The Baloise Group is more than just a traditional insurance company. The changing security, safety and service needs of society in the digital age lie at the heart of its business activities. The 7,900 or so employees of Baloise therefore focus on the wishes of their customers. The best possible customer service, combined with innovative products and services, makes Baloise the first choice for people who want to feel ‘simply safe’. Located at the heart of Europe, with its head office in Basel, the Baloise Group is a provider of prevention, pension, assistance and insurance solutions. Its core markets are Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg. In Switzerland, the Group also operates as a specialised financial services provider, offering a combination of insurance and banking services. The Group offers innovative pension products to retail customers throughout Europe from its competence centre in Luxembourg. Bâloise Holding Ltd shares are listed in the main segment of the SIX Swiss Exchange.
If a customer selects ‘other’ when calling customer services, what exactly is it that they need? A simple proof of insurance, or maybe support from the claims department? Baloise has launched a new digital virtual assistant to optimise its triage system and reduce redirections and associated waiting times. It complements the selection structure and asks the caller about their enquiry. If the assistant believes the call relates to a claim, it transfers the customer to the relevant department. Around 40 percent of all German-language enquiries for the non-life department are now transferred via the virtual assistant. “The voice recognition software has proven its worth on three levels,” says Beate Hofferbert-Junge, Head of Non-life Customer Services. “Customers who state their query to the assistant are less likely to be manually redirected and in 85 percent of cases reach the appropriate expert first time. This reduces any additional waiting time for the customers and for members of the customer service team. The customer service team can also see in a window what the customer stated as their query, so they immediately know what the matter relates to, can offer the customer more targeted assistance and open the right system before the customer is put through, for example.” The virtual assistant also provides Baloise with a detailed picture of the specific customer concerns being voiced. “We aim to use this data to further improve the customer experience and our efficiency,” Hofferbert-Junge adds.
Voice is the interface of the future
In line with its Simply Safe strategy, Baloise continually invests in enhancing its customer focus and simplifying customer interactions. The virtual assistant enables Baloise to identify specific customer concerns and offer the most appropriate solution, thus adding a digital dimension to its personal service. In the future, direct call-forwarding and solutions utilising the myBaloise customer portal, messaging via EasyAsk and voice-recorded forms will all help to reduce the burden on customer services and free up time for value-adding dialogue. “Voice is widely considered to be the interface of the future. Voice assistants such as Siri and Alexa are becoming commonplace, and more and more people are speaking messages rather than typing them. The virtual assistant is our first, small step towards this voice-activated, hands-free and voice-first world,” says Klaus Rieger, Head of the DataLab at Baloise. The application is currently only used in Switzerland and when customers select ‘German’ as the language. French is set to follow at a later stage. The interactive virtual assistant is the product of a collaboration between Swiss language technology specialists Spitch and IT service provider NTT DATA.
Spitch is a global provider of B2B and B2C Conversational AI solutions, headquartered in Switzerland with a presence in many countries across Europe and North America. Spitch helps enterprises to better understand and serve their customers through the use of Natural Language Processing (NLP), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning.
About NTT DATA
NTT DATA – a part of NTT Group – is a trusted global innovator of IT and business services headquartered in Tokyo. NTT DATA helps its clients transform through consulting, industry solutions, business process services, digital & IT modernization and managed services.