Smart searches streamline Iberdrola’s customer service line
Madrid, 24th September, 2019.- Iberdrola, a 170-year-old leading energy supplier with more than 47,500 megawatts of installed capacity, currently delivers energy to about 100 million people, mainly in Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States, Brazil, and Mexico. The multinational is Europe’s largest power company by market capitalization and has recently become a key player in the world energy scene due to its commitment to renewable energy.
Iberdrola’s outstanding corporate reputation, as reflected in Merco’s latest report, is directly related to one of its strategic pillars: customer focus. In its efforts to maximize customer satisfaction and exceed customer expectations, Iberdrola identified ways to improve its customer service line.
According to Javier San Miguel, Project Manager at Iberdrola, “With the introduction of artificial intelligence and text mining solutions, the company’s call centers now provide optimized customer service over the phone. Our call center employees now have all of the information they need to respond to any question from our customers, in an easy and intuitive manner. We’ve seen the number of questions resolved satisfactorily during the first call skyrocket.”
Azure Search: cornerstone of the Iberdrola project
Iberdrola’s call centers receive thousands of calls each and every day. To address this, the company worked with VISEO (formerly Birchman) to analyze areas where they can improve the service they offer in order to maintain customer satisfaction.
Right away, they found that the call center staff used an inefficient procedure to find information to help them respond to customer questions. On one hand, frequent staff changes necessitated continuous training for new additions, and on the other, the ineffectiveness of the system used for finding information led to a service that fell short of the high quality standards required by Iberdrola for its phone service.
Right away, From an initial analysis, it was detected that Call Center staff had an improved information search procedure to respond to customers inquiries.
Seeking to optimize its service and bring new operators onboard more efficiently, Iberdrola and VISEO chose to adopt a smart search solution that would allow call center staff to perform any type of search easily, quickly, and—most importantly—efficiently.
Specializing in artificial intelligence for telephone-based customer service, VISEO had already helped companies with similar problems to achieve such outcomes and soon launched a pilot project to improve service at Iberdrola’s call center in Chile.
The adopted solution combines text analytics algorithms and systems with Azure Search, Microsoft’s cloud search service powered by artificial intelligence.
The solution first connects with multiple data sources, such as SharePoint, Moodle, and Iberdrola Web. It then extracts and analyzes content to create knowledge bases. During this information processing phase, text analytics are used to detect the language and extract keywords and entities. VISEO’s proprietary algorithm is used to create these knowledge bases by filtering the text and extracting questions and answers.
Once the data has been collected and interpreted, the results are stored in an Azure Search index, using various optimizations and profiles to produce useful results for call center workers, who can then access questions and answers, as well as free-form text from the indexed documents.
Iberdrola chose Azure Search because it is the only cloud-based search service with integrated artificial intelligence (AI) functionalities, making it easier to identify and analyze relevant content.
The search service uses a flexible integration of customized models and classifiers to meet the specific needs of each field, as with Iberdrola.
Various solutions were developed to make the search process even easier for employees:
- A REST API, to allow existing systems to interface with and integrate this solution.
- A mobile app for iOS and Android, created with Xamarin, to allow users to speak their questions aloud and view the responses in the app.
- Other channels, such as an iframe on Iberdrola’s webpage.
Once they analyzed the quality of the service in Chile, Iberdrola and VISEO immediately saw a clear improvement, leading them to implement the solutions at the Group’s customer service call centers. From that point on, all of the call centers were able to achieve the established objectives, both in reducing the total number of calls (due to issues being resolved during the first call) and in shortening total call duration.
Without a doubt, the digital transformation process adopted in the Iberdrola call centers facilitated the valuable creation of documentation to improve customer service over the phone and significantly improved the organization’s internal knowledge management.
“With Microsoft’s artificial intelligence solutions, we greatly improved the performance of our call centers around the world. We reduced call durations by 6% and improved First Call Resolutions (FCRs) by 1.6%” says Jesús Velasco, from the Dictorate of the Customer Service Department at Iberdrola.
VISEO a global IT consulting firm specialized in assisting its clients with their IT and digital transformation. VISEO uses technology as a powerful lever of transformation and innovation to help its clients take advantage of digital opportunities, address new usages and compete with new players who change the rules of the game.
With 2000 employees working on 5 continents, VISEO combines agility and complementarity of its areas of expertise – design of new products and services, digitization of business processes, data valuation, digital assets development - to make digital a real lever of competitiveness and performance.
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of the intelligent cloud and the intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.