Natural language is the way we wanted to engage with customers
Since 2014, La Poste Group has been pursuing its strategic plan "La Poste 2020: Conquering the future" to bring the human factor and trust to the heart of customer relations. Thanks to the convergence of its physical and digital networks, La Poste wants to be present for everyone, everywhere, every day and support its customers to help with their future. The Services - Mail - Parcels branch is part of this digital transformation strategy, thanks in particular to the overhaul of the services offered to its BtoB customers.
Meeting with Simone Sampieri, Mail Marketing Director, La Poste Group.
Convinced that companies need to save time and efficiency, La Poste has launched its "Mail Assistant", a unique platform that brings together all the services related to mail management (relational, commercial, etc.), with exclusive tools and advice.
It is a real personal assistant for companies, accessible 24/7, offering simplified access to mail services and providing concrete answers to very operational questions such as:
The consultation of the rates for sending letters is one of the first reasons for visiting the Enterprise website. Before the deployment of the Pricing Chatbot, corporate customers had a 90-page pricing guide that was not the easiest to use, "especially for non-expert profiles" explains Simone Sampieri. "We wanted to innovate by simplifying the search for information and offering a differentiating customer experience".
The chatbot answers all your questions about the rates for sending mail. All the user has to do is indicate the name of the product he is looking for or, if necessary, explain what he wants to send, to obtain the price list. This simplifies customer experience, instant exchange and access to complex data. If the bot is asked a topic he does not know about, he proposes to contact a customer advisor, relaying an omni-channel commercial relationship.
In addition to these main features, the chatbot is able to provide a 1st level of information on how to implement solutions, to facilitate the user's navigation to complete descriptions of offers and additional elements that will help him/her make decisions (customer testimonials, business cases...).
"In this project, our priority has been to guarantee ease of use and natural access to complex data such as company rates" explains Simone Sampieri. While at the beginning, the teams were considering a more traditional approach such as the creation of an online configurator, "the exploitation and recognition of natural language proposed by chatbots seemed to us to be the best solutions to achieve our objective", says Simone Sampieri.
"On the other hand, we are seeing that the need for instant exchanges for our customers is becoming more and more present and is even becoming predominant in the daily business relationship" she adds. With this in mind, the use of chat technology with artificial intelligence has emerged as an interesting solution to simplify customer relations and enhance customer satisfaction.
In an Open Innovation initiative, La Poste has partnered with Botfuel, a "French start-up already benefiting from interesting feedback with many references" says S. Sampieri. But what attracted La Poste's teams was above all the advanced functionalities of the Botfuel platform, which are essential to "maintain a natural conversation despite a very wide range of offers that potentially complicate exchanges".
"From the outset, we were able to establish an excellent synergy between our Marketing and Botfuel teams in a dynamic of project coverage and exchange on each of our areas of expertise," says Simone Sampieri. In order to carry out this project, La Poste has set up a multidisciplinary team comprising Marketing, customer advisers and IT profiles. By following an Agile methodology, allowing the delivery and testing of new developments every week, the chatbot was deployed in 5 months.
"In this first version of the Chatbot, we were able to integrate nearly 45 offers with sometimes numerous pricing terms." The rest of the project now consists, on the one hand, in further developing the scope of offers and tariffs to provide an ever more exhaustive service to customers; on the other hand, in pursuing the continuous optimization of the chatbot to generate ever more leads for sales representatives.
As a real lever to innovate and respond to current business issues, new technologies create value "both for the Customer Experience, as well as for the optimization of existing processes or the implementation of new business models for our Mail Services Division/Post Office Group", says S. Sampieri.
At the heart of these new technologies, artificial intelligence applications will enable the automation of repetitive tasks and a more fluid and personalized customer experience. This will allow us to focus our energies on more complex and higher value-added activities. "The human being will therefore remain central to this strategy," concludes Simone Sampieri.