UCC Campus Accommodation is the official accommodation provider for UCC with 4 separate self-catering apartment complexes: University Hall; Victoria Lodge; Victoria Mills and Castlewhite. All four complexes are located close to the River Lee and are walking distance to University College Cork and Cork City Centre.
Solution at a Glance
Large volume of repetitive questions that were coming in via Phone and email.
Implemented Pubble Messenger replacing emails with “Send Message” buttons.
40% reduction in calls, 50% decrease in email volumes with 20% of questions being automatically answered by the Bot. Estimated 10% productivity gain each month.
Nicola Cronin, Services Manager with UCC Campus Accommodation (hereafter referred to as CAUL) approached Pubble to see if we could help with solving their customer service challenge. Nicola described the challenge as:
“Our team is having to answer the same questions repeatedly on email and phone. This becomes critical during key booking periods.”Nicola Cronin, Services Manager, CAUL
The 10 person support team is split between the 4 complexes. This further complicated the customer service process as support staff were back and forth, internally, via phone and email before responding to queries.
The challenges that CAUL were facing were the same problems that we see across different customer segments from education to retail, tech to hospitality. We were confident that we could make a real difference to how customer support was delivered in CAUL.
We have to credit the team in CAUL, in that, they decided to implement the solution based on the recommendations that Pubble put forward, which included:
- Add Chatify to the website.
- Focus on creating a comprehensive FAQ dataset.
- Use assign rules to auto-route questions to the correct complex.
- ‘Send Message’ buttons to replace centre emails on the website.
- Use Chatify for inter-complex messaging between the support team.
Chatify worked with IT Support in UCC to implement the code on the main website and with the Pad Group for the booking engine.
Chatify on CAUL’s website is accessed using the on page “Send Message” buttons or using the blue “?Ask” button that displays the Chat widget when clicked (as above).
128 FAQ’s were added to the system covering everything from parking to location, fair usage policies to postgraduate accommodation. The Chatbot queries this dataset for all inbound questions.
Internal groups were created on Pubble with the relevant team members assigned to each. With the correct assign rules in place, questions from each page are automatically assigned to the correct person / team.
Finally, before going live, we organised a 90 minutes training session to help the team familiarise themselves with the main features of Chatify. This was key to getting the system embedded.
How does Chatify help?
Through Pubble, CAUL handles approximately 1000 inbound questions per month. At the top level, 20% of questions are now automatically answered by the Chatbot. That’s 200 questions every month that the customer care team no longer has to answer.
As CAUL continue to add to the FAQ dataset, this will help increase the percentage of questions that are automatically answered by the bot.
Deflecting Calls & Emails
The move to messaging has helped to make the customer support process far more efficient. The setup that Pubble recommended was designed to deflect queries that would typically come in via phone and email to Pubble Messenger. CAUL have already seen a 40% reduction in call volumes and 50% reduction in inbound email queries.
Why is this positive?
By moving queries from email and calls into Messenger, Pubble can automatically answer the repetitive questions. For those questions that require a response from the CAUL team, there’s a lot of productivity tools built into Pubble that make answering more efficient (ex. handle multiple enquiries simultaneously, smart answers, presence, mentions, etc.). Going back and forth over email is not a very efficient way to deal with customer queries. Calls are best reserved for those queries where they’re required.
CAUL reported that Pubble is deflecting over 100 calls per complex, per week. With an average call time estimated 5 mins per call and 3 mins to complete a follow up e-mail (8 mins total per call time), Pubble is deflecting 13 hours total call time, per complex per week. Over a month, across the four complexes, this results in 225 hours that are NOT spent dealing with unnecessary calls (13hrs* 52weeks / 12 = 56.33 *4 complexes = 225 hrs).
So when you factor in the time that has been re-allocated to answering questions in Chatify, what is the net time saving?
We know that 20% of the calls will be automatically handled by the Chatbot. This is equivalent to 45 hours. Of the remaining time on deflected calls, if agents are 2x more efficient in Pubble, the additional time saving is approximately 90hrs per month. Combined that is 135 hrs or 17 working days of productivity, each month, that can be applied to other tasks.
We asked CAUL if they could provide some data on the volume of emails that were being deflected.
“Directly from website enquiry form on web site; at least 40 per day during pre-booking phase. Individual complex email enquiries reduced by over 20 per day;”Nicola Cronin, Services Manager, CAUL
20 working days = 800 emails per month So that’s 800 enquiries that would have be processed through email that are now being handled in Chatify.
What impact is this having for CAUL?
Ignoring the complex emails and just looking at the main email enquiries and assuming:
- 20% answered by the Chatbot
- the same 2x efficiency gains
- 5 mins per email response time
The net return from deflecting the email enquiries into Chatify, is 40hrs or 5 working days each month in productivity gains. 160 emails *5 mins = 13hrs from Bot 640 emails *5mins /60 / 2(productivity) = 27hrs from replying via Chatify.
This is the Chatify Dashboard app (see the Download Center for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS apps) which is used by the Customer Support team to respond to and manage enquiries.
Enquiries are automatically assigned to the correct complex based on predefined rules (ex. source page / keyword). As enquiries are worked on, they move from ‘New’ to ‘In-Progress’ and eventually to ‘Closed’.
The Chatify dashboard is designed to make it ‘Easy to Answer’ and includes a host of features (ex. Agent Assist, Chat Comments, etc.) that make answering questions much more efficient. One feature for this case study that we need to highlight is team communication.
The feedback from CAUL was that inter-complex communication was also improved. Rather than jumping between calls and email to get input for the other complexes, the support team can message each other without having to leave Chatify. The collaborative element to customer care is key but is often overlooked. It’s one of those Chatify benefits that might not be obvious upfront but once you get used to it, you wonder how you managed without it.
“Seeing questions being answered by the CAUL team using Chatify shortcuts – like typing the FAQ number or using the slash command is one of the key reasons that we asked them to do a client success story with us. They totally get how Chatify works”John Dineen, Founder, Chatify
The Chatify implementation has been a fantastic success for CAUL and for us. In terms of the numbers, deflected phone and email data shows a net 10% productivity boost each month. The numbers really help to give a sense of the success of the project but also show why the feedback from the support staff in CAUL has been so positive.
Chatify has helped CAUL achieve its aim of reducing the repetition when supporting its customers. This makes for happier customers and happier staff. It’s win, win.