Case Study

ENMAX Energy Customers Embrace AI Self-Service for Payments

Success by the Numbers

0.0%
the cost of
a live agent
0K
minutes eliminated from live agents a year
Customer in need of ERS Emergency Roadside Assistance is helped by conversational artificial intelligence that is able to pinpoint customer location with GPS

Challenge

With a customer base of 690,000 and growing, Alberta-based utilities company ENMAX Energy began to explore self-service options. In addition to customer care agents who were easily accessible over the phone and live chat, they wanted to give their customers the power of choice to engage and transact in any channel. 

But for complex use cases such as negotiating payment arrangements, some members of the ENMAX team felt that live agents should handle customer requests for payment extensions. Conversely, others saw this as a perfect opportunity for self-service—why not let technology take the burden off the customer and allow for more time to pay their utility bill? Why make them wait to speak to a live agent?

The challenge then, was to find an always-available solution that would enable customers to easily resolve payment-related issues and adhere to ENMAX Energy’s high standards for customer service.

Customer in need of ERS Emergency Roadside Assistance is helped by conversational artificial intelligence that is able to pinpoint customer location with GPS

Solution

After evaluating several vendors that met their criteria and integrated with their Genesys contact center infrastructure, ENMAX Energy chose SmartAction for its subscription-based approach of delivering virtual agents as a service. For Wayne Calder, Director of Customer Projects and Programs at ENMAX Energy, the decision to go with SmartAction wasn’t a cost decision—it was about the support.

With the SmartAction CX team handling the conversation design, implementation, and ongoing operation of their virtual agent, Calder didn’t have to search for or hire developers, designers, and project managers.  Instead, he leveraged SmartAction’s expertise to design the optimal call flow, train conversational AI models for utilities-specific intents, and optimize over time.

SmartAction employs advanced NLU techniques that pattern-match audio input with expected intents for the highest word capture accuracy. Customers can interact with the virtual agent using natural language and say things like, “I need more time to pay my bill,” or “Can I make a payment with a credit card?” to resolve issues conversationally. 

Wayne Calder
We strongly believe in giving our customers the power of choice. SmartAction has given us a path forward with conversational self-service—it’s been a great partnership.
Wayne Calder, Director, Customer Project and Programs, ENMAX Energy
Customer in need of ERS Emergency Roadside Assistance is helped by conversational artificial intelligence that is able to pinpoint customer location with GPS

Results

By implementing SmartAction’s conversational AI solution, ENMAX Energy’s live agents no longer have to deal with high-volume, mundane call types. Calder adds, “We’re seeing great savings right out of the gate—and while we’re satisfied with the high call offload, there’s always room for improvement.”

With their recent Genesys migration project complete, they look forward to expanding use cases to their business customers, as well as adding additional capabilities for customer authentication and new product-sign-up. Through its close partnership with SmartAction, ENMAX Energy holds true to their philosophy of providing customers with the power of choice.

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