nib launches industry-first 24/7 voicebot in Australia

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nib has become the first health insurer in Australia to launch a 24/7 voicebot leveraging cloud-based contact centre, Amazon Connect and artificial intelligence platform, Rasa.

The company said the voice-based bot, also known as 'nibby voice', is another step in their digital-first ambition. It said it is investing in new technology to help automate simple conversations, improve operational efficiencies, and enhance the member experience.

The voicebot is the first point of contact for members when they call nib’s contact centre. It can perform tasks like privacy checks, which can involve asking the member for their policy number, as well as date of birth and postcode before transferring them to a consultant.

The new voicebot is built on Amazon Connect and uses Amazon Lex, an Amazon Web Services AI-service for building conversational interfaces into any application using voice and text.

nibby voice also leverages Rasa, an open-source enterprise-grade conversational AI platform that uses automatic speech recognition, natural language understanding and machine learning-powered dialogue management to ascertain a caller’s intent and perform tasks like changing a password or requesting an account balance.

According to nib chief information officer Brendan Mills, “In its first month alone, we saw a 9% reduction in call volumes because nibby voice resolved our members’ enquiries on the spot or directed them to our other self-service alternatives, including our mobile app, online services, or website.

“A good example of this is during our usually busy tax time period where we had a 13% reduction in calls related to tax statements reaching agents thanks to nibby voice’s self-service solutions."

nib said has also seen a reduction in the time it takes to manage enquires for health insurance members. It said that in 70 per cent of cases, nibby voice could immediately identify a member’s policy based on their phone number and more than half of calls were already authenticated before they reached our consultants.

“This allows our consultants to focus on servicing our member’s needs right away, while members can spend less time on the phone to us and more time focusing on their day-to-day activities,” said Mr Mills.

The launch of nibby voice is an extension of nib’s chatbot, nibby chat, which was launched in 2017 and has now become an important member communication channel.

“In the last financial year, nibby chat had almost 220,000 chats with members, an increase of 33% on the previous year, and was able to resolve 65% of interactions on-the-spot without directing members to a consultant. Not to mention, nibby chat also received the highest net promoter score across all our nib Group member channels,” said Mr Mills.

“Prior to June this year, only around 10% of our consultants were using Amazon Connect, so to move the remaining 90% across in a matter of months is a great milestone. This ensures our member data is kept secure offering compute power, database storage, content delivery, and other functionality to help us deliver personalised experiences.”