In this case study, we show how Stadtwerke Düren uses the OMQ Chatbot to automate its customer service and make it more efficient. Stadtwerke Düren is an integrated energy service provider that supplies the city of Düren with electricity, gas and water. For customer service, the 280-employee company was already using the live chat system from Userlike. In order to answer customer questions even more efficiently, the existing chat system was to be expanded to include a chatbot. For this reason, Stadtwerke Düren approached OMQ to automate the “chat” communication channel.
The OMQ chatbot was integrated within a few hours and was immediately operational afterwards. We’ve been answering more than half of our customer queries automatically in real time ever since.
- Norbert Meyer, Head of Customer Service at Stadtwerke Düren
It also significantly optimizes and relieves the burden on customer service: the resolution rate is 55%, so more than half of the questions are answered automatically. This increases both customer satisfaction, because questions are resolved immediately, and the satisfaction of service agents, because they no longer have to answer these questions manually.
The AI-based OMQ Chatbot answers customer questions via chat on the website and via messenger services such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. It works out-of-the-box and is available 24/7. The interaction with the customer is natural, the chatbot answers in real time and offers a fluid conversation flow with clear speech bubbles. In addition, the chatbot is capable of making small talk. Thanks to OMQ’s Artificial Intelligence, the OMQ chatbot understands the customer’s intention and is thus able to provide a suitable answer regardless of the expression. If the chatbot is unable to find a suitable solution because the question is very individual, the customer is connected to a service employee during live chat service hours.
The OMQ chatbot can be designed and customized according to personal wishes. Depending on the customer’s wishes, he or she can be on first or last name terms, and the design and name can also be customized. Stadtwerke Düren has made creative use of this function: The chatbot “Norbot” was namely named after their customer service manager “Norbert”. Further settings can be made, such as:
- In which linguistic style should the chatbot respond?
- How quickly should the chatbot respond to customer messages?
- Should the chatbot forward to a human employee on request?
At Stadtwerke Düren, the solution rate is 55%, meaning that more than half of customer questions are answered by the OMQ chatbot. This is because recurring standard questions are automatically clarified. Examples of frequently asked questions are:
- How can I change my sepa direct debit mandate?
- When will the annual bill arrive?
- Can I report my water meter reading by phone?
- What does a heating contract cost?
Such questions in particular can be answered perfectly by a chatbot, as they only need to be entered once by a service agent in the OMQ knowledge database and are then answered automatically by the chatbot. The knowledge database is the heart of the OMQ system, where all questions and answers are stored and managed centrally. From there, the service knowledge is steered into the communication channels. This means that a large proportion of customer questions are already answered by the chatbot and do not have to be processed by a service agent, significantly reducing manual effort. This makes customer service significantly more efficient.
Whether in Düren or in other cities - all municipal utilities usually answer the same recurring customer inquiries. A chatbot can take over the answering so that service agents can better focus on specific customer concerns. This increases the quality and efficiency of customer service as well as customer satisfaction.
Especially at the end of the year, there are so-called inquiry peaks, where a particularly large number of customer inquiries are made. All customers have to submit their water meter readings or pay annual bills in the same period, so many questions arise at once. Chatbots can balance the load of these inquiry peaks so that all customers get their questions answered reliably and promptly. This increases customer satisfaction and shows Stadtwerke Düren to be a reliable and modern partner.
The deployment of the OMQ chatbot is running successfully and further projects are planned for the future. Many questions require an interactive answer, such as the question, “How do I enter my water meter reading?” With the OMQ Automator, the customer’s required data is requested in the chat and entered directly into the backend system of Stadtwerke Düren. The OMQ Automator is a virtual agent that is linked to the backend system and can perform actions in the background. In practice, this means that service agents no longer have to enter the water meter readings manually, as the Automator implements this action automatically.
With the introduction of the chatbot, Stadtwerke Düren has added an automated communication channel to its customer service and relieved the burden on service staff. With OMQ, further communication channels can be automated, so that, for example, the contact form, the help page/FAQ, the ticket system or the e-mail inbox are also equipped with the system from OMQ.
Would you like to automate your service processes and make your customer service more efficient? Then contact us or request a non-binding demo to get to know our system better. We look forward to hearing from you.