How things used to be
Until 1998, the German energy market was largely free of competition. Customers had to purchase electricity and gas from their local basic supplier. Liberalisation brought about change. Intensive competition for customers arose, which at the same time developed new demands: The energy supply should be secure and affordable, but the service must also be reliable. More and more often, requests should be able to be dealt with online, quickly and without fixed opening hours. This was a situation that the customer service department could hardly resolve efficiently, satisfactorily and cost-effectively.
Then AI came along
The energy discounter eprimo brings its customers into dialogue with "Sophie". An AI-based chatbot that handles masses of requests quickly and reliably at all times. Transmitting meter readings, changing master data, adjusting tariff offers and instalment payments are topics that "Sophie" helps with particularly often. eprimo customers benefit from a service without restricted opening hours and never-ending music on hold. And if a customer issue is too complex for the AI, the service team is ready to help. With plenty of time for the conversation, because "Sophie" already takes care of the address changes that come in at the same time.
What sets "Sophie" apart from other chat offers are the quality of the answers, stability and scalability. How important the latter is has also been shown during the corona pandemic. In the course of the lockdown, the number of requests increased slightly once again, so that "Sophie" handled about 3,000 contacts per day. Another advantage for eprimo: The chatbot experts at adesso provide all services from a single source. This means that the energy provider not only receives a chatbot with outstanding cognitive skills based on AI and machine learning methods, but also a direct connection to the company's own back-end system. The bottom line is that adesso offers help for self-help and enables the eprimo experts to develop "Sophie" independently.
The situation today
The AI is called "Sophie": the chatbot solves nine out of ten customer concerns comprehensively and conclusively. The result is satisfied customers and a service team that has more capacity for complex cases. For eprimo, "Sophie" is a complete success: After more than two years in use, the chatbot has reached the milestone of a total of one million customer chats.
Mario Wittke, Product Owner Digitale Service, eprimo
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