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Efecty is Colombia's leading company in money orders, payments and money collection services. After more than two decades of operation, it covers 98% of the Colombian territory. With the aim of becoming a benchmark company in innovation and offering transactional solutions to its customers, it created Gyra, its virtual assistant powered by Aivo's conversational AI.
Daniel Alejandro Rivera Palacio, Efecty's Customer Experience Manager, meets with Martín Frascaroli, CEO of Aivo, to share how Gyra was developed and what qualities earned it the recognition of Best Outstanding Bot Personality.
Implementing a virtual assistant with personality
What can the virtual assistant Gyra do, beyond answering frequently asked questions, does it have any transactional queries, and how far can it go?
Before implementing the virtual assistant, we spent almost a year doing a very judicious training of questions and answers, identifying the value points of our customers, what was generating more call traffic, more queries, and more PQRs. This has been one of the great successes.
The team initially focused on building that knowledge base, and that allowed us to have very robust information by the time we decided to set up the agent. This allowed us not only to go out with questions and answers, which is what we initially started with, but also to begin to venture into self-management transactional programs from the bot.
Let's talk about Gyra, how was the character born? How was the creation process?
Gyra was initially created as our virtual guide more than five years ago, but its main focus was internal communication. It was brought about out of the need to communicate internal issues, it is our face in online training schemes. But, within the experience strategy that we started working on in 2019, the challenge was to expand Gyra, taking into account that it was already a recognized image within the company. It had everything that represents Efecty, which has to do with transactional schemes, innovation and technology, which has been the pillar of the company's focus. Gyra had those components.
Efecty has been working on a transformation towards virtuality and the digitalization of services, and Gyra fulfilled these objectives. It was created with an image of being a bold, agile, innovative virtual agent with personality. It has energy, it has vitality and it is quite an imposing image. That allowed us to take it outward without losing something that for us is the experience process and for Efecty is empathy.
Let's say that our main focus in terms of experience is to be very empathetic with our customers. So Gyra is created based on these focuses and additionally, ensuring that our customers feel identified with her because she is a modern, bold avatar and is not just a face avatar, but has a full human figure. It transmits youth and agility, all its components were created from the strategic conception as a cultural focus of the company. One of our main focuses is service, and what we wanted with Gyra was a projection of security, tranquility and trust, which are aspects that are part of the company's higher purpose.
Gyra, the visible face of Efecty
Now, where can I find Gyra? Is it on the website, on WhatsApp, in the physical space of the branches they have? What is the exposure they give to the character?
As I was telling you, Gyra is our internal corporate image, that is to say, Gyra appears in all the training schemes for collaborators. And at the level of our end customers, it is our avatar in the bot found on the website, it is our WhatsApp image, and in social networks in all customer education campaigns.
It's also Gyra who speaks in the corporate videos. So, she appears in all our channels. The only one where it is not seen is in the contact center, but because there the voice is for telephone customer service, but in the other channels, in all of them, it is our corporate image.
Building a character is not easy, how was the process of convincing C-Level that they had to take this character, which had worked for internal and external customers?
Something important to highlight is that Efecty has always been characterized by promoting the empowerment of women. This has been one of the pillars of our corporate counselor, who has always been in favor of supporting women heads of household and promoting the development of women in terms of professional growth. So it is born from there, from this empowerment that we want to give them. That is where the magic of marketing and internal communication came in, creating a character that had to have the components I was telling you about a while ago, the three key pillars: security, tranquility and confidence.
Obviously, this has evolved over time, it hasn't always been that way. The suit, the hairstyle, things like that have been improving over time giving it a futuristic component but also grounded in reality.
Empathy, Efecty's differential value.
You were just talking about empathy, did you work with those issues that are not in line with the business, but are a matter of creating a more flexible experience?
At the beginning, we started by solving all the things that customers asked for. At the same time, we implemented a voice of the customer strategy, which is to listen to everything that happens in all the customer service channels with our users, the way in which we were answering them and solving their problems. So, we started to build that empathetic response. Trying to be a little more empathetic in our response, more understanding of their situation. It is part of what we are maturing, everything that has to do with much closer responses, that they do not feel that they are talking to a machine and that they are robotic responses, but that they have that language that allows for greater empathy in the attention.
Everything arises from the analysis of the customer's voice and also of its context, because today we want to evolve. Here I am a little ahead of what we are looking to do, which is to begin to analyze the customer's context in order to personalize the service much more and to know what he likes, how he likes, what he asks the most, things like that, so that we can somehow get closer to the language of each one of us.
Gyra is not only for customer service but also for the company's internal processes. That is to say, we have used Gyra to solve some internal efficiency problems and to carry out certain invitation campaigns. There we have used a much closer language where if the client, for example, tells us that he can't attend an event, Gyra answers pitifully "We find it very sad that you can't come with us. Let us know why. We hope you will have the time two days from now, which is the event, to be able to attend. We will contact you again. So we are involving in some aspects, that kind of language to take it to the final channels.
We usually work on some routes or some milestones and early wins. We don't jump into the channels all at once, but we're testing on things that we can control more easily and we're looking at how it's getting better. We are already building the empathic issue from the point of view that communication has to be friendlier. Without saying that the client does not understand that he is talking to a bot, but that he feels that he is a much closer bot, much friendlier, and that is where we want to go.
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Do you think that having created a character gave a differential value to the brand, even in customer service?
Yes, clearly, having a character makes for greater interaction with customers and for customers to feel more identified. And in the long run, this character is also looking for a greater connection with these new generations. Let's say that Efecty's captive audience is an audience that wants the brand for what it offers, for the possibility it gives them to use the services, but also a challenge we have is to reach these new audiences. I think Gyra is betting a lot, through this character and the marketing level, to attract these new generations, these new consumers.
Do you have any metrics that measure the success of the character, beyond the common metrics?
Fortunately, within the construction we did with the Aivo team and with the customer experience team was to define what metrics we wanted to have. Because we had some value points identified both internally and externally, we already had clarity on what we wanted to measure.
Obviously one of the outlines was to improve the first contact resolution of our customers. 92% of the interactions we have through the bot are resolved, this does not mean that customers do not write to us again or do not call us, but with what is resolved, we have already achieved that first indicator. What does that lead to? Obviously to an increase in NPS, our NPS is 72%, it is a pretty good NPS, quite high. We also have a satisfaction rate in all our service channels above 90%, which also allows us to see in some way or another that what we are doing in the channels is working.
There is an indicator in which we also plotted ourselves, which is a cost indicator, normally the paths we were looking for, apart from generating a better satisfaction, a better resolution, a better NPS, is a lower effort. We also measure the effort a customer has to make to reach our channels, which is also a pretty good indicator. In the course of 2020 and 2021 we have managed to save more than 500 million pesos in telephone channels, that is, customers call us less, not because they don't want to but because they find in our digital channels, especially in bot and WhatsApp, the resolution. That has been one of the important achievements, that we have saved some channel costs.
Do you want to achieve these results?
If you haven't already, you can check out the full list of featured customers in Aivo Awards and discover the story behind their conversational bots.
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