Called “Sofia,” the technology uses an artificial intelligence that the company says will be able to resolve issues in under a minute through Facebook chat that, in the past, have taken up to a half-hour to resolve through other channels offered by Banco Falabella, which has branches in Chile, Colombia, and Peru.
“We are launching a great innovation, one that we think will definitely change the user’s experience — and how they really live and interact with the banking industry,” said Harold Martínez, innovation and development manager at Banco Falabella, at Asobancaria 2017 in Cartagena.
Through machine learning, Sofia will also, in time, understand more complex issues and improve both its accuracy and response time to facilitate payments, provide balance statements, and give credit limit updates.
Specifically, Sofia will be designed to quickly answer questions about, among other things, payment deadline dates, the location of the nearest branch, and what Banco Falabella financial products are currently eligible for special offers at the company’s stores, including Falabella, Homecenter, and Makro.
During a pilot soft launch earlier this year, the company rolled out Sofia to more than 1,200 users in February, said Martínez. In May, still in beta, the technology handled at least 7,500 conversations. In the first month after it went live, he said he expected Sofia to handle some 60,000 users and 100,000 conversations. “Sofía carries out these processes in less than a minute,” said Martínez.
The company has previously offered customer service through Facebook. But Martínez said that this channel relied on human representatives and could take up to 15 minutes from the time the customer asked a question to when the problem was resolved.
Even worse, this line of communication was not available for around-the-clock support. Robots, on the other hand, never sleep. “Today we’re talking about a channel that can be open 24/7 and with attention to the user online — and all the requests are responded to immediately,” he said.
As with most companies investing in customer service automation, Banco Falabella sees its artificial intelligence gains as a way to free up representatives to focus on higher-level tasks. “This will allow us to focus our human resources on following up on more complex questions or procedures,” said Martínez.
Photo credit: EEIM