of inquries automated through WhatsApp
decrease in call center volumes
Last decade’s digital revolution impacted all industries, including the banking sector. As bankers were used to rigid and bureaucratic processes, keeping up with changes has been a true challenge.
However, Banco Bolivariano has come across an innovative and efficient path: Artificial intelligence. In this way, it has become the first bank in Ecuador to launch its omnichannel conversational banking strategy. This is their story.
With a clear mission and the motivation to provide an innovative and efficient customer service, Banco Bolivariano set ambitious goals in 2017:
To meet these goals, they implemented AgentBot, Aivo's conversational chatbot powered by artificial intelligence.
With these goals in mind, the almost 80 Customer Service agents and executives at Banco Bolivariano welcomed a new coworker: Avi24. This new AI-powered agent has the only and special task of providing automatic service 24/7.
But what is special is that Avi24 not only responds, but also resolves queries and transactional procedures in a conversational way. For example, it answers questions about balances and movements, and even performs banking transactions such as blocking cards and activating or deactivating their international use.
For security matters, they added a user validation system via OTP. Thus, when the user enters a new query, their ID is requested and an authentication code is sent to their phone or email, which expires after 5 minutes. When the code is correctly entered and the validation is successful, the user can continue with the operation.
And that’s not all. Avi24 responds in the same way through multiple channels. Currently, the conversational bot operates in the webchat, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, users’ preferred channel to interact with friends, families and companies.
This lets customers resolve their queries at any time, anywhere and on their own without human assistance.
All in all, with the rest of the team, Avi24 is in charge of both providing a great service and strengthening the bank-customer bond. As explained by Kyra Arcia Marcano, Head of Innovation and Marketing:
"A company's health, success and strength are the result of a positive customer-company relationship, and this is accomplished when they get a high quality service when and how they request it."
Although the bank offers service through multiple channels, in recent years WhatsApp has become the main channel of their conversational strategy.
Thanks to the fact that Aivo is a Meta Business Partner, Banco Bolivariano was able to expand its service strategy to this channel, the most used by users in Ecuador, obtaining the green tick verification that certifies that it is an official account. That verification gives customers the peace of mind that they are interacting with the real Banco Bolivariano. Every interaction over WhatsApp comes with the banking security they expect
As time went by, the adoption of WhatsApp by customers grew, becoming the bank's main channel not only for support issues, but also for transactions and banking procedures.
“Roughly 98%of all customer inquiries are resolved through WhatsApp without escalating to an agent. Now, 70% of our customers prefer WhatsApp to other digital channels, and they give it the highest satisfaction rates of any channel. As more people connect over WhatsApp, call center volumes are down by 46% and agents can focus on the most complex cases.” | Kyra Arcia Marcano, Head of Marketing and Innovation at Banco Bolivariano
In addition to offering a support channel and banking procedures through WhatsApp, in 2022 Banco Bolivariano implemented an automated sales strategy to up-sell and cross-sell other banking products and services.
How does this integration work? After a customer interacts with the bot via Whatsapp to ask for their account balance or other inquiries, the bot offers additional services based on each customer.
“Customers appreciate the organic flow of interacting in WhatsApp, making them more receptive to offers. Currently 56 percent of customers engaging through WhatsApp express interest in additional services, compared to only 23 percent over the phone,” says Arcia. “With a flexible, streamlined channel in WhatsApp, we not only see time and cost savings in customer care, but actual increase in revenue.”
Avi24 not only works on its own. It is also a great partner for human agents.
Thanks to the integration between the bot and Genesys, conversations with Avi24 can be quickly referred to a human agent without changing the chat window or the channel. Agents have the customer’s full conversation history, which lets them be aware of the case without asking the same questions that were already answered to the chatbot.
Avi24 and the agents work as a team. The conversational bot handles FAQs, so that the agents have time to focus on more complex issues that require their attention, empathy and human skill.
Today, Avi24 has a human transfer rate of only 3%. That means the virtual assistant can handle 97% of the queries.
What was the impact of Avi24 on Banco Bolivariano's strategy? Let's look at some numbers:
According to Arcia, Banco Bolivariano will continue to explore the customer care and sales capabilities within Avi and develop new services through WhatsApp:
“We’ve always been digital banking pioneers and with WhatsApp, we’re expanding into new frontiers of customer service.”
Banco Bolivariano was born in Ecuador in 1980 with the mission of providing high quality, efficient financial services. Since the beginning, their customers were at the forefront of their strategy, with personalized and professional services.
Today, with 700,000 customers in Ecuador, their mission remains intact. Leading the banking innovation in the country and providing amazing experiences is what guides their Customer Service team nowadays.