Co-Operative Banking Group: Intelligent Virtual Assistant

Artificial Solutions announced today that the Co-operative Banking Group has implemented the initial phase of its internal virtual assistant, which has been named Mia (My Interactive Adviser), and is already enabling staff to answer calls up to sixty-five percent faster using natural language technology. By working in Partnership with Artificial Solutions , Co-operative Banking Group has successfully implemented Mia into the business and used this immediate success story as a key element of in its submission that recently saw the business win the highly prestigious British Quality Foundation (BQF) Achievement Award for Process Improvement.

Built upon Artificial Solutions’ Teneo platform, Mia is an intelligent interface that is able to hold two-way, humanlike interactions with the Co-operative Banking Group’s contact centre employees, to quickly provide them with the correct answers to a wide range of banking and insurance questions. This reduces the need for staff to confer with team leaders over complex questions or refer to colleagues or other paper based reference material. To date Mia has delivered on average a thirty-five second saving in every call in which she assists.

“We want to offer our customers the most efficient service possible and that means not just resolving queries quickly, but providing a consistent response every time someone contacts us,” says Peter Rowbottom , Function Leader within the Co-operative Banking Group. “Mia, powered by Artificial Solutions’ natural language technology has enabled us not just to improve the customer experience, but is also having a positive effect on call centre staff with the extra assistance helping them achieve their own targets and confidence in providing a consistently accurate message to customers.”

Mia helps the Co-operative Banking Group’s eight million customers by ensuring that her call centre colleagues are fully briefed on new products, services and changes in policy, such as the introduction of new regulations from the Financial Services Authority (FSA). As the core single point of reference, Mia ensures advisors always give a consistent, compliant response to customer queries. Call centre staff can ask Mia questions using everyday language, updating the information given as the call progresses. Mia then dynamically reassesses the question to provide the right answer or to prompt the advisor to ask for further information where necessary. It is envisaged that in the future Mia will be available to branch staff and other internal customer facing departments. It could also be used as an external facing virtual assistant to assist customers directly.

This month the Co-operative Banking Group won the BQF Achievement Award for Process Improvement of which Mia was one of the projects implemented and used to support their submission. Founded in 1993 by Government and leading UK businesses, the BQF is an independent, not-for-profit, corporate membership organisation and judges seek organisations that have an approach that is innovative and different.

“Mia demonstrates the potential of natural language interaction in streamlining business processes for the benefit of both the organisation and its customers. The simple way in which we build our technology means that any changes in procedure or regulation can be implemented into Mia immediately, ensuring that advisors always have the most up to date information available,” says Lawrence Flynn, CEO of Artificial Solutions. “We’re very proud to be a part of project that is already receiving accolades so early on.”

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