In this weeks Leading the Way blog, we reflect on our partnership with customer engagement solution Webio and celebrate our recent joint win at the Credit & Collections Technology Awards.
Bristow & Sutor partnered with Webio last year to implement WhatsApp Business API as an inbound channel for customers to proactively reach out and find a resolution to their problem debt. This improved experiences by increasing the available options for communication, offering 24hour engagement and optimising internal performance.
Since this technology was implemented, it has been accessed and engaged with significantly, which has immediately improved outcomes for many debtors and promises to support many more in future, who feel more comfortable discussing their circumstances on platforms they recognise and when they have the power to instigate conversations and questions.
Webio uses the power of conversation AI to automate and blend chatbot and live agent-customer conversations across a multitude of messaging channels. Bristow & Sutor chose Webio as a technology partner as they allow connection to internal systems in real-time for identification processes. The associated robotic automation solutions provide customers with relevant answers to queries on topics including balance confirmations, payment dates, and complaints.
Since we launched Webio within the business, a two-way Conversational WhatsApp flow is now offered via the Bristow & Sutor website alongside additional functionality through automation, chatbots and API integrations. 78% of messages over the past year did not require human intervention to be resolved and consequently, agents within our business can now handle 3 times as many cases compared to responding via standard web chat.
How does this benefit clients and customers?
WhatsApp has over 30million users in the UK and since its implementation 12 months ago, engagement with the channel at Bristow & Sutor has grown to over 160,000 messages each month. This is not surprising when considering the appeal of message-based interaction, removing embarrassment associated with speaking about debt and overcoming barriers such as anxiety or vulnerability. This also represents a recognisable and safe environment for positive outcomes to be reached as conversations are often more open and relaxed when on a platform that somebody is comfortable with and used to.
Conversation threads capture chat history and keep conversations open, which improves the quality of responses and ensure key information is logged and remains accessible. Webio is fully configurable, allowing lots of digital channels through one common API. Moving content, embedding forms and treating data from all sources with the same level of quality is easy and now, due to the success of WhatsApp, Messenger has been added to our platform with the same chatbots and automation flows applied.
The Credit & Collections Technology Awards recognise, excellence and innovation in the UK credit and collections industry. These awards celebrate solutions and innovations in lending, credit and collections through a range of categories related to technological needs and support. The Fifth annual ceremony took place at the Midland Hotel in Manchester on Thursday 4th November and Bristow & Sutor were delighted to be in attendance after being shortlisted for several awards.
Bristow & Sutor and Webio were recognised on the night in the Innovation in Collections & Recoveries category, as well as the Best Use of Technology in Credit & Collections and finally winning the Digital Business Transformation award.
Our approach to new technology is always to be industry-leading, both for the benefit of our business and to contribute to the development of solutions that encourage better outcomes for people in problem debt. We will continue to partner with best-in-class solutions providers like Webio and remain fully committed to our ethos of being cool, calm and collected.