PostFinance has set up a virtual assistant on its website – the first Swiss financial institution to do so. It automatically and quickly answers questions that customers frequently ask whilst maintaining the same level of quality. The virtual assistant has also recently learned French. PostFinance worked together with the IT service provider, ELCA, for the development of the chatbot.
PostFinance launched the virtual assistance in German in autumn 2017. Pleasing developments have been made since then. Today it receives around 3,500 enquiries every month, many of which are sent during the week. This shows that the chatbot is a popular and well-received option for getting in touch with PostFinance. The virtual assistant has also recently learned French. The French-speaking chatbot is already being used regularly and is responding to a large proportion of customer enquiries on first contact.
«We want to become the number one digital bank in Switzerland. The virtual assistant is contributing to that,» explains Sylvie Meyer, Head of Retail and Member of the PostFinance Executive Board. «I am very happy that our customers in French-speaking Switzerland can now also chat with our virtual assistant.» At PostFinance, a bilingual team of Contact Center experts takes care of the virtual assistant and continually develops the questions and answers. This makes the chatbot a good example of new professions that are emerging at PostFinance because of digitization.
The virtual assistant is available around the clock. It automatically and quickly answers questions that customers frequently ask whilst maintaining the same level of quality. This allows employees in the Contact Center to focus on more complex customer enquiries.
The chatbot is based on the «NinaWeb» standard product from Nuance. PostFinance worked together with the IT service provider, ELCA, for further development of the product and to adapt it to their needs.
ELCA had already developed services to help process more natural speech for the German-language chatbot and has now also added this feature to the French-language version.
Ferrucio Lagutaine, Chief Operating Officer of ELCA, gives us an insight into the work: «We were able to draw on the «knowledge» and «experiences» from the German-speaking bot for PostFinance’s French-speaking chatbot to ensure it started at a higher level. In future, any insights we gain from one language will also be implemented in the other.» This will help both language versions to improve more quickly, and is important because multilingualism is a critical factor for success in Switzerland,» says Lagutaine.
ELCA is one of the largest independent Swiss suppliers of IT solutions and is a market leader in the following areas: IT business consulting, software development and maintenance, and IT system integration.
PostFinance continually analyses questions asked of the virtual assistant and supplies it with the answers. In addition, it continues to learn over time thanks to feedback from users. The more chat sessions the virtual assistant records, the more opportunity it has to learn.