Lisa, can you fill my gas tank?
Butagaz and Zaion have created Lisa, the world’s first voicebot to enable voice shopping … to fill your gas tank. It has been functional since the start of summer and is well received by customers.
This summer (2019), two French companies have successfully launched a world first: to enable ordering, in natural language, restocking or filling of your gas tank. Lisa is the name of this voicebot imagined by Butagaz, multi-energy supplier and services, in collaboration with Zaion, the company that can no longer be called a start-up.
Butagaz and the obsession with the customer experience
The evolution of customer expectations, and the development of the use of conversational language led Butagaz to develop a new ordering system, boosted by artificial intelligence, to meet customers gas needs 24/7 thanks to a simple and fast solution. Agnès Testard, Director of Customer Experience, who worked on this project, knows what she is talking about. Her rich career in telecoms (at a major operator) allowed her to master the Alpha and Omega Client so that it remains at the heart of the strategy of Butagaz to differentiate itself from its competitors for more than 85 years!
“We wanted to use this artificial intelligence tool to meet changing customer expectations, including a real need for ordering 24/7 and an adaptation to these new conversational uses. Lisa is enriching our contact path” she says.
Zaion imagined and developed Lisa
The start-up Zaion, who has already designed voicebots for actors of insurance or public service has, on this basis, created Lisa. “Lisa is like a virtual voice assistant who speaks in natural language with the customer who calls her, she understands and reformulates the request in order to understand the essential elements and then ensures the back office tasks necessary for the request to be processed” says Khalid Achiakh, commercial director of the company. “A true virtual advisor, using the capabilities of artificial intelligence to improve her knowledge of the context, keywords and meaning of the most frequent requests, Lisa is not an IVR in natural language, a function that is often assigned to the bot and that leaves this feeling of dehumanization, but a quasi-assistant with whom you can interact with 24/7.”
“In the public imagination, chatbots and voicebots perform repetitive, low value-added tasks. We are talking about order taking in a complex market, which is new and shows that we must not oppose the progress of AI and the human. They are growing more and more to complement each other and to combine, in a harmonious way.”
“The know-how necessary to successfully carry out these types of projects are multiple: it is necessary to have a team of engineers and experienced developers, a real mastery in project management and a very good knowledge of telecom specificities and contact centre practices “adds Franz Fodere, founder of the company.
The market for voice commerce and voice shopping is estimated at $ 40 billion by 2022 according to OC & C. This explains the interest of brands in the implementation of voice assistants and voicebots.
A unique project
The Lisa project has been operational since the beginning of the summer and has already registered almost 4000 orders from Butagaz customers. Which for some of them develop a very natural link with the tool saying for example “goodbye Madam” or “thank you Madam” at the end of the order.
“As soon as it seems necessary to us, for example with regard to certain customer questions, these funds can be transferred to expert Customer Advisors of the order taking. It is a very good complement to improve the care of our customers “says Agnès Testard.
Butagaz settles with this service innovation as a key player in the highly competitive, energy market. The company that belongs to the Irish group DCC already has nearly 5 million customers in all its activities: liquid gas (propane and butane), electricity, natural gas and wood pellets. She has made the Customer experience, the energy transition and innovation one of its strong markers, particularly focusing on a localization in France (in Amiens) of its Customer service.
Passing a command for gas with the voicebot Lisa, what is happening?
Bruno Sperry, Zaion operations manager and Marie Chantal Phéné, Business Development Manager, detail the sequence of operations and interactions that Lisa manages.
“The first step is to identify and then authenticate the person who interacts with the bot. For this, either the web services thankfully allows us to recognise the telephone number and this identifies them or it is necessary to ask the customer in order to know their customer reference. The expertise in voice recognition and isolated numbers and letters is one of the first complexities. The qualification of the request having been made upstream (filling a tank), it is the precise nature of the need and the quantity of gas to be added to the tank that matters. The customer of Butagaz must specify at that time the filling status of its tank (its gauge allows it to do so) and the expression of this information is unique to each. Some consumers say that half, a quarter, others speak in kilograms, litres of gas or in percentage. The Zaion solution validates the relevance of this information. This is key because one could otherwise deliver a ton while the remaining capacity of the tank is 500 kilos. The command can then intervene, knowing that by default, they will aim to fill the tank. The customer validates this or Lisa offers an alternative.
Then begins the verification of the telephone number of the customer who will receive an SMS 48h before the delivery and conditions of accessibility to the tank.
Can the truck turn around? Is there a small truck? Is your presence essential?
The order is recorded and the conversation ends with the verification of the email address for the confirmation of the order.
This information is then automatically transmitted to Butagaz’s information system (IS) “.
Zaion, a French company specialized in the development of callbots, completed in less than two years some well noticed projects: besides this first voicebot which enables vocal shopping, it has already created and installed Adèle for the Crous of Paris (to answer the FAQs from students) and Leo the 100% health callbot for Generali.
(the latter answers questions related to health reform that will come into effect on January 1, 2020). Following a global call for tenders that Zaion has won, its voice assistants are also deployed by brands in Germany, Belgium and the Czech Republic. Time to Talk, their signature, reflects a distinctive philosophy to which their founder is attached. “Business associates can and should be freed from repetitive tasks to focus on value-added conversations.” The company has raised 3 million euros since its inception and has already developed and installed more than 25 callbots. It is a sponsor of the 1st Forum in France dedicated to the customer experience: Customer Experience, the French Forum and presented in October the deployment of a voicebot for Eau de Paris.