When Storm Malik swept across Europe in January 2022, it left more than 800,000 homes and businesses without power, causing over €380 million in damage.
During this crisis, leading Danish insurance firm, Alm. Brand Group, used conversational AI to provide guidance to customers affected by the storm and to answer urgent questions about coverage and claims.
The company’s external virtual agent, Albotta, handled upwards of 2,000 conversations and successfully resolved 84% of customer inquiries, helping to deliver an unprecedented level of support.
“When our customers need us, it’s important that we are there for them,” says Kristian Hjort-Madsen, Group Director for Business Development and Technology at Alm. Brand Group. “It is a win-win situation when we leverage artificial intelligence in the form of both internal and external chatbot support. Customers get fast, consistent answers, regardless of when they need them, and our internal virtual agent also strengthens the efficiency of our support staff.”
Alm. Brand Group has worked strategically with artificial intelligence for a number of years to become more efficient, improve customer satisfaction and be available when its customers require quick clarification on coverage, even outside of typical contact center operating hours.
Developed in only a few months, Alm. Brand Group’s external virtual agent, Albotta, is based on boost.ai’s market-leading Natural Language Understanding (NLU) technology. Powered by conversational AI, it allows it to intelligently interpret customer queries and requests and provide relevant answers around the clock, while being able to forward customers to a human support agent if necessary.
The firm’s internal chatbot, Albot, uses the same NLU to assist customer support personnel so that they can consistently answer customer inquiries correctly - without the need to consult documentation or their colleagues.
“With a resolution rate of 84%, the solution created immediate value for customers and customer service during a crisis”
- Mads Kaysen, Director, New Tech, KPMG Danmark
“Alm. Brand chose to take a strategic approach to conversational AI. As part of the company’s ongoing digital transformation, a thorough analysis was made of which technologies could be used to create better processes, products and customer experiences,” says Mads Kaysen, Director, New Tech, KPMG who were the consultancy in charge of rolling out the boost.ai platform for Alm. Brand.
“This approach laid a solid foundation for building the concrete solutions and is the primary reason why Alm. Brand’s virtual agents could be developed in such a short time. With a resolution rate of 84%, the solution created immediate value for customer service.” adds Kaysen.
KPMG played a key role in helping Alm. Brand Group build and implement both virtual agents. Acting as a liaison between the insurance firm and boost.ai’s development team, they worked closely in establishing KPIs and setting the scope for how the bots could best be used to assist internal and external support functions.
Alm. Brand Group and KPMG identified that the combination of both an internal chatbot for customer service employees and a customer-facing bot offers a number of advantages:
Hjort-Madsen also noted that the positive effects that the virtual agents had on second-line support, knowledge management and compliance should not be underestimated.
With each serving a different specific function, what both of Alm. Brand Group’s virtual agents have in common is the way that they are developed. They get smarter and better at answering as they field more questions.
“Our intelligent chat assistants are developed based on agile principles, which ensures that we only develop what provides value for our customers,” adds Hjort-Madsen. “We could well have spent a few years guessing what is most relevant to our customers. Instead, we developed the solutions along the way. In this way, you can say that our customer's questions and feedback drive what our chatbots are able to do.”
He continues: “We are only at the beginning of using artificial intelligence to improve communication with our customers. The next step is to look at how our robots can help to a much greater extent in carrying out the simplest actions. For example, modifying deductibles or other simple tasks, so that both colleagues and customers do not have to spend time on it.”
“Artificial intelligence is so well developed today that the dialogue a customer or employee has with our chatbots is of a completely different level of quality than you have seen with previous technologies,” explains Hjort-Madsen. “We train them daily, so that any conversations with them - and ultimately our customers - get better every day. With our virtual agents, you don’t have to concern yourself with opening hours if you’re standing in the middle of the night at an airport and need to check whether you’re covered for lost luggage.”
In six months, Albotta has engaged in over 55,000 conversations with customers and has been asked more than 85,000 questions about everything from insurance to corona-related topics. The virtual agent can answer questions on more than 1,000 topics and also direct customers to a human agent if necessary - the choice is entirely up to the customers themselves.
Internally, Albot has been assisting employees with an equally high rate of success. Employees can ask the virtual agent for advice in real-time when they talk to customers so they don’t have to spend time looking up information in multiple systems or consulting with colleagues who may be otherwise occupied. To date, Albot answers 95% percent of questions correctly.
“Artificial intelligence makes the working day significantly easier for all colleagues with customer contact. In many ways, you can say that we are in a race against the robots,” says Hjort-Madsen. “Our chatbots have a complete grasp of the legal conditions and respond in customer-friendly language.”
Something that he notes was also particularly beneficial during the pandemic where on-site, buddy-based training was just not possible: “Instead, everyone had a digital assistant with all the knowledge that you normally ask your partner about or have to look up in several systems to be able to find the right answer.”
Ultimately, it is this synergy of internal and external-facing virtual agents working in concert to improve the overall customer experience that enabled Alm. Brand Group to provide above-and-beyond service to its customers during Storm Malik and well into the future.