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“With Salesforce, we can adapt our processes and empower our people to respond quickly to changing market conditions. It enables us to be available for our customers when they need us most.”
Aegon UK supports more customers and advisers during pandemic with Salesforce
Thousands of people rely on Aegon to help them achieve a lifetime of financial security. When the COVID-19 pandemic jeopardised that security, people were desperate for reassurance and advice.
With lockdown measures impacting its customer service operation, Aegon needed a stopgap solution to enable its agents to receive and respond to queries from customers, employers, and independent financial advisers (IFAs). In the space of five days, it designed, tested, and launched a live chat channel using Service Cloud.
Within two weeks of going live, agents were handling 200 web chats a day across an active adviser population and a customer base of around 400,000. “The uptake has been amazing especially as we didn’t formally promote the service,” said Analytics Manager Michael Lambert, who headed the development effort for Aegon’s web chat initiative.
Increased demand for support during challenging times.
Aegon is one of the world's largest providers of life insurance, pensions, and asset management with three regional offices and 2,000 employees in the UK. Staff wellbeing has always been a priority and Aegon was quick to implement working from home policies as the pandemic escalated in spring 2020. But this created some operational challenges - especially for the 170-plus agents based at its UK customer service centres, who normally handle around 4,500 calls a day.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the customer service team became an even more critical touchpoint. “Financial markets were particularly volatile at the start of the pandemic, which had a direct impact on people and their investments and pensions,” explained Lambert. “We needed to ensure we could support customers, employers and advisers during this difficult time.”
Trailhead accelerates time-to-market for new web chat service.
Lambert already had experience of implementing web chat and Service Cloud to the Retiready customer service team, a digital service from Aegon that helps people manage their savings for retirement.
With Trailhead, Lambert and his colleagues were able to quickly learn about the new web chat functionality offered by Omni-Channel Routing and Salesforce Lightning and manage the integration with Aegon’s website. It took just 24 hours to have a proof of concept ready for testing. “With Salesforce, we were able to deliver a reliable and scalable solution in a very short timescale,” said Lambert. “When we reinstated telephone calls as a contact option, the web chat volumes stayed the same.”
By the end of June 2020, more than two million customers and 10,000 advisers could engage with the financial services company using web chat. As the service expands, Aegon will be using Salesforce’s AI-powered chatbots to ensure it can answer queries as efficiently as possible and provide a richer experience to a growing number of customers and advisers.
Richer insights and digital channels boost engagement.
As part of its response to the pandemic, Aegon has also introduced 48 new online journeys and forms to help advisers and employers complete simple processes and stepped up its communications. “We use Marketing Cloud to contact financial advisers on a regular basis to ensure they stay up to date with any changes,” added Lambert.
By using Einstein Analytics in tandem with Marketing Cloud, the customer analytics team can evaluate how people respond to different emails and use these insights to shape future communications. “With Salesforce, we can make smarter use of demographics and personas to help us engage with the right people at the right time and in the right way,” said Lambert.