Belfius, one of the leading Belgian banks, is firmly committed to digital innovation and providing a top notch customer service. Can these ambitions be translated into a solution that provides answers to customers’ questions at any time of the day?
Belfius worked with three partners to create a chatbot that answers frequently asked questions about credit cards and —in the future— all areas of banking. To bring Bbot to life and give it unique style and personality, we developed the effective conversation flows, starting with thorough analysis and strategy.
We made sure that the chatbot embodies the values of Belfius: it must be dynamic, authentic and reliable. The conversation should be as natural as a chat with a bank employee, but users must not be misled into thinking that they are talking to a real person. To strike that balance, we organised a workshop to determine Bbot’s identity.
As an effect, we gave Bbot its own voice, style and story. It is young, fresh, feminine, empathetic and refreshingly humorous at times. And it has a name, of course: Bbot, short for ‘Belfius bot’. Apart from that, Bbot has a logo and a lingo that even includes a filler word: “great”.
The fee calculator allows you to quickly calculate the transaction fee you will have to pay if you withdraw cash with your credit card in another currency.
Thanks to the quick reply buttons, users don’t always have to type their answers themselves.
Bbot also provides short instructional videos and visuals of customised WebView components.
Instead of searching in the extensive FAQ section of the website, users can ask their questions to the bot. The difficulty there is that Bbot has to recognise and 'interpret' these questions in order to give the right answers. The technology that makes this happen is called 'natural language processing'. A clever algorithm supporting Bbot will try to find out the intent of a user’s question.
Bbot is a machine that recognises words, but it also gets smarter as it goes along. Bbot uses past conversations to learn to link questions to the right intent. Of course, the Belfius team can also train the bot by correcting intent recognition errors in case similar questions arise in the future. So the more you use Bbot, the smarter it gets.
We deliberately chose to introduce Bbot for credit card questions only. Starting small by picking one channel and one subject will allow the bot to quickly collect enough specific data to become smarter. The bot can then be extended to other areas – questions about online payments, debit card issues and so on – and to channels other than Facebook Messenger, such as the Belfius website and app.