By Erik Braun, Director, Creative Virtual Netherlands
Recently, we shared the customer story of our first Dutch Virtual Assistant with you, readers of the Creative Virtual blog. As you have read, this Virtual Assistant is called Sabine. Sabine ‘works’ for NIBC Direct, a Dutch online bank. Sabine was introduced on 17 December of 2012 and went live on the newly launched NIBC Direct website.
Recently, NIBC Direct shared statistics with us on the effects of ‘Sabine’ on call and email volume. In short:
- The number of emails in 2013 dropped by 49% (compared to 2012)
- The number of calls dropped by nearly 40% in the same period
- In the first weeks of 2014, this trend continues: NIBC Direct still sees a further reduction by 60% (compared to same period in 2013)
In these calculations, I would love to relate all savings to the Virtual Assistant, but that would not be entirely correct of course. The ongoing optimization of the website has a big impact also. However, these numbers are impressive – as anyone would agree! – and show how Virtual Assistant technology can be a powerful part of a customer experience strategy.
Of course, our projects result in much more than call or email savings, the most important being insight into customer behavior through our unique reporting features. Also, our solutions can be (and are being) used on other channels, so can also help in cost savings in the call center (on average our implementations lead to a reduction in average call handling times of up to 20%), answering questions on social media, and assisting clients in being able to help themselves after hours. These results cannot always be easily put into a € or $ saving, but are important as well.