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Visual IVR converts interactions from voice to self-service
With a need to reduce the number of unnecessary calls reaching their contact center, NTT and Uniphore worked with Alliander Dutch utility, to implement a Visual IVR solution to divert calls to self-service.
The solution, which included WhatsApp integration, saw 66% of calls that met defined use- cases, being presented with a link to the self-service portal, and a 16% total reduction in calls reaching the agents in the contact center.
Alliander is an energy expert with more than 100 years of experience Every day, they manage the infrastructure bringing electricity and gas to millions of Dutch homes and companies.
Reducing unnecessary agent interactions
As a critical utility, Alliander has a high public profile, meaning that when there’s a problem relating to customers’ power or gas they’ve become the first call that people make.
Many of these calls shouldn’t be directed to Alliander or could easily be resolved using self-service solution.
These simple customer queries were putting a strain on their contact center, reducing the time their agents had available to tackle more complex issues.
With highly skilled engineers handling relatively simple calls that could be resolved through automated systems, time was wasted on low value calls, which resulted in longer waiting times and extended the time it took to resolve more complex issues. In addition, this situation was hurting the overall employee experience and the business performance.
To alleviate this challenge, they decided to implement a visual IVR solution to allow customers to solve their issues, connect to the right provider or escalate to the right agent. Using Visual IVR also made it possible to convert a voice call into a WhatsApp chat interaction, if agent support was still needed.
“With too many calls reaching the contact center we needed a solution that would divert them to self-service options.”
Driving customers to self-service options
As a trusted partner, they looked to NTT to provide insights into the best strategy to address this challenge. Following an assessment of the environment, they chose to implement the Uniphore U-Self Serve solution, including integration with WhatsApp. When customers call Alliander’s national number, they’re immediately asked for their postcode and are offered the option to choose self-service. A link is then sent to their phone giving them direct access to the self-service site.
Uniphore created a solution that encompassed the eight most common use cases, connecting callers to relevant self-service resources. At any time customers can connect to an agent should additional assistance be required. The NTT and Uniphore teams designed and implemented the solution for Alliander within two months. As the project progressed, additional use cases were identified and incorporated into the solution to ensure that Alliander were able to maximize the benefit from this project.
“Almost immediately after the launch of the Visual IVR on our national line, the number of calls reaching agents reduced tangibly. It is obvious, not only in the numbers, but it can actually be felt”
The implementation of the Visual IVR solution is already paying dividends with high customer adoption and a significant reduction in the number of calls reaching the contact center. 66% of customers whose requirements met the stated use cases received a self-service link, and 60% of those initiated the self-service process.
Overall total calls reaching the technicians in the contact center were reduced by 16% and average handle time has been reduced as the agents have more contextual information when they take the call. With fewer unnecessary calls reaching the contact center the agents can focus on applying their expertise to quickly resolve more technical queries.