Southeastern handles 80% of customer interactions through ServiceNow Virtual Agent
Southeastern partnered with UP3 to dramatically reduce deflections and boost customer experience using ServiceNow’s AI-powered Virtual Agent.
Southeastern Railway operates one of the busiest networks in the country running over 1,600 trains a day, carrying 400,000+ passengers into London from Kent and East Sussex. Their Customer Service Management system plays a fundamental role in customer relationships, ensuring Southeastern has access to the data required to manage and quickly act on feedback from customers. Southeastern has been a UP3 ServiceNow Managed Service customer since 2021. The team at UP3 manage their instance of ServiceNow and have built applications to automate processes to improve their customer experience including automating their Delay Repay process.
ServiceNow Implementation, ServiceNow Managed Service
ServiceNow CSM, ServiceNow ITSM, UP3 Rail Compensation Product, UP3 Rail Fraud Product, Virtual Agent
Southeastern have seen a clear trend in recent years that customer contact is relying more and more on digital platforms. In 2023 digital contact had grown to cover 63% of Southeastern’s customer outreach, with that number predicted to grow to 78% in the next year. The Customer Service team were looking for a way to empower customers to self-serve, giving them access to the answers they needed quickly and easily, while reducing pressure on their call centre agents, freeing them up to handle more complex customer queries.
Having worked with Southeastern for a number of years, manging their instance of ServiceNow, UP3 were able to quickly understand the challenges the organisation faced and what they were trying to achieve, and recommend the best way to solve this using ServiceNow.
UP3 recommended implementing ServiceNow Virtual Agent and embedding it in the Southeastern website, as the channel that customers use to contact Southeastern. Southeastern were already licensed for Virtual Agent with their ServiceNow provision, and it could be integrated with their existing ServiceNow platform right out of the box.
By providing robust data from their call centres around the topics customers were most frequently asking about, the UP3 team built out user stories to build the Virtual Agent conversation flows. This data was used to configure the Virtual Agent, meaning that at launch it was already tailored to service the specific needs of Southeastern customers, using its AI to identify keywords and phrases and then return the correct information to customers.
It was also really important to Southeastern that customers have access to a real person at every step of the process, and this option was built into every stage of the Virtual Agent journey.
Once Virtual Agent had been helping customers for a few months, UP3 updated it with an enhancement release, upgrading its topics and keywords to make it more relevant to customers, and adding in a new topic around industrial action. These enhancements were all built into Southeastern’s ServiceNow roadmap and sprints and were implemented as part of the UP3 ServiceNow Managed Service.
Since going live, 80% of Southeastern's digital customer interactions have been resolved through the Virtual Agent, with only 20% of requests needing to be passed to a real person due to the complexity of the query. This is a testament to how quickly and easily Virtual Agent serves customers, since the majority of customers were served by the Virtual Agent without feeling the need to be routed to a live agent. With 21,000 interactions handled in 8 months, Virtual Agent has significantly reduced pressure on call centre agents, and improved customer service by empowering customers to quickly and easily self-serve. Southeastern continues to collect overwhelmingly positive feedback related to customer’s interaction with the Virtual Agent.
Already there is a plan to work with UP3 to roll out Virtual Agent to more pages on the Southeastern website, to assist with more processes like buying tickets. Additionally, it is going to be implemented onto the Southeastern App so that customers have access to the Virtual Agent on every possible channel and can engage with this valuable self-serving tool at any time.
"I love this service. I was able to get the information I needed quickly and easily."
“UP3 have always been a valuable ServiceNow partner for Southeastern. We’ve worked with them for a number of years, so they truly understand our organisation and what we’re trying to achieve. The implementation of Virtual Agent is the latest way we’ve been able to take advantage of the functionality within ServiceNow, using its AI capabilities to provide a seamless and positive experience for our customers.”
“Virtual Agent is already a vital customer service tool for us, helping our customers quickly and easily get accurate information to address their queries. With UP3 making ongoing improvements, we’re excited to roll it out further and continue to drive an exceptional experience for our customers.”
Engaging the UP3 Managed Service has enabled Southeastern to reduce their backlog.Read now
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