Ensuring seamless and all-channel communication with customers is vital for State Farm, more so during the ongoing global Pandemic. It’s important to let customers know that State Farm is always accessible and is actively trying to help. Just like a good neighbor, but with social distancing.

There are 3 key pain points to building a seamless and personal connection with customers, as well as reducing customer response wait time –

  1. Currently, State Farm is accessible only through a very limited number of communication media(predominantly through customer service lines).
  2. Existing communication media can be easily overwhelmed by the increasing number of customer queries during this pandemic.
  3. Precious agent time is spent fulfilling simple customer tasks that can and should be automated.

Our solution:

  1. Make State farm agents/customer care accessible through ALL means of communication (Calls, SMS, Social media – FB Messenger, Twitter, etc.), Messaging platforms – Whatsapp, WeChat, etc.)
  2. Add intelligence to communication – Answer common scenario questions with AI to enable customer representatives to better spend their time to solve more urgent/complex questions.
  3. Intelligent common task automation - leverage AI to understand intents of customer requests and complete the tasks that do not require a human touch (what’s my deductible, reset my login).



How does it work:

  1. The interface to ‘All communication platforms’:
    Jack is accessible through ‘All communication platforms’ by leveraging Chatbot interfaces as a medium of communication. The idea is that customers will reach out to a chatbot interface (Which we have created on all communication platforms), and chat with Jack. Jack will use AI to answer as many queries as possible. But if there is any query that Jack can’t handle / or the customer insists on connecting with a State Farm agent, Jack will seamlessly connect the customer to an available State Farm agent through the same interface. For the customer, this will be a seamless and easy experience, as behind the scenes, Jack will handle all routing of messages between customer and State Farm.
  2. Connecting with State Farm agents:
    For State Farm agents, onboarding process is equally easy - Message Jack and get registered as Agent. Then, Jack will add the Agent to a ‘Pool of available agents’. When a customer asks Jack to connect him/her with an agent, Jack will select an agent from this pool.
  3. Call prioritization:
    When a customer calls State Farm helpline, he/she first interacts with Jack (An Automated system). Jack listens to customer queries and tries to provide automated answers. If automated answer is not possible, the customer is added to a queue. The order of the customer in this queue depends on: Urgency / Important of the query (Decided by Jack using NLP) Time since the customer is on the call (To prevent a scenario where a customer from waiting forever)
  4. Automated answers on call:
    If a customer’s query can be answered using AI, Jack asks the customer to hang up the call and sends back an SMS with the correct answer, and links relevant to the query

Technology:

Twilio (For programable Chatbots,  Voice calls)</br>
Flask (Primary backend)</br>
IBM Cloudant (Backend DB)</br>
IBM Cloud - Hosting (VM)


Chat / Voice interfaces:
We use Twilio to create chatbots on multiple messaging platforms. This chatbot interface is our communications interface with Jack. Voice calls use Twilio's programmable voice interface.
Backend:
Our backend is a Flask based Microservice hosted on IBM Cloud. All messaging routing, AI / NLP is built in Flask app as a microservice.
AI:
We use Numpy - Spacy along with Twilio ML for our AI

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  1. Building microservices-based backend to achieve scalability
  2. Making the product + demo work!

What we learned

  1. Handling Voice calls programmatically
  2. Building a single interface/backend for chatbots on multiple platforms

Jack is now live!!

Join Whatsapp sandbox by sending 'join prove-account' to +1 (415) 523-8886
Or call +12056354001
Note - These numbers may not work as Twilio keeps blocking our account due to numerous IP addresses being used for Trial account

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