BBVA has been leading the banking sector in Europe and the Americas for 160 years and has always been considered a pioneer in terms of innovation, security and economic growth.
After almost two centuries, nobody is more aware of the importance of acknowledging change and adapting to new generations, with their own demands and needs.
This is why in 2016 they chose Aivo’s artificial intelligence (AI) to redefine their customer service strategy. This is their story.
More than 160 years of experience
BBVA was founded in 1857 in Bilbao, Spain, driven by the region's economic growth. It started out as Banco de Bilbao, joining with other banking institutions over the next 150 years until becoming BBVA in 2001.
With their values as “The customer comes first, we think big and we are one team”, BBVA is currently one of the leading banks in Europe and the Americas. They have more than 78 million customers in 30 countries and more than 126,000 employees.
As Christian Petruzzi, Customer Service Manager, explains, their goal is “to make the opportunities of this new era available to everyone. This goal focuses on customers’ actual needs: providing the best solutions and helping them make the best financial choices through a simple and convenient experience.”
The customer always comes first
With 160 years of experience, BBVA understands that innovation and technology are two great allies in adapting to change. Innovation has been a constant in their company, and recent years are no exception.
With the emergence of decidedly digital customers, going high tech to meet these new demands has been crucial for strengthening their presence in the market.
“Customers are increasingly paying attention to the quality of service. They need to solve their inquiries as quickly and easily as possible. In this way, they're looking for more value in the products and services they purchase,” explains Christian Petruzzi.
With this in mind, BBVA decided to address the needs of new consumers through automation and artificial intelligence.
Their goals were clear and went hand in hand with their mission of a customer-centric strategy:
- Comprehensively improve the customer contact experience
- Provide 24/7 support
- Allow for self-management
- Optimize service channels
To meet these goals, in 2016 they chose Aivo’s conversational artificial intelligence: “We analyzed different providers and AgentBot, Aivo's chatbot, seemed to be the best alternative because of their experience and presence in the market,”
For the BBVA team, the implementation experience was successful: “The Aivo team was there for us the entire time. It was a pleasure; they guided and supported us in whatever we needed, always super willing and responsive. We still have a great relationship today, which shows the level of post-sales support that addresses and solves all our requirements efficiently,” he concluded.
For our part, we discovered that the BBVA team was very well-prepared to add technologies to their strategies, which allowed for faster implementation, follow-up and improvement.
A new banking assistant is born
Powered by Aivo’s AI, a new banking assistant was born. It is available 24/7, replies immediately and automatically, and provides the same quality of service across multiple channels.
“The virtual assistant was an initiative to comprehensively improve the contact experience with customers, providing 24/7 access to information. The idea was to offer a quick and effective way for users browsing our website to get in touch, enabling self-management with the goal of improving their experience with the bank and optimizing our service channels,” explains Christian.
Thanks to this initiative, the bank answers a large amount of questions automatically on the website and BBVA app, allowing customers to more easily do their banking.
For questions on special offers, they integrated Aivo’s Live chat
so the query is transferred to an agent in the same chat window.
This way, representatives can focus on specific tasks that require personal treatment, while the virtual assistant handles inquiries that can be automated.
An ally in times of crisis
With a consolidated customer service strategy, and with the virtual assistant already implemented as part of it, BBVA was ready to face the COVID-19 pandemic
“Our virtual assistant was a critical information tool in the coronavirus pandemic,” explains Christian.
At the beginning of 2020, they were able to address the high amount of inquiries due to mandatory quarantine, with branches closed and over-the-phone service not available. Through the chatbot, they could encourage customers to use digital channels to make inquiries
and complete different transactions on their own.
Plus, since Aivo’s platform was so easy to use, they could rapidly adapt the chatbot’s answers and content to the new strategy.
In this way, the assistant is ready to provide answers on different topics, and its priority is to guide the user on inquiries related to the COVID-19 emergency situation.
“Now that the world is facing an unprecedented health crisis, we'll truly see the impact and the actual applicability of these technologies,” concludes Petruzzi.
The channel preferred by users
Since its implementation in 2016, the conversational bot has become a major channel of service and contact with customers, simultaneously improving general user experience.
In the last few years, BBVA automatically resolved 96% of the inquiries they received in less than 1 minute on average. Actually, there's been a 164% increase in the number of sessions from 2016 (493,786) to 2019 (1,302,410).
This technology has played a very important role in managing the FAQ volume and supporting agents so that they can focus on more complex or sensitive cases.
The AI bot has been widely accepted by users on the mobile app and that trend continues to grow. Since the launch of this channel in 2017, there were 238,590 sessions recorded, and 57% of them were in 2019.
Users want more convenience and don't want to be tied down, so they can manage their finances wherever they go. This is what BBVA’s new automation strategy has been able to offer with conversational technology.