Has it ever been this difficult to get through to customer service?
For myriad reasons, the phone lines are absolutely slammed. People are on hold. People are frustrated. And no matter how good your hold music might be, busy phone lines just won’t do. Particularly at a time when people are experiencing heightened levels of anxiety.
It’s a bad customer experience.
This was exactly the problem facing one of our clients, a large government agency in Australia. The agency, which is responsible for compliance issues in a variety of areas, wanted to try something new.
As it turns out, compliance language is confusing, so people preferred to phone the contact centre for human support. A prime example was in business information, where owners and managers face a multitude of compliance issues, but lack the legal expertise needed to deal with it.
Despite a highly knowledgeable team of employees, the contact centre was often buried under unacceptably high levels of unanswered inbound enquiries, long wait times, and call abandonment. Worse, genuinely complex issues were not being addressed promptly with staff too busy responding to routine enquiries.
When managers from around the state call in for routine enquiries, it creates a huge problem in the contact centre.
So what can you do about it?
Invest in a 24/7 option
In a situation like this, contact centre leadership needs to find ways to relieve the pressure. Something sustainable, not a flash-in-the-pan stopgap. So this government agency looked to technology designed for people: they hired a super agent.
A super intelligent virtual agent named Claire, to be specific, who specialises in efficiently handling routine and repeatable enquiries.
With the help of Clevertar, the contact centre piloted an empathetic, efficient, and accurate way to automate conversations to support users the same way a contact centre agent would—all while leveraging the benefits of digital scale and accessibility.
Here’s how their intelligent virtual agent works:
- Detailed and structured dialogue trees provide a framework for Claire to do what most Q&A-style chatbots can’t: quickly recommend an complete and accurate answer. Claire takes the expertise from our client and communicates it 24/7 in a two-way, conversational way.
- Natural language understanding (NLU) makes Claire really good at understanding what people mean when they ask questions the way they would normally speak them.
- Integrated calculations enables Claire to assist users with more complex issues like calculating variable rates and charges.
- Ongoing optimisation means Claire gets better and better with each customer interaction. You can test and optimise for as long as you want, but the true test is getting real customers to engage with Claire and then optimising her from there. These interactions create a tremendous amount of data, which can be used to refine your customer experience. This means Claire can respond to trends and can be updated to reflect changing legislation rapidly.
Because Claire is cloud-hosted by Clevertar and her content has been built on Clevertar’s content management system, additional and more complex content is easily able to be added. In mid 2020 the agency decided to extend to COVID-19 support which it achieved in only a matter of days.
She can be easily duplicated to other websites, too.
Go Claire! 27,000 enquiries handled (and counting!)
Since launching Claire, the government agency’s new intelligent virtual agent has responded to 27,000 people or enquiries.
A survey of people who’ve interacted with Claire revealed that 83.3% of them would ‘use Claire again’.
And here’s another interesting data point: 30% of Claire’s interaction took place after business hours, the kind of 24/7 availability that an employee working typical hours simply cannot provide.
Claire has made quite the impact on this contact centre. Not only are the owners and managers happy to get answers promptly, employees working in the contact centre have a lot more breathing space and time to work on more ‘human’ and complex enquiries. Not to mention, their leadership team are happy they’ve found an effective, scalable solution to high inbound volume.
It’s no wonder that Claire is now considered a vital member of the customer service team.
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