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engaged customers


total interactions


total annual chats

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

First National Bank has a pan-African footprint as one of the “Big Four” banks in South Africa. FNB Zambia, a subsidiary of the bank, is a forward-thinking financial institution with high customer service standards. In addition to offering personal and commercial banking across 20 physical branches in Zambia, it also provides exemplary customer support across its social media channels.

As customer service needs grew, the bank’s live customer service team had difficulty maintaining their high service standards, leading to long wait times. The bank optimized support with Proto’s AICX Platform on its website and social channels, resulting in an 820x reduction in customer wait times and higher customer satisfaction.

Challenge: Keeping up with live chats on social


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.

Process: Fine-tuning automated chat


Proto worked with FNB Zambia to train the chatbot using existing queries on the bank’s social channels, with subsequent real-time training based on new consumer chat histories.

Over time, this resulted in continuous improvements to the chatbot's understanding that enabled it to automate a high volume of simple consumer queries, freeing up live agents’ time to focus on more complex issues for memorable customer experiences to drive retention and growth.

After the launch in November, FNB Zambia introduced a new vendor payment system to allow vendors to submit invoices for payment via their Supplier Portal and view the status of their invoice 24/7, with instant access to remittance details for more cost-effective payment reconciliation to streamline support across cross-functional teams.

The Proto team has continued to provide support to FNB Zambia, working with their customer service lead to modify live agent support availability windows to ensure timely, efficient service at scale.

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Solution: Best-in-class support at scale


FNB Zambia now uses Proto’s AI Customer Experience (AICX) solution on Facebook, automating basic customer queries and escalating urgent cases requiring human attention to live agents. The platform collects all relevant case details for agents to review, and allows the team to understand, monitor, and optimize the customer journey with comprehensive customer profiles that summarize customer pain points across their chat history.

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 while the bank maintains its high standards for service quality.

Enhanced security features allow the bank to scale automated chat safely on social, with sophisticated security measures to mitigate the risk to sensitive personal data.


reduction in customer wait time

Proto’s AICX Platform 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 500k messages with an average of over 24k messages per month.

FNB Zambia can continue to provide best-in-class support across social channels, and can now look forward to expanding their reach across new channels as well. The solution centralizes help desk support, ticket management, complaint management, and more for a comprehensive solution that sets the bank apart as a customer-centric institution.

About Proto

Proto is the leading generative AI platform for local customer experience. Powered by GPT and its own proprietary AI engine, Proto's AI Customer Experience (AICX) Platform automates transactions, tickets, bookings, and other high-volume interactions for local and mixed languages across text, voice and 20+ messaging channels. Proto is globally-recognized for its inclusive AICX solutions across the government, financial, health and transport industries.