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Banco Comafi, famous for innovating and adopting new technologies, is leading a digitalization process within the Argentine banking industry by using artificial intelligence to improve customer experience. This is their story.
Always one step ahead, in 2019 Banco Comafi’s team noted three key factors that would define the basis of their strategy up to the present: technological evolution, the changes taking place in the market regarding customer experience, and the behaviors of the customers, who demand instant solutions and personalized answers.
With that idea in mind, that same year they contacted Aivo with a very clear goal: to implement a new communication channel that can answer queries 24/7 and in an immediate, customized and decisive manner in order to provide first-class support.
As Fabián Mealla, Digital Banking Manager at Banco Comafi, explains, they were looking for “a new communication option that would be available 24/7 in a simple, fast and secure way to complement internet banking,” with the possibility of “starting a new disruptive service model from the ground up.”
That was how Sofía was created, Banco Comafi’s conversational bot powered by Aivo’s artifcial intelligence.
Initially, Sofía was integrated into the bank’s customer service strategy as the first point of contact for customers to solve all kinds of queries about products, services and benefits, as well as any issues navigating its digital channels. All this was implemented first in the web chat and then in WhatsApp, understanding the users’ preference for this channel.
“We started a very ambitious project along with Aivo by defining and executing a functional roadmap. Our initial version was not integrated, and consisted of enabling the bot on our digital platforms and applying a differentiation by segment, to provide more direct service and offer immediate answers to simple questions tailored to each customer,” explains Fabián.
From the first moment, Comafi’s bot stood out for its personality, empathy and human touch to generate identity and belonging. To achieve this, they created an avatar that over time was positioned in the market. They first developed a 2D version and then a 3D version, which was incorporated into the bank’s other digital platforms.
“Its personality is created in the image and likeness of the bank: it is solid, young, innovative and offers a high level of service, engaging with customers in a simple, secure and direct manner” | Fabián Mealla, Digital Banking Manager
In 2020, with the outbreak of the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown, Sofía became one of the bank’s most in-demand service channels. This accelerated the digitalization processes and boosted new features which were previously unheard of in the market, such as withdrawing from an ATM without a debit card and blocking a debit card’s PIN using QR codes. As a result, during this period, Sofía achieved higher customer adoption, increasing the volume of queries by 387%.
“This emphasized the need for a leap in quality that would allow us to integrate with the provider. We turned to Aivo Studio, a tool that allowed us to develop the 2.0 version of Sofía, which incorporated the channel category, since the bot solves queries online and provides personalized information,” adds Fabián.
In this new stage of Sofía, the team started to add integrations so that customers can make transactions and bank operations within the bot, becoming pioneers in the region in using Aivo Studio.
“Our focus is on integrating our services in a way that allows us to achieve 100% resolution with the bot, avoiding transfers to other service channels, adding value to our digital processes and establishing the WhatsApp channel as a priority, since it allows us to identify our customers and provide them with a transactional set that solves 80-20 of the most recurrent queries in a single chat” | Fabián Mealla, Digital Banking Manager.
In this way, the main advantage of Sofía is that it elevates the experience, especially on WhatsApp, as it allows the company to reach customers in a differential and more direct way, given that it is the most widely used application not only in Argentina but also in Latin America.
Some of the WhatsApp integrations made in Aivo Studio are:
- Recognizing the customer and his/her name
- Providing customized information about:
- Account balances and most recent account transactions
- Alias/Uniform Banking Code (CBU)
- Available amounts on credit cards
- Upcoming closing dates and expiration dates of cards
- Latest account and credit card statements in PDF format (which can be viewed within the same application and can be downloaded to the device)
- Debit card activation
- Payment of services, such as recharging public transport card, cable and mobile data
- Bank transfer to own accounts
With all this, there is no doubt that Sofía’s impact over the last few years has been superlative.
● It grew 387% in 2020 and 40% in 2021.
● In the last quarter of 2021, it served more than 27,000 customers in 40,000 sessions that generated more than 150,000 interactions on average per month, with 95% effectiveness and an average response time of less than 1 minute.
● By 2022, its expansion is expected to exceed 100%, with planned integrations through June, in addition to those recently incorporated.
● They will achieve an average customer satisfaction of 4.5 stars out of 5.
“Many customers use Sofía on a daily basis to access personalized information, thus avoiding other face-to-face customer service channels. Moreover, they also choose Sofía over online banking because of the speed and effectiveness of the responses” | Fabián Mealla, Digital Channels Manager
This is also because they prioritize Sofía in all banking strategies. Apart from the fact that it is consolidated as another channel, they use the avatar in marketing and communication campaigns. For example, it was recently integrated into the digital signatures of the company’s associates’ corporate emails. On their Instagram profile, one can see how they incorporate Sofía’s personality in different external communications.
The next for Banco Comafi is to start selling through the bot in an automated and conversational way through WhatsApp.
“Sofia 3.0 is going to culminate with that title once we can commercialize products. Today it commercializes in part, because fixed term deposits are a product. But we are aiming to be able to sell loans and credit cards in the future through Sofia”, concludes Fabian.
With 77 branches in multiple provinces of Argentina, Banco Comafi operates in all sectors and has been one of the fastest-growing private Argentine capital entities in recent years. It is part of a group of financial service providers together with TCC, Nubi and PayPal.