Ageas’ virtual agent provides answers 24/7 to the company’s most frequently asked questions, helping to simplify insurance for all customers
Ageas is one of the largest car and home insurers in the UK. More than five million customers trust Ageas to protect their cars, homes and businesses, with the company offering insurance policies either directly or through price comparison websites, brokers and partner organizations.
Ageas prides itself on not only simplifying insurance for its customer base, but also in understanding their needs and expectations. This synergy of understanding people and simplifying insurance is extended to the company’s customer service offering, where it recognizes that, first and foremost, every customer is different.
While some customers might want to speak to Ageas on the phone when they have a question related to their insurance policy, others may prefer to jump online and find answers at a time that suits their schedule best. Furthermore, some customers may prefer a mix of the two - speaking to an expert on the phone when they have a complex query, but using digital tools when it’s a simple ask.
The company’s customer service consisted of a two-pronged approach: customers could speak to a consultant either on live chat or via dedicated phone support. While this strategy was successful in a variety of situations, it meant that a lot of Ageas’ agents’ time was consumed by answering simple, repetitive questions from customers. Ageas’ challenge lay in how to adapt its existing customer service offering to cater to every type of customer. And, specifically, how to provide support and information in a timely manner so that customers could receive excellent customer service whatever their channel of choice.
Identifying that many of its customer queries were simple and straightforward, Ageas looked to conversational AI as an effective and efficient solution to automate customer interactions at scale while still maintaining its high service standards.
Ageas selected boost.ai to build and deploy an AI-powered virtual agent on the company’s website that could assist customers 24/7 with frequently asked questions related to its products, policies and services. The company engaged in a proof-of-concept that facilitated a comparison between boost.ai’s offering and other chatbot solutions in a low-risk way. This ensured that the right technology and use cases could be identified and met before having to commit to the project.
“We are delighted with the results so far. We have been able to support our customers 24/7, which opens up a new world of opportunity”
-- Tracey Sheldon, Head of Continuous Improvement, Ageas
“We were looking for a conversational AI solution that was quick and easy to implement and maintain,” said Tracy Sheldon, Head of Continuous Improvement at Ageas. “Something that put the maintenance of the bank of FAQs with customer support teams, rather than IT, making it easier for us to continuously improve the content and support we provide for our customers.”
Boost.ai’s no-code conversational AI platform was an ideal match for Ageas because the solution comes with a wide range of pre-built content tailored towards insurance companies - over 1,500 service, support and claims intents. This domain-specific content acted as a foundation for Ageas to develop and personalize its virtual agent on top of, allowing the company to better reflect its understanding of its customers via the bot. Ageas also cited boost.ai’s extensive experience in delivering virtual agents for multiple leading Nordic insurance companies as an advantage, resulting in a faster-than-average implementation timeline.
The user-friendliness of the boost.ai platform allowed Ageas’ customer support team to retain full control over the virtual agent. The bot’s knowledge base of FAQs was developed, improved and maintained exclusively by non-technical personnel who truly understood the needs and requirements of customers.
In order to provide a frictionless experience, Ageas also uses a human chat integration to a contact center platform. The integration is delivered fully by boost.ai with customization according to Ageas’ needs. This functionality leverages boost.ai’s market-leading NLU which allows a virtual agent to accurately and intelligently understand when it doesn’t understand, fully automating all possible interactions yet still allowing for the seamless transfer of customers to live chat agents if a question falls outside of the virtual agent’s scope.
Ageas and boost.ai built and deployed the virtual agent in under four months, working together closely and developing a strong, collaborative partnership. This approach, combined with boost.ai’s market-leading technology, began to produce results almost immediately.
“We are delighted with the results so far. We have been able to support our customers 24/7, which opens up a new world of opportunity,” continues Sheldon. “This means more customers get answers to simple questions when they want them and our live chat and phone agents can focus on helping customers with their more complex, policy-specific queries. It’s helping us deliver great value and brilliant service when it matters.”
Currently, Ageas’ virtual agent carries out approximately 10,000 customer interactions per month, with that number steadily growing as customers learn about and use the bot more.
After carrying out a demand deep dive it was identified that the resolution rate for frequently asked questions sits at 77%, meaning that more than three-quarters of all FAQ interactions that the virtual agent engages in are successfully resolved within the first conversation. If the virtual agent is unable to answer a customer’s query they are either passed through to live chat or directed to Ageas’ contact page so that they always find the answers they need.
Ageas has plans to do even more with its virtual agent in the future and is exploring how it can use conversational AI in helping to further support customer self-service, driven by conversation data and demand to the company’s contact center.
“We know that FAQs are just the start of our journey and we hope to train the bot to do even more going forward,” says Sheldon. “Of course, we will always have consultants available for customers who want or need to speak to a member of our friendly team, but bots are a great way of empowering customers, making it quick and straightforward for them to do what they want and get on with their lives.”