How AMP is using AI to create effortless ‘experiences’

Customer-centric vision at the heart of AMP’s broader corporate strategy

Craig Ryman
Craig Ryman

AMP is on a quest to deliver enhanced customer experiences and is using the power of artificial intelligence (AI) in order to deliver mass personalisation to customers and advisers.

“AI will offer lots of benefits, both in how we operate as a business, but more importantly how we do mass personalisation to our customers and our advisers,” AMP group executive, technology and operations, Craig Ryman, told CMO.

Ryman noted this shift into an experience era and that people are willing to pay more if you give them those great experiences.  In that vein, he said AMP is harnessing a more human-centric approach with new generation technologies such as AI and the power of data to bring a deep human touch to its services and accompany Australians on lifelong personal and financial goals.  

Specifically, AMP is using AI to give advisers a complete overview of the customer, provide guidance, and automate administrative tasks so advisers have more time to focus on strengthening relationships. The company is doing this as part of a recent Salesforce platform adoption.

“We are putting together all of our data for our customers - all of their contract information, adviser information, and workflow information under the same platform,” Ryman said, pointing out the company has already put 150 million records of data into the platform over the past 11 months.

Ryman said this growing reliance on AI, and the push to offer a more customer-centric approach, is all part of AMP’s broader strategic play, which saw the company consolidate 40 to 50 systems into the one Salesforce cloud platform. The ambition is to maintain a more simplified, efficient, agile and innovative platform.

“We’re effectively putting all of our channels on the platform,” he said. “If you think about all of your customer interactions, be that through digital advisers, contact centres, whether they send in applications for your products and operations staff are dealing with processes to help customers achieve their outcomes, that is all going to be on our salesforce platform.”

Omni-channel power 

Importantly, the adoption of a single platform model paves the way for the financial services company to become a true omni-channel organisation, Ryman claimed. The integration of systems means customer interactions are now under the one roof, giving consumers a choice in terms of the way they communicate.

The goal is to deliver a seamless, effortless experience for customers, Ryman said. AMP is using the Salesforce platform for services, sales, advisers, communities and business analytics.

“This concept of omni-channel has been overused in the last few years. It is very difficult to achieve. This for us, because you’ve actually got your channels in one place, actually gives you the capability to be a true omni-channel organisation,” he continued.

“If you want to ring us or act and do your business digitally, or visit an adviser, then each of those channels are in sync and know where you’ve been before.”

While the project to consolidate didn’t come without some challenges, Ryman it was a relatively smooth transition.  

“We have in less than 11 months deployed a sales capability into our direct sales channel, we’ve put three adviser practices into a pilot phase around how they manage their advice practices better, and we just went live with our first contact centres,” he said.  

“We expect in the next three or four months that we will have all of our contact centres, bar the bank, on Salesforce. We will also have most of our advisers using a new adviser portal, which helps them manage their business better and helps them interface much better in this omni-channel fashion with AMP.”

At the same time, the company is pushing its Goals 360 real-time customer goals platform, which looks at the financial position of a customer then uses real-time probability modelling against 1000 different scenarios that could potentially impact a customer’s financial goals. This is showcased to the client via interactive technology supported by human coaching.

“It is a very complex set of algorithms that will give compliant advice that is going to give the strongest likelihood of customers achieving their goals. And it is going to be delivered in a way that customers understand and feel very comfortable in the experience they got in dealing with a financial adviser,” Ryman said.

“The use of technology with the support of a financial advisor and coach is a great combination to helping more Australians be financially better off and help them achieve their goals.”

Power of Einstein  

The power of AI is increasingly on AMP’s radar as the company continues to see the benefits of the adoption of the single platform.

Built into the Salesforce platform, Einstein is a layer of AI that delivers predictions and recommendations based on a company’s unique business processes and customer data. AMP is relying on the technology to gather insights to automate responses and actions, making employees more productive while improving customer experience.

“Artificial intelligence and machine learning becomes more and more useful dependent upon the data and the amount of times processes that are run over the top of the data,” Ryman said. “We’re looking to use this platform, not only in a broad way to be omni-channel, but also when we’re thinking about new innovations like AI that get embedded into platforms.”  

Einstein helps AMP derive insights from specific data points that were previously unclear, as well as personalise experiences in an enhanced way.

Ryman said the technology is a real game changer, particularly for a 170-year-old financial services company like AMP.

“AI is going to first and foremost take out a lot of repetitive tasks or what might be considered more simple administrative tasks. And that will free up capacity to focus on other things,” he said. “It will disrupt the workforce.”  

The problem is the industry often gets side-tracked with worry, labouring over the wrong things. “We focus a lot on the question, ‘how many jobs will AI take away?’ But I think there’s a better question which is, ‘how many jobs is AI going to create?’” Ryman said. “Because what we’re seeing with most of these big disruptions; there’s whole new job families opening up as a result.

“AI will do tasks we probably don’t want our people doing, so what that is going to do is free them up to provide services that customers actually do value. It is likely it will just automate things that customers take for granted and want done quicker.”

AI and machine learning has the ability to process broad amounts of data and find insights and correlations where humans can’t process and compute to that level. For Ryman, this will open up opportunities to personalise in a way human simply can’t see based on how our brain works, or the linear fashion which we join or build logic, he said.    

Ryman said the latest technology transformation program, along with other initiatives including Goals 360, is leading AMP to create an organisation that delivers easy, effortless experiences.

“At a customer level, we believe experiences are going to be differentiating. In some instances, having it easy and effortless, automated and resolved that day, that ‘moment’ leads to great advocacy,” he said. “Others where it’s personalised and insightful, that helps them make decisions that they found difficult, we think will lead to greater advocacy.

“Our approach at a more macro level is to help them achieve their goals, but to do so at a way that is driving easier experiences for them - because we believe those are the companies that ultimately that will win.”

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