ENMAX Encompass Customers Embrace AI Self-Service for Payments
Success by the Numbers
a live agent
With a customer base of 690,000 and growing, Alberta-based utilities company ENMAX Encompass began to explore self-service options. In addition to customer care agents who were easily accessible over the phone and live chat, they wanted to give their customers the power of choice to engage and transact in any channel.
But for complex use cases such as negotiating payment arrangements, some members of the ENMAX team felt that live agents should handle customer requests for payment extensions. Conversely, others saw this as a perfect opportunity for conversational AI self-service—why not let technology take the burden off the customer and allow for more time to pay their utility bill? Why make them wait to speak to a live agent?
The challenge then, was to find an always-available solution that would enable customers to easily resolve payment-related issues and adhere to ENMAX Encompass’s high standards for customer service.
After evaluating several conversational AI self-service vendors that met their criteria and integrated with their Genesys contact center infrastructure, ENMAX Encompass chose SmartAction for its subscription-based approach of delivering virtual agents as a service. For Wayne Calder, Director of Customer Projects and Programs at ENMAX Encompass, the decision to go with SmartAction wasn’t a cost decision—it was about the support.
With the SmartAction CX team handling the conversation design, implementation, and ongoing operation of their virtual agent, Calder didn’t have to search for or hire developers, designers, and project managers. Instead, he leveraged SmartAction’s expertise to design the optimal call flow, train conversational AI models for utilities-specific intents, and optimize over time.
SmartAction employs advanced NLU techniques that pattern-match audio input with expected intents for the highest word capture accuracy. Customers can interact with the virtual agent using natural language and say things like, “I need more time to pay my bill,” or “Can I make a payment with a credit card?” to resolve issues conversationally.
By implementing SmartAction’s conversational AI solution, ENMAX Encompass’s live agents no longer have to deal with high-volume, mundane call types. Calder adds, “We’re seeing great savings right out of the gate—and while we’re satisfied with the high call offload, there’s always room for improvement.”
With their recent Genesys migration project complete, they look forward to expanding use cases to their business customers, as well as adding additional capabilities for customer authentication and new product-sign-up. Through its close partnership with SmartAction, ENMAX Encompass holds true to their philosophy of providing customers with the power of choice.