NIVA - New Intelligent Virtual Agent
The virtual agent NIVA can simulate human intelligence processes such as voice recognition and natural language processing (NLP). It is a conversational software program that uses artificial intelligence to address and respond to customer queries.
A better customer experience
NIVA is powered by AI technology, enabling it to understand user language, mimic human conversations, ask more questions to identify a query and direct the conversation to a human agent as questions become more complex. The service is powered by Google Text to Speech, AWS orchestration and conversation management and Azure Text to Speech.
NIVA has enabled our customer service to be always open 24/7/365 since October 3rd 2021. It has successfully been answering 10 000 phone calls/day and resolves about 20–25 percent of their issues. Customers do not need to make choices based upon dial tones and can be connected directly to a suitable agent based upon the speech/conversation, if unresolved by NIVA. It is able to find shipment IDs by the connected phone number and provide information about a shipment status once the customer has confirmed their details. The service currently speaks Swedish and understands English but is able to learn any other language within days. Not only that, it is able to answer an unlimited number of calls simultaneously.
All information captured between a customer and NIVA is provided to a customer service agent.
Diminishing waiting times
We don’t want any of our customers to wait. Therfore, we are introducing NIVA chat/text to seamlessly deal with all of our online customers and diminish waiting times. This service will use the same logic as NIVA speech but will communicate in text online. Our customers don't have to wait by the phone or in a browser to talk directly with a customer service representative. NIVA text/chat can manage expectations and inform customers when and how CS will be able to get back to them. For example, they will say “An agent will look at your case and you should have a response in approx. xx-yy min”.
The service understands customer intent and is able to provide personalized answers based upon conversation. It is able to interact with customers in a human-like way and perform the more repetitive tasks, escalating the highly complex chats to human agents. The majority of customers expect agents to respond in less than 10 minutes and so NIVA text/chat enables us to maintain a good customer experience online by quickly responding to customers’ questions.
Support for customer service
In the Nordic countries, a total of about 500 people deal with PostNord customers in need of service on a daily basis. In Sweden around 300 people are needed to handle one day of incoming traffic in customer service, and Mikael Myhrberg provides assurance that no full-time customer service staff will be replaced by Niva. On the contrary:
“Niva is a great assistant that works 24/7 all year around; she keeps providing support when staff go on vacation or sickness leave, during peak periods and so on.”
We will release NIVA text/chat on https://www.postnord.se/kundservice-faq Q1 2023.