Advia Credit Union

Bringing concierge customer service to members.

Executive Summary

With the launch of Ava, an AI-enabled chatbot, Advia Credit Union stands out from the competition by offering its members a simple and efficient solution for a greater customer experience.

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Challenge

Advia Credit Union’s mission is to provide financial advantages by offering the quickest and easiest solutions to its more than 170,000 members across Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois. In working to maximize the value of its wide range of financial services, Advia looked to implement a customer service experience that embraced a similar philosophy of people helping people.

"Our institution had experienced rapid growth due to acquisitions and mergers. As a result, there were different systems, multiple points of contact to reach us and there was no accountability for servicing. It was hard to do business with us," said Rey Chavez, Director of the Member Contact Center at Advia Credit Union. "Our approach started with a simple initiative to look for a live chat option, but when we partnered with a third-party vendor to handle the webchat and after-hours servicing, it didn’t solve all of our issues."

Advia found that as the third-party vendor’s volume grew, so did the cost of the service, and that created more tickets for Advia's in-house team to handle. Members also wanted more ways to contact Advia. As a result, calls were doubling in volume and the customer contact team was left frustrated due to the rising number of requests.

"We wanted to see how we could deflect some of the more common questions into a bot or FAQ to service the members faster through another channel. When we did our research in the AI space, it became very evident that the Bold360 solution was going to be much more forward thinking, had the simplest user interface and the team would be a good client vendor to help us map out our AI journey," said Chavez.

During that research process, it became clear to Advia that Bold360’s natural language processing (NLP) and robust solution could handle the customer queries and would be easy for agents to use in their everyday workflow.

Bringing concierge customer service to members.

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"We wanted concierge-type servicing that allows our members to self-serve efficiently. Our members have given us a strong, positive response and great reviews. We have heard that they like to do what they want, when they want, during any hour of the day and that Ava is receptive and quick to answer."

Rey Chavez, Director of the Member Contact Center, Advia Credit Union

Solution

To best serve their members, Advia evolved its customer contact center into a multichannel operation. Advia brought live chat back in-house to boost the overall experience, replaced and updated the FAQ section of their website with consistent messaging, and implemented a ticket system through a chatbot for after-hours servicing. With the assistance of Bold360, Ava – Advia's AI-enabled chatbot – launched with great success.

"We consider ourselves a forward-thinking company in adopting technology, and Bold360's team was there for us through every step of the process. The team did a great job in helping us to structure the bot, and it has taken off right from day one," said Chavez.

Advia rolled out the chatbot in a phased approach, allowing members to become comfortable with the new options. Ava provides a concierge type of service for members, especially during those critical situations when mortgage or loan applications may result in a particular set of questions.

Results

Ava handles the majority of requests coming in from Advia's members. "Our members have given us a strong, positive response and great reviews. We have heard that they like to do what they want, when they want, during any hour of the day and that Ava is receptive and quick to answer," said Chavez.

On the agent side, there has been a positive response as well. "Our team can use the tiles in the dashboard to understand what questions are being asked with NLP to zero in on any changes we need to make to Ava. It allows us to make sure we are driving that member into the right lane of self-service to handle their requests. As a result of Ava handling so much, our agents can now address more inquiries through various channels like social media," said Chavez.

Since the launch of Ava, Advia Credit Union has experienced:

  • A 75% deflection rate of total contact volume for customers using Ava
  • A 15-second agent speed of answer, resulting in near real-time pickup of the conversation when it transitions from Ava to the agent
  • An average handle time of 9:02 minutes for chat sessions, similar to those attained when using the third-party vendor, but with resolution of deeper questions
  • An estimated cost savings of more than $400,000 per year by eliminating the third-party vendor
  • The ability to centralize member communication into one contact center operation to drive efficiency and consistency

Looking ahead, Advia will launch an internal bot to assist agents in looking up policies and procedures more quickly to respond to advanced, complex customer queries.

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