Chatbot has given clear-cut benefits to Tata Capital: Veetika Deoras, COO-Digital Vertical, Tata Capital

Veetika Deoras, Chief Operating Officer-Digital Vertical &VP-Brand Marketing at Tata Capital
Veetika Deoras, Chief Operating Officer-Digital Vertical &VP-Brand Marketing at Tata Capital

The chatbot has delivered upto 75 percent customer satisfaction (CSAT) score. The company is also exploring voice bots, Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and facial recognition in a deeper manner

How has the chatbot been performing after it was launched in October 2016?

We did a PoC before launching the chatbot on our website and it was highly successful. There were a few clear cut benefits realised during the PoC.

The first being that because it is a chatbot, it is an always-on tool to resolve customer queries. On demand. The second benefit is a complete elimination of the challenge of attrition. The call centre employee churn is an issue and every employee leaving the company is not only an employee lost, but the loss of knowledge too. This is not the case with chatbots. It’s based on machine learning, which doesn’t require training and retraining either. On the contrary, the more queries the chatbot handles, the more intelligent it becomes. The time and quality of response improved. The accuracy and communication skills was improved upon by the chatbot.

There are a few things that we measure: the absolute number of queries that the chatbot has been able to handle; the average response time and the the Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT). (See Box: How chatbots have delivered value)

We are trying to see how can we use voice bots. It’s a tedious area because of the multiplicity of languages in India. There are dialects and accents within languages. But when you want to take the BOT experience across channels then, the next big channel is the call centre. We are doing some exploratory work in that direction but it’s at a nascent stage.

What’s the size of the digital team of Tata Capital and the next set of products that Tata Capital would like to pursue further and is experimenting with ?

We are exploring Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and facial recognition in a deeper manner. In terms of the team size for digital, it is about 12-15. This team works on digital products and services and also work in the areas of digital marketing, sales, operations, underwriting, IT etc. For Tata Capital, the view of digital is pervasive, cutting across functions and units.

Tata Capital has launched ‘Online Home Store’, ‘Online Car Loan Store’ and also personal loans. What percentage of business have you done digitally, overall in all of these categories put together ?

Some products are secured, which has an offline asset attached to it. Some products are completely unsecured loans. From a customer’s perspective and his digital journey, these products vary both in terms of digital maturity and of the natural proclivity of the product to become fully digital. These are the two parameters to keep in mind when we try to devise a digital strategy. For e.g. The intention behind the online car store is to get into the customer’s process when he is trying to buy the car. Then to move into the car loan journey, which is where we have an active role to play.

Otherwise the online car space, is an extremely nascent market. There are not many traditional financial solution providers looking at this space in an active manner. For us the online car store is an innovative and experimentative initiative.

On the other hand, in the online home loans space, it’s a product which has many offline manifestations, and the asset is lying in the offline space. The customer’s journey is a mix of offline and online. On the contrary, the personal loan space is a digitally more mature product, because most of the steps can happen online. There are few steps to be done offline. Therefore the personal loan category is high potential both on digital proclivity and maturity. Consequently, these products on how much can they be processed digitally, are very different from each other.

However, the good number to look at would be, an increased interest in terms of number of people who are coming online or, the number of people who are applying online, for some of these products. In the last 12 months, 40-50 percent of the applications have come through the online channel. These are potential customers, who have gone beyond just searching but also applying online. In the personal loans category, digital is contributing about 8-10 percent of the business.

In the future, how do you plan to report the numbers on the business happening through the digital channel ?

Every reportage in our context is linked to the digital strategy, or what is the objective of digital in the respective product. In the personal loan category, we report the entire digital journey- how many customers came online, how many of them were on-boarded digitally and what is the final disbursal.

In case of home loan, we look at, what percentage of sourcing is happening online. Even in the case of aggregators, who are category builders of some sort, their numbers in the home loans and the Used Car Loan (UCL) space, would be far more nascent than the numbers in the personal loan space because that is the state of the market today.

What is the digital strategy that you have built for Tata Capital and how far have you reached ?
There are 3-4 key areas we are targeting as a part of our digital strategy. The first is in terms of enhancing customer experience. The second is to enhance the customer and the employee efficiency. The third is to come up with new business models, which may not even have an offline avatar. They are digitally born products or services. Fourth is the focus on data analytics. Any of these initiatives that we take should point to one of these directions. For example, chatbots enhances customer experience, the ‘Apply online’ bots is an example of enhancing the customer and employee efficiency.

 

How chatbots have delivered value
Number of responses received on the chatbot since inception 90376
Mobile users of the AI Chatbot 30%
Average time spent by  the user 7 minutes
Response time to resolve query Under 5 seconds
Customer satisfaction score (CSAT) 70-75%

 

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