For the past two years, Swiss Post has been working with Unblu to deploy a new means of client engagement and support. Acting as the main Swiss Post employee interface, Unblu enables diverse means of client engagement through either embedded features or dedicated APIs.
With the rise in parcel shipments correlated to the expansion of e-commerce, Swiss Post is working actively on ensuring a high level of service while maintaining a stable cost structure. Diversifying customer collaboration through digital channels is a key initiative in reaching those goals.
The implementation of WhatsApp marks the latest milestone in this ongoing project, which also includes phone support, live chat, and written requests. Alongside these channels, WhatsApp offers another simple and user-friendly means of customer engagement.
“WhatsApp as an additional and direct customer channel meets a need, and is a logical step,” says Jean-Jacques Toffel, Head of the Contact Center and Sales SMEs of Swiss Post.
Customers’ willingness to use these channels varies greatly depending on their age. The generation known as Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) prefers to communicate with a company by phone. This contrasts with Millennials (1980 to 1999) and especially the youngest Generation Z (from 2000) who prefer social media, web chats, or messenger services. “We are looking for proximity to our customers and want to support them on the channels where they are active”, explains Jean-Jacques Toffel.
The post’s new customer channel offers a pain-free user experience. On the first contact via WhatsApp, an AI-powered chatbot acts as a concierge to qualify the request. The text-based dialogue system of the “Yellow World” introduces itself as a chatbot, welcomes customers, and answers simple questions such as “where is my package?” independently. The post office can be reached around the clock.
If a request proves to be more complex, the chatbot hands it over to the contact center without breaking the interaction with the customer. From here, human employees can take over during opening hours.
On the utility and potential of chatbots in Swiss Post’s customer service, Raphael Tanner, Lead Conversation Design & IA Content Management commented: “Well-implemented, the chatbot can be a powerful tool, as more than 70% of our written inquiries are managed without human intervention. We understood that the parcel information request was the question generating the most traffic on our written channels. Thus, we were able to train our chatbot to solve a large portion of those inquiries.”
In addition to being direct and uncomplicated for clients, WhatsApp has strong benefits for the company as well, allowing for a better distribution of workload and a strategic delay in the response. Given the asynchronous nature of WhatsApp (and accessible messenger-type communication), it is reasonable to expect that anyone who communicates with a customer service agent via WhatsApp will be satisfied with a response within a few hours. Therefore, agents are able to handle more requests without sacrificing the quality of service or increasing their workload.
Additionally, all written communication between customers and Swiss Post is recorded in the Swiss Post CRM. Not only does this allow the company to keep track of all exchanges, but also provides deeper insights to employees by reviewing past engagements or parcel shipment status to track key success metrics. These include average handling times, number of requests, first contact resolution, and client satisfaction.
How does it work?
|1. WhatsApp chat is triggered from the Swiss Post Website||2. In a few seconds, a WhatsApp conversation is created||3. Onboarded by the chatbot with the ability to handover to an agent|
The value of asynchronous communication
According to Jens Rabe, COO at Unblu, “asynchronous communication achieved either via an in-application embedded Secure Messenger or a third-party application like WhatsApp has tremendous benefits for both clients and companies.
It changes the paradigm for immediate communication without impacting the client experience. Users are accustomed to having the ability to submit a question wherever and whenever, but are quite satisfied by only receiving an answer within a few hours. It is a great opportunity to scale the deployment of digital channels, and Swiss Post has understood this perfectly.”