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197K

total messages

96

new chats daily on average

44%

automated self-serve query resolution

20+

branches

"In the spirit of helpfulness, we are excited that we can serve our customers more efficiently in this way through our digital platforms. We are constantly challenging ourselves to re-imagine help by being more responsive to our customer’s needs and making our interactions helpful, easy and safe."
Kasali Mwaba Kaingu
Executive Head of Strategic Marketing and Communications, First National Bank

About FNB

First National Bank Zambia (FNBz) is a part of the FNB Banking group that provides financial services across Africa. Offering both personal and commercial banking facilities, First National Bank Zambia boasts 20+ branches in Zambia, in addition to a very active social media presence.

About Proto

Proto is the leader for multilingual contact center automation in emerging markets. Proto’s AI Customer Experience (AICX) platform is powered by proprietary natural language processing (NLP) for under-resourced and mixed languages. The Proto team has successfully developed novel deep-learning techniques and regulatory partnerships to maximize consumer experience, protection, and lifetime value across 20+ emerging markets.

Problem

First National Bank Zambia held their customer experience reputation on social media channels to a very high standard, offering live service for all customer inquiries. They had previously accomplished this with a contact centre of roughly 7 team members, with 1-4 active at any given time. However, trying to keep up with the demands of one-on-one conversations led to long customer wait times.

Since most of the customer queries were very repetitive, it became apparent that they needed an automated solution to answer frequently asked questions across social channels, shifting contact centre focus to unique and pressing concerns that truly needed human attention.

More importantly, they also needed a 24/7 solution to help banking customers resolve their queries outside of office hours.

Solution

First National Bank Zambia launched Proto’s AI Customer Experience (AICX) solution on Facebook, automating responses to basic customer queries as well as handling live chat for cases that needed attention from live agents, replacing the bank’s previous live chat software.

Proto’s chatbot was trained with existing queries on the bank's social channels, with subsequent real-time training based on new consumer chat histories. This resulted in continuous improvements to the chatbot's understanding that enabled it to automate a high volume of consumer queries.

The chatbot automatically escalates urgent cases requiring human attention to live agents, collecting necessary information such as contact details in the process. Agents receive notifications via Proto's livechat feature during office hours, or via urgent emails to standby agents who provide service outside of normal work hours. With enough time and information to handle urgent cases, agent workloads have significantly reduced.

First National Bank Zambia now looks forward to extending their AICX solution to the next social channel, Twitter – and adding multilingual capabilities as well.

Results

Proto’s AI-enabled customer support delivered on FNB’s target metric for social channel support/engagement, equipping consumers to get their answers to queries as fast as possible. The chatbot responded to 4,366 queries within the first week of deployment in November 2022 and has since received over 196.8k messages, responding to an average of 36.7k messages per month.

820x

reduction in customer wait time with multilingual chatbot

5K

automated query resolutions since deployment

12K

chats since deployment

Approach

Conclusion

With the help of Proto's chatbot platform, FNB Zambia has managed to scale customer support more efficiently and allocate live support to cases where one-on-one assistance truly makes a difference. The bank was able to drastically reduce customer wait times and scale quality service in just one week.

FNB Zambia can continue to maintain their high standard of customer service across social channels, and can now look forward to expanding their reach across new channels as well.