Banking Trends and Challenges
In 2018, Banks are looking to differentiate themselves by giving their employees and customers the resources they need. They want new and inventive ways to seamlessly communicate with their clients, in order to answer their most common customer queries. Bradesco Bank, in particular, is always eager to transform everyday banking experience of customers and employees with the help of an AI solution.
Bradesco, one of top three Brazilian largest Financial Services Company, has 4,600 branches and 94,000 employees that provide financial products and services throughout the country. Every day, Bradesco employees help their customers with questions regarding insurance, pension plans, credit card services and savings bonds.
Bradesco decided that it was essential for their long term business strategy to expand its growth opportunities, as it had previously focused on Brazilian market. In order to do this, Bradesco needed to broaden the scope of customer service, so that all customers could get the answers to their queries as quick and precise as possible. Their plan entailed using a virtual agent to answer tier 1 level customer support questions, easing the Bradesco staff’s burden to dig through databases to find answers, and freeing them to more noble tasks.
The Bradesco Conversational Solution: BIA – Bradesco Inteligência Artificial
With its inaugural release in 2016, Bradesco became the first bank in Brazil to adopt AI to engage customers and employees through spoken and written inquiries when created a virtual agent fluent in Brazilian Portuguese: Bradesco Inteligência Artificial (or BIA). Today, BIA covers 94% of all questions directed.
On its 9,000 branches, BIA is used by 60,000 employees answering questions about products and services. As a virtual agent, BIA uses natural languge to manage 30,000 queries every day, and is constantly updated with new information.
Since implementing BIA, Bradesco has seen dramatic improvements in the efficiency of call center operations. Within the first nine months of training, BIA was capable of answering questions about 49 products within the Bradesco portfolio with an extremely high level of accuracy. Bradesco is observing an increase in overall effectiveness of the contact center operations by allowing the virtual agent to assist Bradesco employees in solving customer queries instantly.
Launched in August 2017 on the Bradesco’s App, BIA is now available for Android and iOS. Since the launch, more than 10 million customers interactions have been dealt by BIA, and the number keeps growing every day. The machine learning solution is being evaluated as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ by 85% of users due to fast resolutions and natural language.
Customer Service Transformation with Watson
BIA with Watson now has:
- Customer satisfaction levels of higher than 85% by reducing time to answer customer questions
- Answered both general and complex questions about 62 products and services in Bradesco’s portfolio
- Increased efficiency, by coming up with answers within seconds. Prior to implementing Watson, questions where typically answered by engaging a call center which, in a peak day, could exceed 15-20 minutes
- 85% accuracy for contact center inquiries, 98% accuracy rate for written inquiries and a growing 83% for spoken-language rate
“Customers love how fast the response time is, and of course the Bradesco team appreciates the accuracy of the information. It’s impossible for branch employees to know every detail about 62 products, but now they can thanks to Watson,” said Cristina Adib, IBM Client Director.
Imagining the Future
By providing a virtual agent in its app, Bradesco empowers its customers that now can get the answers to their questions anytime, anywhere, in a self-service way, through a state-of-the-art technology. The latest step in this journey took place in January with the launch of BIA for NEXT. Here, BIA learned the contents of its FAQ, and the digital bank customers no longer have to interact with an employee to get the answer about it.
With Watson and BIA, Bradesco is completely reinventing the way in which everyday banking is handled, easing the load of employees while getting answers to customers as they need them.
*Next is the new brand of Bradesco for Digital Bank Experience focusing on youth clients (see more at www.next.me).
Marcelo Camara, Innovation Executive Manager at Bradesco, will speak at the IBM Think Conference in March about how AI is transforming their business. Register today with the VIP registration code: TK18WVIP and select “Watson” as your interest area.