AustralianSuper launches chatbot, live messaging

Superannuation fund deploys chatbot to communicate with its more than two million members and flags plans for a wider voice-based solutions

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AustralianSuper has launched its chatbot, ‘Ash’, following the soft launch of its in-app messaging platform in December last year, which has seen more than 50,000 messages sent, achieving a 92 per cent overall customer satisfaction rate.  

AustralianSuper partnered with AI-powered business messaging solutions provider, LivePerson, to provide its more than two million members with messaging.

The ‘Ash’ chatbot is powered by LivePerson’s LiveEngage platform and is integrated into AustralianSuper’s website to help customers with frequently asked questions. Within the next year, AustralianSuper plans to integrate Ash into in-app messaging as well. 

Using data intelligence, the bot is able to handle an expanded range of superannuation related questions, and respond to customer questions quickly.

AustralianSuper group executive member experience and advice, Shawn Blackmore, said the business implemented messaging to provide customers with better service, and enable them to build relationships by helping with questions using an accessible and convenient conversational interface. 

"Messaging replicates how our customers interact with each other, so it made sense for us to build it into our communications with them," Blackmore told CMO.

"Eight out of 10 member enquiries are now answered via the messaging service, whereas previously all 10 would have headed to the call centre. This will potentially allow the call centre to deliver more value-add conversations that are more complex and require more time discussing with the member. 

"Around half of AustralianSuper’s 150 call centre staff have RG146 qualifications, which allow them to give general advice, while there are 15 fully qualified financial planners on the phones."

The chatbot was established to triage questions coming through from members before they are put through to the 150 call centre employees based in Melbourne and Perth. From here, AustralianSuper will be building on Ash with a voice-based solution similar to Apple's Siri or Amazon's Alexa. Trials are set to begin in July.

“With the updated mobile app that includes in-app messaging, members can now have direct access to AustralianSuper instantly," Blackmore said.

“Messaging apps are now the primary way consumers engage with each other, so it seemed like a natural progression for AustralianSuper to take. It enables members and prospective members to connect with us wherever and whenever they want."

LivePerson regional VP, APAC, Andrew Cannington, said consumers have moved away from traditional voice-based communication and toward conversational interfaces such as messaging platforms.

“They want a simplified hassle-free experience. We’re excited to be working with AustralianSuper to provide its members with a convenient way for them to get help conversationally – it's the future of consumer-to-brand communications.”

AustralianSuper manages more than $130 billion of members’ retirement savings on behalf of more than 2.2 million members from around 270,000 businesses. AustralianSuper is the nation’s largest superannuation fund.

Read more of CMO's coverage on the role of chatbots in marketing and customer engagement:

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu 

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