Sector Alarm

Leading European security company scales conversational AI to 8 markets with average 92% resolution rate

Sector Alarm switched to the boost.ai platform and increased its resolution rate by over 20% in just four weeks

Sector Alarm is one of Europe’s leading safety providers. Established in Norway in 1995, today it provides security and alarm services for homes and businesses to more than 600,000 customers across eight markets.

A key focus of the company’s vision and core values is to provide excellent customer service, something that is clearly reflected in Sector Alarm’s consistent 95% customer satisfaction rating.

Sector Alarm’s results at a glance…
Virtual agents live in 5 markets and languages with 3 additional on roadmap for 2022
Average 92% resolution rate across all in-production virtual agents
Resolution rate increased by over 20% in four weeks compared to previous chatbot solution

Part of achieving such high customer confidence comes from the omnichannel approach Sector Alarm implemented with respect to its overall customer service strategy. In addition to its main contact center - which employs more than 250 agents working across phone, email and live chat - the company also invested in a chatbot solution to help automate repetitive customer inquiries and free up human agents.

Sector Alarm identified that, particularly in its larger markets, there were multiple agents handling each live chat session. Often these inquiries were from customers looking to reset a login password or find product information that was available on the company’s website. 

“Our first ‘aha!’ moment was just how easy to use the boost.ai platform was. Compared to our previous chatbot, the building of intents was night and day.”

- Amir Kiabi, Customer Service Digital Transformation and Improvement Manager, Sector Alarm

“We realized that out of approximately three hundred chats per day, our agents were spending an average of two and a half minutes searching for customers and then updating the CRM,” said Amir Kiabi, Customer Service Digital Transformation and Improvement Manager at Sector Alarm. “Having multiple agents handle these kinds of inquiries was inefficient. A chatbot could cut out a lot of that work and streamline the customer experience.”

The need for a next-level chatbot

Kiabi helped define Sector Alarm’s shift to an omnichannel service strategy as a way to increase efficiency within the customer service organization. He also took a leading role in managing the company’s various chatbot projects, the first of which launched in 2018.

This initial chatbot solution, Kiabi says, was particularly “tech-heavy”. While the bot had decent results, the platform was not flexible enough to allow his team to make changes and updates as necessary, requiring frequent involvement of Sector Alarm’s IT department to further develop the solution.

“We were very impressed with the results... If we were getting this kind of resolution rate with just one month of using boost.ai, then I’m confident we can push it more and achieve 95% in the near future.”

- Amir Kiabi, Customer Service Digital Transformation and Improvement Manager, Sector Alarm

“We felt that we were locked in and even making small changes would require putting in a request to our IT department,” said Kiabi describing the pain points of the company’s initial chatbot. “While this was ok at first, as the chatbot became more and more important to our customer service, this system was not scalable. It took us to a certain point, but it was time to move to the next level.”

The high-code nature of this platform, combined with what Kiabi says were some inconsistencies in the chatbot’s responses and a lack of being able to easily modify the chat panel to their liking, led to him looking to switch to a solution that could better meet the demands of the company’s growing customer service needs.

A conversational AI ‘aha!’ moment

In the autumn of 2021, Sector Alarm approached boost.ai to develop a pilot for an advanced virtual agent that could be scaled across the company’s eight key markets of Norway, Sweden, Spain, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy and Portugal.

With such a comprehensive deployment strategy, the pilot was crucial for Kiabi to determine whether the boost.ai platform would be able to meet Sector Alarm’s needs with the right  functionality and feature set. Top of the list was the ability for his team to have complete ownership over the project, including easily updating the bot as needed. 

Kiabi and his team worked closely with boost.ai to roll out the initial pilot in Norway in September 2021 and were immediately impressed with the platform’s ease of use.

Compared to an average resolution rate of 70% with the old chatbot, the boost.ai virtual agent was delivering an in-scope resolution rate of 92% within 4 weeks.

“Our first ‘aha!’ moment was just how easy to use the boost.ai platform was,” says Kiabi. “Compared to our previous chatbot, the building of intents was night and day and we loved that you didn’t need to be a developer to make changes.”

The boost.ai platform uses an intuitive hierarchical structure for creating and maintaining intents - the ‘topics’ that a virtual agent can answer questions about. This approach facilitates scalability and allows the conversational AI model to cover a broad scope of information while still being able to drill down into each topic so that users can get specific answers when necessary.

Equally important to Sector Alarm was how the virtual agent would integrate into its existing contact center solution, Twilio Flex. Developed specifically for Sector Alarm (and now available to everyone using the boost.ai platform), this functionality works in concert with boost.ai’s proprietary Automatic Semantic Understanding (ASU) technology to intelligently hand over customers to live chat agents.

The ASU algorithm allows a virtual agent to understand when it doesn’t fully understand a request and offers suggestions for possible answers, helping to reduce false positives by over 90%.

“Integration with our contact center solution was crucial and we were impressed by how quickly boost.ai had it up and running,” adds Kiabi. “During the time that we were building out the content for the virtual agent, they were preparing the integration so that it was ready to go when we launched.”

A successful multi-market rollout

It took less than two months to build the virtual agent, and within four weeks of launch, it was already outperforming the previous solution.

Compared to an average resolution rate of 70% with the old chatbot, the boost.ai virtual agent was delivering an in-scope resolution rate of 92%, with over 80% of those queries marked as ‘fully solved’.

“We were very impressed with the results of the pilot and encouraged that we could replicate this success in other markets,” says Kiabi. “If we were getting this kind of resolution rate with just one month of using boost, then I’m confident we can push it more and achieve 95% in the near future.”

“Highways and best practices are at the core of what we do at Sector Alarm. A big advantage of our new virtual agent is the ability to better standardize across all of our markets,”

- Amir Kiabi, Customer Service Digital Transformation and Improvement Manager, Sector Alarm

The success of the pilot led to Sector Alarm moving forward on a plan to roll out a virtual agent in each of its remaining markets. As of writing, Sector Alarm has launched additional bots in Sweden, Spain, Finland and Ireland, with France, Italy and Portugal to follow before 2023.

“Highways and best practices are at the core of what we do at Sector Alarm. A big advantage of our new virtual agent is the ability to better standardize across all of our markets,” says Kiabi about the benefits of the boost.ai platform’s ability to help streamline content creation. “We used to have five or six people working per chatbot, per country with very little alignment. Thanks to boost.ai, we now have fewer AI trainers and instead work with our internal support teams to focus on ensuring that answers are consistent whether you ask our chatbot in Sweden, Spain or Ireland.”

The average resolution rate of the virtual agents in production sits at 92%, and each bot can, on average, answer questions in its local language on approximately 500 topics.

Sector Alarm’s customers have praised its virtual agents as part of the company’s holistic approach to customer service.

As Kiabi explains it: “We want customers to visit our website for help, and if they don’t find what they need, they can ask [our bots] Askmi, Alex, Laura, Tyyni and Cara for help. Customers respond well to this and we receive compliments that this is the first chatbot they have used that actually works.”

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