AON builds own chatbot
Aon is one of the leading advisors in risk, retirement and health solutions. They deal with a high volume of customer inquiries. These inquiries come in by telephone, live chat and, recently, also have been answered by a chatbot.
Aon is one of the first organisations to have built its own chatbot using OBI4wan technology. In this interview, Jasper Meijerink, Strategic Project Manager, talks about the successful onboarding of their new digital customer service employee, Noa.
Chatbots contribute to happy customers, happy employees, less costs and more productivity. That was music to Jasper Meijerink’s ears. Aon requested a feasibility report and came to the conclusion that a chatbot could also contribute to more efficiency and more customer satisfaction for them.
“We’ve noticed that many customers call for simple things, like changing a password, requesting policy documents or a green card. Customers often have to wait a relatively long time to get answers to simple questions when they contact us by telephone. This is many times at the expense of customer satisfaction, and we don’t want that of course. With the help of channel control we want to establish the chatbot as the first point of contact. In this way, we hope to be able to limit the growing volumes of telephone inquiries and, ultimately, increase our customers’ satisfaction.”
By handling the simple questions with a chatbot, the customer service employee can also put their focus more on giving good advice. Jasper says:
“That ultimately makes the work for the customer service agent much more attractive.”
Who’s Noa? From sketch to ideal customer service employee
Aon has developed a chatbot in the new OBI4wan platform themselves, and they did it with the help of the entire project team.
“The input from the marketing and communication department was indispensable throughout the entire process. It also helped that our developers have a background as call centre employees. They know exactly who our customers are and the best way to communicate with them. That was very useful in the chatbot development process.”
“The name Noa came easily, it’s Aon spelled backwards. Then we started looking for a persona for the chatbot. A character sketch emerged that reflected the ideal call centre employee. What tone of voice fits best? Informal, or more formal? In order to familiarise our older customers with the chatbot as well, we have chosen a more formal tone.”
The first chatbot would be custom made by OBI4wan, which Aon would then use as a template for building their subsequent chatbots, but after a first look at the chatbot platform, Aon’s development team decided to just take the reins immediately. “When we had to enter the conversations in, we had a choice: Either enter the conversations in PowerPoint, or directly into the chatbot platform. We entered the conversations directly into the platform, because it actually looked very user-friendly from the start. Before we knew it, we had built a full prototype of our first chatbot, all by ourselves.” Jasper states:
“The whole process went very smoothly and you really don’t need any programming knowledge. Our developers are very enthusiastic about the platform and are having a great time building the chatbots themselves”
Is a customer service agent still even necessary?
Aon trains the chatbot with the data they receive daily via the live chat. This is an ongoing process in which the chatbot is continuously optimised. The use of artificial intelligence makes the chatbot a little smarter every day, and will therefore be able to answer increasingly complex questions.
So, do customer service agents need to start worrying about losing their jobs now? OBI4wan answers this with a clear “no”. Aon is not afraid of this either:
“I don’t expect customer service employees to become redundant. Our employees specialise in giving good advice. You can’t leave that to a chatbot.”
Once again, Noa gives the customer service agents the space to focus on their core tasks. As a result, they enjoy their work more and customers get the benefit of shorter waiting times. A win-win situation for everyone!