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Customer Success

Chatbots and Self-Service Deliver Automation-Enabled Efficiency for Prudential and PenFed Credit Union

Service Cloud Momentum

  • Companies report more than 27% increase in case resolution, customer loyalty, and agent productivity with Service Cloud innovation.
  • New multilingual chatbots, intelligent conversation mining, and pre-built industry chatbot templates will help drive efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Eighty-eight percent of consumer and business buyers say the experience a company provides is just as important as its products or services — the highest it’s ever been. But with today’s macroenvironment creating staffing shortages and strained resources, companies need to be able to do more — deliver more personalization and exceptional experiences — with less. 

Automation and self-service technologies can give businesses across all industries a significant productivity boost, generate cost savings, and an increase in customer satisfaction. Last year, customers using Salesforce Service Cloud tools — including automation and self-service tools such as AI-powered chatbots — saw a 30% increase in customer satisfaction and more than 27% increase in agent productivity, customer retention, and case resolution.*

New chatbot innovations for industries help accelerate productivity  

Chatbot technology has surged during the pandemic with self-service becoming increasingly popular, according to recent Salesforce research. This year, 58% of customers used chatbots for simple customer service and 65% used self-service portals.

During the pandemic, consumers became accustomed to conducting their financial needs online. Recent Salesforce analysis shows that the first touchpoint for most customers is digital – 78% of banking customers initiate relationships on a website or app. Customers are also increasingly comfortable with automated tools – 69% of banking customers are willing to use AI to improve experiences, up from 60% in 2021.

To meet this demand, Salesforce is launching Virtual Assistant — an intelligent Einstein-powered chatbot solution specifically designed for financial services firms that automates routine requests faster across digital channels, like text or messenger platforms. This allows agents to spend more time on complex cases while chatbots can quickly address simple service requests, such as updating credit cards, making payments, and reporting travel notifications.

Virtual Assistant provides translations across multiple languages, giving companies the ability to use a single chatbot across regions instead of one per language. And in the future, Virtual Assistant, powered by Einstein, is aiming to automatically create help topics based on key words and phrases from customer conversations. 

And with pre-built bot templates for industries, scheduled to come this summer, financial services customers can achieve greater efficiency by reducing hours of configuration to minutes.

Prudential uses self-service and chatbots to support customers more efficiently 

In 2020, financial services giant Prudential rolled out Einstein-powered chatbots to streamline support and assist agents with tax-related questions ahead of its busiest season. Using the tool, customers get quick answers to common questions like “How do I find my tax statement?” or “What forms do I need to complete?” 

But later that year, Prudential’s call volumes went up exponentially.

During the pandemic, many people experienced tragedy or were confused as to where things were and they wanted that human touch, but they also wanted to transact digitally. Salesforce really enabled us to stay connected and engage with our customers through automated chatbots and self-service – whether it be through the web, voice or mobile.

Bob Bastian, CIO, Enterprise Digital and U.S. Businesses at Prudential

This digital support layer freed up agents to spend time on more complex cases, decreased Prudential’s phone costs, and got consumers the help they needed more quickly than calling an agent. 

Since 2020, Prudential has not only deflected thousands of calls using Virtual Assistant, resulting in significant cost savings, but it has given the company the ability to connect with and reassure customers during a period of fear and uncertainty.

Service Cloud’s Virtual Assistant helps scale customer service for one of the nation’s largest federal credit unions

PenFed has over 2.8 million members and most of them choose to engage with the credit union through digital channels. The nationwide credit union is using Virtual Assistant to help it significantly improve the member service experience in its contact centers.

PenFed’s member-facing chatbot is currently handling nearly 40,000 sessions per month, providing loan application status, product and servicing information, and technical support – the equivalent of several dozen front-line agents.

PenFed’s employee-facing chatbot handles about 25% of common internal employee service requests, which frees up service desk staff to focus on more complex tasks that require a human touch. The chatbot improves the experience for members and teammates by allowing greater self-service for simple tasks, thereby decreasing wait times to speak with agents or technical support for complex tasks.

By leveraging chatbots, we have been able to serve our members more efficiently across channels and free up our member service representatives’ time, giving them the ability to deliver more of a personal touch and the best-in class-experience that our members expect.

Joseph Thomas, PenFed EVP and CIO

Between hold times and handoffs, customers’ expectations of seamless support are often unmet. But the reward for companies that embrace self-service technology to deliver more efficient and enjoyable experiences – for both employees and customers – can be substantial.

Learn more about how Salesforce Service Cloud tools are helping companies drive efficiency and customer loyalty through AI and automation.

*According to Salesforce’s FY22 CMI Success Metrics survey. Sample sizes: Self-service n=2308, Sales Revenue n=2445, Agent Productivity n=2437. The deck and metrics within it should not be posted online or shared on social media.

Any unreleased services or features referenced in this or other press releases or public statements are not currently available and may not be delivered on time or at all. Customers who purchase Salesforce applications should make their purchase decisions based upon features that are currently available. 

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