AA Ireland puts AI-powered chatbots in the driving seat of customer engagement
AA Ireland was founded in 1910 to provide roadside assistance for drivers. Today it is Ireland’s largest Roadside Rescue company and one of the largest companies in Ireland that provides car insurance, home insurance, travel insurance and life insurance.
Driven from the top
To build on its existing app and webchat service and to serve customers more efficiently, the AA embarked on a mission to introduce chatbot technology to manage customer policy renewals, improve conversions on new quotes and to create a convenient way for existing customers to gain 24/7 access to information about their policies.
Answering questions & educating consumers about insurance is often handled by AA Ireland’s contact centre staff while they’re on the phone or during an agent-led live webchat with customers. Deploying chatbots to better inform existing or potential customers about their policy details takes pressure off the contact centre: improving the sales potential of calls by filtering out less complex questions that have already been solved online and driving up online customer conversion rates.
AA Ireland wanted to digitally transform engagement at the acquisition stage of the customer journey and ultimately increase ‘quote to paying customer’ conversion rates.
With no way, other than live chat, to engage, answer queries and retain customers during the quote process, the company was missing an opportunity to communicate how prospective customers could reduce their quote with simple changes to their insurance application. AA Ireland was experiencing high rates of missed live chats due to unexpected spikes of customer demand, or requests received outside of business hours.
Out of these business needs, the idea for Quote Bot was born. Activated on AA’s existing policy quote web page, the Quote Bot was designed to help interpret quote details and make personalised recommendations to help customers get the right level of cover and price: navigating them to the right page location and interacting with the buttons on that page to make required changes. If a prospective customer needed further assistance, the conversation could be seamlessly transferred to human chat through the bot’s integration with Zendesk, the webchat software used in the AA. If the request for further assistance was made out of hours, a call back could be scheduled via the Bot.
Customer Service Bot
AA Ireland’s second Bot had a mission to improve customer experience and convenience for new and existing customers by providing answers to common queries via a self-service chatbot.
As often seen in contact centres, high volumes of routine customer service queries via phone and live chat were driving up cost, delivering less than desirable response times and causing customer frustration due to limited availability of staff to handle more urgent or complex inquiries.
Customer Service Bot, activated on the customer service webpage, was designed to provide a conversational interface: offering customer assistance for frequently asked questions, insurance renewals and policy changes across all products. Handover from the bot to Live Chat, or telephone support, could be activated for specific, more complex query types: providing customers with an easier path to resolution.
The search for the right solution
After considering a number of providers, AA Ireland selected ServisBOT, which offers a conversational AI platform that helps businesses build bots more easily and deploy them across a wide range of business use cases.
ServisBOT’s platform offers backend integration capabilities using application programming interface (API) technology and this too was attractive for connecting it to AA Ireland’s existing and future customer service systems.
Louise McCormack, AA Ireland’s Customer Lifecycle manager, explains,
“Integration and future-proofing are key factors to ensure that we continue to meet our customers’ needs.”
“When we update our own technology, we know that ServisBOT will plug in end to end,”
“ServisBOT was the best match.”
Training the bots
Once the ServisBOT platform selection had been made, AA Ireland began the detailed process of analysing previous customer queries and AA Ireland’s responses, in order to feed initial content into the Quote Bot.
“I had to look at information from a number of silos, including email and webchats, to see exactly what people ask us about. We used our webchat conversations to train the Quote Bot, so that we could provide consistent, high quality answers to future queries which reflect the brand and meet customers’ needs,” explains Louise.
It took between eight to twelve weeks, from selection of the platform to implementation of the first Quote Bot. “There was a lot that we asked for that ServisBOT turned around really quickly. Additional feature requests were delivered in less than two weeks, which is very impressive.”
Rapid results: 80% reduction in missed live webchats, 40% shorter calls, 11% increase in online quote to policy conversion rates
AA Ireland reports that customers have readily adopted the bot and the company values the fact that consistent, high quality conversations are available for customers 24/7.
Early reported benefits from the Quote Bot include an 11 per cent increase in conversion on quotes generated during out of office hours. The number of missed live chats has decreased because the Bot is able to intercept and respond to questions while agents are busy: reducing the employees’ workload.
Where customers have already interacted with the bot before using webchat, agent-assisted chat times have decreased from an average of 16.5 minutes to 10 minutes. Customer service agents are reporting better productivity because they are spending more time handling objections, answering more detailed queries and converting more difficult sales. Self-service sales using the Bot are also increasing.
“We do a large volume of quotes on the website, however the percentage of people that our contact centre gets to speak with on the phone is quite low in comparison to the volume of leads that are coming in online. The bot gets to interact with a much higher volume of people post online quote than we would be able to communicate with through the contact centre alone.”
“For customers that click through to the Bot, 80 percent are using click feature versus typed, people ask questions using the bot, and the bots are responding. That’s huge for us. People even say, ‘thank you’ to the bot at the end of conversations,” reports Louise.
AA Ireland is continuing to analyse how people actually talk to the bot, so that conversations can be further improved and tailored to individuals’ needs.
Reflecting on her selection, Louise is satisfied that AA Ireland is on the right path and believes that the bot’s ability to personalise responses has contributed to its success, “It’s a sweet little piece of software. We used to get good conversion from web chats, the Bot conversion is higher.”
One of the reasons for selecting the ServisBOT platform was its ability to generate a multitude of Bots that handle specific tasks including onboarding, providing quotes, and managing renewals.
After successfully implementing the Customer Service Bot, AA Ireland is currently adjusting its policy driver so that it can implement a Sales Bot and a Policy Bot which will be able to make suggestions to guide customers to match their cover to their requirements, to help them to get a better price for their policy.
“The chatbot platform will not only keep up but will actually enable us to do more in the future,” enthuses Louise. “Our goal is to have an end to end service.”
Chatbot and conversational interfaces represent one of the most significant shifts towards using natural language as a means of engagement where customers and employees can search for information, transact, resolve issues, and interact more conveniently and with less friction.
Chatbot solutions can help you transform customer and employee engagement across multiple digital channels, taking user experience to new levels while lowering operational costs. To achieve this, we provide a chatbot platform that gives your business the tools to easily build and manage chatbots no matter what your industry or use case may be.
For additional information on ServisBOT visit their Website