Aegon’s customer contact has been through intermediaries for a long time, but in the recent decade there has been more and more direct customer contact. Interaction that Aegon cherishes. Aegon formulated a new customer contact strategy:
A number of workshops with Aegon’s customer contact staff identified the conditions needed to achieve this. These turned out to be three things.
- Optimally support the customer, independent of channel or subject matter
- Customers can call one and the same number for all questions
- Customers receive help from the first person they get on the line
Classification with Speech Recognition
First of all, a customer contact solution in which the customer answers two questions: ‘What are your zip code and house number? And what do you contact us about? Based on what the customer inspires, the conversation is routed, a follow-up question is asked or the customer receives an immediate answer via self-service. Language and classification models are needed to convert the expressed demand into a subject. How customers talk and ask questions is determined in the language model, in this case with the insurance jargon. The classification model shows which questions refer to Aegon’s potential customer contact topics.
Agent desktop CTI
A second requirement was an agent/officer desktop. This summarises all relevant information from the underlying systems on the screen, so that the employee is presented with an unambiguous and complete 360 degrees customer view. Employees also wanted to see the question, request or complaint on the screen, so that the customer didn’t have to repeat it.
A third component of the system is a knowledge base, which presents possible answers to the question in order of probability. Based on the stated question, employees automatically receive an answer from the knowledge base and can search for possible answers themselves in a Google-like way. The knowledge base contains general FAQs, but most questions relate to the situation of the customer. That is why the knowledge base also contains dialogues with a question-and-answer game. Suppose that a product has been changed at a certain point in time, the date on which a policy was taken out will determine the answer to the question. This dialogue is fully automated.
Customers assess the contact with regard to the expertise, the offered solution and customer friendliness one point higher than before the roll-out. Customer-focused training also made a major contribution to this. At the moment the software recognizes 90 percent of the customer’s questions and then connects them to the right agent. The remaining ten percent ends up with an employee who still connects to the right person. Because the employees automatically get an overview of all the customer’s data, questions and possible knowledge, their attention is fully focused on the customer from the very first moment. In the past, while they were talking to the customer, all kinds of cogs were running in their heads to think about which systems they could use to find the answer to a customer’s question.
“Aegon will continue to work on optimizing the customer experience. You do this by giving the customer the right answer quickly, but perhaps even more important is that you empathize and think along. Many mutations arise, for example, from a divorce or the death of a partner. But it is also possible that someone only gives a change of address, while he indicates that the fire and contents insurance will also be transferred to that new address. This can now be brought to the attention of the customer. In this way we are constantly trying to be one step ahead of the customer, to surprise him. And to provide just that little bit of extra service that he did not ask for. Because we want the customer not only to be satisfied, but also to share his positive experiences. We are getting better and better at that.”