News : Hippo.co.za Introduces Chatbot for Web Interactions
Johannesburg, South Africa, Feb, 2018 -- Hippo.co.za has introduced a chatbot to engage with and respond to customer queries on its Web site.
According to the financial products comparison company, the chatbot, named Siah, uses artificial intelligence (AI) to provide customers with a quotation on any of the financial services products on the company's Web site. It also responds to frequently asked insurance questions.
Siah asks the same basic underwriting questions that a contact centre agent would ask a customer who requests a quote. These are questions relating to the customer's date of birth, vehicle details, how long they have had insurance for etc, in order to establish a client's risk profile and provide multiple quotes to choose from, adds Hippo.co.za.
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Vera Nagtegaal, executive head of Hippo.co.za, says the number one reason for deploying a chatbot in the insurance industry is time availability.
"So much of insurance is about answering frequently asked questions and then crunching the numbers relating to a specific query or claim. This can be done effectively and efficiently by AI. The chatbot is built based on a third party AI recognition system that allows us to integrate our quoting engine and also general flows in terms of frequently asked questions and glossaries."
The online comparison platform, she adds, is all about functional benefits such as saving time and ease of use. Siah's quote comparison process is driven by the same quoting engine as the normal Web site functionality.
"Siah helps us extend this offering even further, whereby it can provide consumers multiple quotes but also answers additional information during the process, without clients having to click through different pages to search for this information."
Hippo.co.za says it is planning on expansion of Siah into Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and other social media channels has already been started and customers can expect to engage with the chatbot on any social media platform soon.
Introducing a chatbot on a product comparison site is more complex compared to having one on a normal company Web site, explains Nagtegaal.
"It is definitely more challenging on a comparison site. On a company Web site, there is a set product category and flow that products will fall into. On a comparison Web site there needs to be specific flows for each section and the products within those sections, i.e. a user can ask one question about a specific brand/function of car insurance and the next on life insurance, whereby the bot needs to source this information from a different product flow process."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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