How we put the human touch back into an energy company’s chatbot process
An existing Sigma Connected client, one of the Big 6 energy suppliers, came to us when they noticed that large numbers of customers were dropping out midway through their chatbot conversation.
Chatbots are a highly effective communication tool – and are often the most efficient and convenient way to resolve simple customer enquiries and issues. Available 24/7, and quick with a response, they save customers and customer service team’s valuable time. But sometimes they don’t understand a query, or simply don’t have the answer for a more complex problem. Moreover, machines can’t treat customers who are upset or worried with the empathy and kindness that a human can and sometimes chatbots just aren’t for everyone.
Our client set up the chatbot channel at the beginning of 2022 and started to notice the drop-offs soon after. It seemed that some customers would get so far in the process, then gave up. That’s when our client asked us to step in.
The answer was simple. We needed to get the human touch back into the process. Working in partnership with our client we created a way to do just that. Now, if a customer has got as far as they can with the chatbot – and they haven’t got the assistance / answer they need – they can now opt for a call back. These requests come through to the Sigma Connected customer experience team, three times a day – morning, afternoon and evening – with a list of customers to call. One of our customer agents will then phone the customer within 3 hours of them abandoning the chatbot conversation.
Between April ‘22, when we set up the service, and December ’22 alone, we handled an average of 1,300 calls per month with customers who had requested call backs after reaching an impasse with the chatbot. This included a huge spike of requests in October (over 3,000), when many confused customers across the UK were all trying to reach their energy companies, due to the Government’s new price cap announcement.
Thanks to our client being quick to react, then proactive in dealing with it, their customers no longer reach a dead end or have to resort to starting the process all over again on the phone. Solutions such as this are simple for us to set up for you, with our highly trained customer experience teams, and a great example of how digital and human can work hand in hand.
Due to the success of Sigma’s ‘human’ support we were invited to deliver additional support for customers that want to stay on the chatbot but have a more complex query or need a little extra help. An additional service is being introduced where our customer experience team will complement the chatbot by adding a ‘human touch’ during the interaction, so the customer gets a resolution to their query there and then.
If you would like to find out more about how we can help your business, we’d love to hear from you.