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Co-op uses 'artificial intelligence' engine to boost online self service

28 May 2009  |  6437 views  |  0 Hands on keyboard

Co-operative Financial Services (CFS) has rolled out an online "ask-a-question" system for customers in a bid to improve service and sales.

The system, which covers the Co-op's bank, insurance and investments units, uses artificial intelligence from Transversal to intuitively answer customer queries.

Users can find answers to specific questions and are then navigated to the correct Web page that contains further details. Around 500 frequently asked questions are currently covered.

As well as benefiting customers, Transversal says the system frees up call centre staff to deal with more complex queries. It also helps CFS target and tailor advertising and special offers in line with questions asked.

Since its launch, over 98% of customer queries have been answered online, with e-mail inquiries and calls to contact centres falling. In its second month the service was used by 40,000 people.

Sean Barton, e-business manager, CFS, says: "Ensuring high levels of customer satisfaction is the key USP of the Co-operative Financial Services, consequently we are continually looking at ways we can enhance our customer service. Following extensive research into Web self-service, we knew it had scope to improve the customer experience."

CFS recently contracted Infosys for a core banking overhaul, covering CRM (uniting banking and insurance businesses) and e-banking across home-market operations in the UK.

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