Bupa UK uses AI to improve its call centre experience

03 July 2019 . United Kingdom

Bupa UK has introduced artificial intelligence and speech recognition to its UK call centres to help improve its customers’ journey.

Customer service advisor on call

When customers call Bupa’s contact centres, they go through an identification (ID) process with an adviser to verify their identity. To streamline and speed up this process, Bupa UK has recently introduced an automated ID service using artificial intelligence (AI). It uses a speech recognition and ‘machine learning’ platform – which means it improves and learns from experience, without programming from its human owners - to interact with the caller and prompt them for required information.

Mark Davies, Customer Contact Director in UK Insurance, said: “At Bupa, we are committed to improving our customers' experience. It takes around 30 seconds for an adviser to verify a customer’s identity and when you consider that Bupa UK takes 10,000+ calls every day, that’s a lot of adviser time that could be better spent helping customers with their queries. And an adviser greeting a customer with “Can I take your membership number?” is not the most friendly, caring welcome to Bupa.

“When a caller successfully completes the automated process, they go through to an adviser who has their details already on screen. Bupa’s advisers can then start the call with the friendlier: “How can I help you?”.”

The automated service enables Bupa UK to verify caller identity safely and securely. Since it was launched, 85% of callers offered the automated option choose to use it, leading to a more efficient interaction between the customer and adviser as they are able to get to the heart of the query quicker.

Miguel Larrucea, UK IT Director, Bupa UK, said: “Bupa UK plans to further develop this technology to keep improving our customers’ experience when they call us. We want to ensure they are routed to the correct team seamlessly and their query is handled as quickly and efficiently as possible.

“This project is only the start of a real digital transformation in our customer contact centres. We’re looking forward to what we can achieve next.”

About Bupa

Bupa's purpose is helping people live longer, healthier, happier lives.

With no shareholders, our customers are our focus. We reinvest profits into providing more and better healthcare for the benefit of current and future customers.

Health insurance accounts for the major part of our business with 16.7m customers and contributes around 75% of revenue. We operate clinics, dental centres and hospitals in some markets, with around 15m customers. We care for around 22,300 residents in our aged care businesses in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Spain.

We directly employ around 80,000 people, principally in the UK, Australia, Spain, Poland, Chile, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Turkey, the US, Brazil, the Middle East and Ireland. We also have associate businesses in Saudi Arabia and India.

For more information, visit www.bupa.com.