, it’s vital to continually optimise service across all channels, including pre-sales and after purchase.

Finnkino uses Ninchat live chat on their website. Customers can talk directly to a member of Saara’s team during office hours through a chat window.

While live chat allows the Guest Services team to talk directly with customers and solve issues or answer questions, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to serve all their customers, especially when it comes to prioritising customers who need more tailored, detailed human support.


Solution: an integration-ready AI chatbot to augment live chat customer service

Finnkino needed a solution that:

  • works seamlessly with their live chat solution Ninchat
  • answers easy or common questions automatically
  • gives service agents time to focus on more complex questions


A chatbot by LeadDesk is a perfect match for these requirements. After a demo and walkthrough of how LeadDesk’s chatbot service works, Finnkino was ready to go live with their chatbot in April 2020.

Saara adds that they also choseLeadDesk chatbot because it’s “easy to use, has a good price and is developed by a Finnish company”.

"We have 15 experts in guest service. We wanted to automate all the easy questions that customers asked often in chat. And in doing that, we wanted to free time for our team members to serve customers with more difficult questions in chat."

Saara Porkka, Guest Service Manager at Finnkino

Results: a chatbot to help answer questions during COVID-19

While LeadDesk AI chatbot for Finnkino looked promising, the event industry took a big hit in April 2020 when COVID-19 restrictions hit around Finland and the world. Suddenly, cinemas were shuttered to quell the spread of coronavirus. Just as Finnkino started using the chatbot.

For Finnkino, who invest so much into providing excellent in-person experiences, this was a heavy blow to the core of their business. However, this meant that they had to quickly prepare for questions from their customers concerned about how their services and previous purchases were affected. Finnkino pushed ahead with the chatbot, eager to give their customers answers during these uncertain times.

The chatbot implementation went very smoothly. We started the bot when COVID-19 had just started, our cinemas were closed and the situation was very different from normal. LeadDesk’s customer success team helped me make specific question-answer pairs for coronavirus-related questions and after that we were ready to launch!” Saara adds.


Chatbot only and chatbot with live chat

Finnkino is continuously keeping their customers updated about the situation with cinema availability since the first lockdown in 2020. Depending on the situation, they have had to turn off live chat and rely on their chatbot alone to give conversational support on their website.

In 2020, live chat was unavailable from April to July and their chatbot handled chat conversations alone, without a human agent backup. From August to December 2020, Finnkino’s human agents worked alongside their chatbot.

From the beginning of January 2021, Finnkino has used their chatbot exclusively, while their human staff prepare for a hopeful ease of restrictions.


Continuous support from LeadDesk

As restrictions open up in 2021, Finnkino makes the safety of their customers a top priority. Their floor staff have special training to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, while still giving customers an amazing cinema experience.

Like any thorough customer journey planning, this effort is reflected across all their communication channels, including their chatbot.

And when it comes to making their chatbot a top performing channel in their communications mix, having a dedicated customer success manager from LeadDesk helps Finnkino’s guest services team achieve this goal.


In numbers: Chatbot and live chat performance for Finnkino’s customer service

Average number of conversations per month

Chatbot messages and replies

These are chatbot conversations and messages alone, excluding any live chat conversations. The data is from 04/2020 to 05/2021.

Live chat queue length

Conversation load on live chat agents


Finnkino’s chatbot has successfully proven itself as a significant timesaver for their customer service agents. While it has been working alongside its human colleagues, the chatbot has been able to reduce their queue length by 68 seconds.

While the chatbot has been operational since April 2020, live chat has been closed for the first half of 2021 as Saara’s team ramp up operations for welcoming customers back into Finnkino’s theatres.


About the contributor

Saara Porkka has worked in various service and event coordination teams in Finnkino over the last 8 years. Now, Saara is the Guest Service Manager where she leads the Digital Customer Service Team, helping their B2C customers in email, chat and social media.

Saara’s team also handles B2B product and event enquiries by phone and email.

Feel free to try out Finnkino’s chatbot on their website.

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