The AA

Smart contact centre call handling with Artificial Intelligence and Cloud Native user experience

Highlights

  1. On average, the chatbot handles between 450-500 conversations per day
  2. Customers can now change their address or update their vehicle registration in less than 3 minutes
  3. In a two-week period, over 200 users engaged with the chatbot to change their address or vehicle registration

Background

The AA is the UK’s leading provider of roadside assistance, with approximately 2,900 patrols attending an average of 10,000 breakdowns daily. It has over 3.3 million personal roadside assistance members and 10 million business members.

In addition to roadside assistance, the AA also provides finance, insurance and leisure and lifestyle services. Accelerating the growth of its insurance division is a key focus for the AA over the coming years, and there is significant scope to sell insurance to its Roadside members (only 9% of its 3.3m base have AA motor insurance).

AA Background Image

Business drivers

Whilst the world is very different to when the AA was founded in 1905, ‘technological innovations that make life easier’ remains a core value of its brand.

Contact channels like the call centre have dominated the way in which the AA provides help and support to its members, and whilst necessary for certain customer service interactions, the call centre was also servicing many frequently asked questions freely available on other channels like the website.

The AA wanted to deflect a number of contacts coming through its call centre to enhance the help and support it provides to customers in critical or complex situations – like those having broken down on the side of the motorway.

To achieve this, it needed to divert low value customer interactions away from the contact centre and to digital channels instead. 85% of the customer contacts from its members were coming through via the call centre; the AA’s ambition was to reduce this to 50%.

Solution

We identified three journeys where a conversational user interface would enable customers to engage with The AA:

  • Change address
  • Change vehicle
  • Report a breakdown

The chatbot also handles frequently asked questions across most of the AA’s products and services. For the FAQ’s out of scope for this project, the bot can signpost users in the event it doesn’t handle something specifically.

The bot would then direct them to specific contact pages based upon their question/requirements. This is as opposed to simply saying “I can’t do that” or “I don’t understand”.

The AA Chatbot

Outcome

  • In a two-week period, over 200 users engaged with the chatbot to change their address or vehicle registration
  • 20% of unique visitors who use the ‘help’ navigation item will engage with the chatbot
  • 10% of visitors from the Google query ‘Contact us’ will engage with the chatbot
  • On average, the bot handled 450 conversations per day
  • Customers are now able to change their address and update their vehicle registration in less than 3 minutes

This project followed on from an ‘AI for customer experience’ workshop Mando ran with the AA. In this workshop we helped them understand the potential of Microsoft’s AI platform, map out use cases for AI that would driver customer experience – and prioritise these use cases in terms of ROI and complexity to implement and showcased how this technology could be accessed on any device where ever the user may be.

At the time, the AA were also looking at three other AI platforms, however, following a competitive pitch with highly personalised ideas and a multi-channel solution, we were able to turn a decision around in a very short timeframe – leading the AA to pilot our ideas on the Microsoft platform.

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