Langley Offers ‘Leigh’ Way To Boost Member Service

Easily deployed chatbot learns as it goes, saved several thousand phone calls in its first weeks.

 
 

Kristi Forehand, Contact Center Director, Langley FCU

Langley Federal Credit Union ($3.4B, Newport News, VA) is not quite three months into the live use of a self-service chatbot but has seen enough to say it’s off to a good start.

The Tidewater cooperative launched Leigh — the name given the digital question-taker that appears on the lower right-hand corner of its website — on May 11 and in the first seven weeks saw it used more than 6,700 times.

“We believe member reactions are favorable as it provides a quick resource tool for them,” says Kristi Forehand, director of Langley’s contact center, whose staffers took 6,700 or so fewer calls than they would have without that feature.

Providing Another Layer Of Self-Service Tools

“Leigh” as a creative derivative of Langley

Langley FCU launched Leigh as a tool for members to ask questions quickly and conveniently. It adds another layer of self service by providing answers and links so members can do more without physical assistance from a representative on the phone or in a branch.

“We were trying to find a creative derivative of Langley,” Forehand says. “Leigh is neutral and easy to remember and sounds friendlier than simply call it a chatbot or digital assistant.” 



Launching Leigh Softly, Then The Marketing

Members provide data on frequently-asked questions

Langley did an initial soft launch to provide breathing room for handling minor implementation issues. That was followed by an email campaign and mention in the cooperative’s newsletter a few weeks later.

“It’s still too early to tell what overall usage will eventually be, and we’re looking forward to receiving more data,” Forehand says. “The top questions asked are about payment information, how to get to an agent, how to sign into online banking, and locations.”

Combining Talents To Create The Tool

A learning curve flattened in no time flat

4 Tips for Chatbot Success

Kristi Forehand, contact center director at Langley FCU, shares a few best practices gleaned from the first several weeks they’ve been live with Leah, their online banking chatbot.

  • Have a cross section of subject matter experts from multiple departments.
  • When testing, be sure to have people ask questions from the member’s perspective.
  • Test along the way and from the very beginning so you can learn quickly from mistakes in coding.
  • Send feedback to your provider regularly, and have check-in points, to help ensure communication and develop system enhancements.

The contact center team’s subject matter experts chose topics, questions, and responses. The marketing team created the look of the bot, set up website connectivity, and handled member and staff notifications.

“Not much of learning curve was needed. The implementation process was rather simple,” Forehand says.  “All the design is done through Coda Google Docs, and Posh provides a template with detailed instructions on how to build responses.” 

Initial Testing In A Closed, Single Environment

Now, 3-stage process provides quick production, no disruption

Initial testing was done with contact center staff and the credit union’s member experience designer. Having just one testing environment made it a bit cumbersome.

“That has changed significantly since going live,” Forehand says. “Now, as changes are made in Coda, we can test at each stage — development, staging, and production — before pushing the changes to the live environment. We can do it all quickly without interrupting member service.”

Expanding Capabilities In A Deepening Engagement

Artificial intelligence to help integrate with IVR

The cooperative plans to expand Leigh’s capabilities as it deepens its engagement with POSH, the provider of the chatbot and its AI technologies.

“Ultimately, we’d like to increase its knowledge base and expand it behind the firewall where the artificial intelligence can provide the same answers to member questions that they would receive in our IVR with POSH,” Forehand says.

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