BECU, before their initial adoption of Conversational AI, was facing a problem: They may be the 4th largest credit union in the United States, but they still manage all of their own contact centers out of their home state of Washington. These contact centers are not 24/7, so users that had urgent questions about their finances outside of their normal operating hours were unable to receive help. “[Our members wanted] to be able to communicate with us when it’s convenient for them, not on our time, no matter where they happen to be,” explains Amie Bosshart, Digital Channel Manager at BECU. While asynchronous messaging was eventually added, users still could not expect to receive answers to their queries until the credit union’s operating hours resumed. However, this messaging platform was immediately very well-received by their members, as it allowed them to at least contact the credit union whenever they needed to. Now, BECU needed to simply find a way to give responses 24/7 as well…

Automation seemed like the perfect way forward for BECU, but their initial chatbot experience was through their own, house-designed bot made to automatically answer simple, “FAQ” type questions. This, too, was initially very well received, and as they continued to host the simple chatbot they tried to keep on top of new user requests by adding more content to the bot. However, eventually they reached a point where users were beginning to test the limits of what the bot was capable of doing, regardless of how much more new content was added. “Your bot can only ever be as good as the brain behind it” admitted Bosshart. Their bot began to drop in accuracy, users were unable to have their questions properly answered, and there was no way for them to easily access a human should they feel one is needed. It was clear to them that they would need more than just additional content to provide the digital customer service experience they had been hoping for.

They knew they needed to work with a vendor with experience creating Conversational AI for credit unions, who were capable of not just increasing the number of questions the bot was trained to answer but improving the quality of the AI itself. Finn AI was approached for this purpose: with a proven track record of providing credit unions with the ability to have intelligent, adaptable AI to answer user questions 24/7, it made sense to outsource the chatbot project this way. “We knew this new tool needed to integrate seamlessly into our existing messaging platform so there would be no change or impact for member experience, and we knew it needed to scale quickly,” said Bosshart, “that brings us to where we are today, at this current point four years later, as we begin our next evolution in our chatbot journey”. 

Now, BECU will leverage Finn AI’s content library, managed services, and banking-specific language model to provide an improved Conversational AI experience, while benefiting from the trust that their members already have in their existing chatbot implementation. 

Want to hear more from Amie and other Finn AI customers on their chatbot journeys? Check out this session from the Conversational Banking Summit 2021