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Optique Optometrists clinics deploy Proto’s chatbot to serve patients across South Africa


min read

Optique Optometrists clinics deploy Proto’s AI-enabled patient experience solution to make eyecare more accessible in South Africa.

With 23 clinics across South Africa, Optique Optometrists needed a way to scale its multilingual customer support capability while making its appointment booking system more available and efficient. The core of Optique’s business philosophy is providing accessible eyecare with subsidized testing that puts patient needs first. As a result, there is an influx of patients from diverse demographic backgrounds, who use non-English languages and messaging apps such as WhatsApp for daily communication. Reaching these patients with a localized, omnichannel chatbot was the key to scalability.

Optique’s search for a multilingual CX automation provider arrived at Proto’s free trial for health clinics, which met the requirements for South African languages as well as messaging channels such as WhatsApp, SMS, Messenger and Webchat. Proto’s AI Customer Experience (AICX) solution for clinics allowed for the 24/7 automation of appointment booking and pricing and clinic-specific queries. 

In just the first month of deployment, Proto fully automated 28% of Optique’s appointment bookings, freeing up patient support agents to handle more complex requests. Over the coming months, Optique plans to expand the chatbot into the Afrikaans, Zulu and Xhosa languages with Proto’s proLocal™ natural language processing engine.

Optique’s CEO Leon van Vuuren said: “Proto’s chatbot gives Optique the ability to answer queries any time of the day or night quickly, as well as assisting patients to book appointments no matter their choice of communication channel. What stood out most engaging with Proto is the support we received every step of the way in our vision of making great customer service a reality.”
Proto’s CEO Curtis Matlock said: “Optique’s vision of accessible eyecare for every South African aligns 20/20 with Proto’s mission to offer inclusive customer experiences in Africa’s languages. Following deployment, our service to Optique and its clinic network will continue to focus on local language accuracy so Optique can maximise its human resources.”

Contact info

Contact: Patience Mutesi, Director of Africa

About us

Optique Optometrists is a nationwide chain of optometry clinics serving customers across South Africa. Optique Optometrists is dedicated to providing accessible eye care with subsidised eye testing that puts patient needs first. The clinics offer eye exams, frames, lenses, and contacts at affordable prices in 23 locations across the country.

Proto is the leader for inclusive chatbots and 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 rare languages. Proto's novel deep-learning techniques and regulatory partnerships maximise customer experience, protection, and lifetime value.

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