How nib is transforming the traditional customer experience with the help of AWS

Thanks to innovation surrounding machine learning and analytics, businesses are evolving their strategies around customer experience to deliver personalised services direct from the cloud. One such business is health insurance provider nib, whose chatbot nibby has proved a winner in the CX stakes.

It’s been a year since nib launched their chatbot nibby and the verdict from customer and staff alike is unanimous. nibby works! nibby has improved customer satisfaction rates and freed up customer service agents to act on more complex issues.

The chatbot was a first of its kind for health service providers in Australia and Mathew Finch, Head of Emerging Technology at nib tells Kochie’s Business Builders (KBB) the birth of the chatbot was driven by customer demand.

“We started looking at the voice of the customer,” Finch explains.  “We already had live chat but we found there were a lot of areas we could improve and streamline. So, we thought let’s see if we can improve customer experience.”

nib launched a two-week proof of concept to gauge what it would be like to put a chatbot ‘in front’ of the live agent chat experience to take the burden off the organisation’s frontline employees. The affect was immediate, relieving pressure and freeing up consultant’s time.

“We went live four weeks later,” Finchs says.

Deploying the chatbot so quickly required nib to take a new approach to development.

“We built a cross functional team. It included people in the team who were used to handling chat so we could focus on how the service would deploy and evolve.

“It’s been running a year now and we’ve had over 21,000 chats. Customers are a lot happier. Chat times are much shorter. Twenty-five per cent of customers don’t even have to speak to an agent – and in three out of four chats nibby will understand what the customer is trying to do and identify a solution.  We have saved over 500-hours of consultant time.”

Finch believes nibby has made life better for both nib customers and nib’s customer service agents. While it would have been easy for the call centre staff to be intimidated by the new tech, Finch explains by involving them in the process it was easy to allay fears surrounding AI and showcase the benefits of nibby.

“I think because we brought the them into the cross functional team early on – they knew what we were doing. We want them to be able to focus on complex queries. And they would rather handle the queries where somone is very ill and needs their assistance then a question about a refund. We want to still give our customers the human touch and the contact centre has been key part of that.

Finch says deploying nibby has really changed the compnay’s cultural perspective around innovation and experimentation and he hopes it won’t be the last.

nibby is built on Amazon Lex, an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Machine Learning (ML) service for building conversational interfaces into any application using voice and text. Amazon Lex enables nibby to capture intentions and missed utterances. The chatbot continuously taps into this knowledge to further improve and better understand variations of member enquiries.

Only one year into their journey with ML, nib is already proving that the AWS Cloud can not only help them remediate technical debt, but is the ideal platform for genuine, customer-focused innovation,

“With the help of digital technology, artificial intelligence, and cloud technology, we’ve enhanced our service capability, while still maintaining our high level of member service in a rapidly changing and complex environment,” he says.

It’s a winning solution for both the brand and its customers.

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Cec is the managing editor of KBB. She is a multimedia professional with over fifteen years experience as an editor on titles as diverse as SX, CULT, Better Pictures, Total Rock, MTV, fasterlouder, mynikonlife and Fantastic Living. She has spent the past four years working as a news journalist covering all the issues that matter in the political, health and LGBTIQ arena. She is the Head of Content at Pinstripe Media and a recent convert to the world of small business.

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