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In the high volume, thin margin world of Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL), growth requires smart ways to scale up without adding costs, while also offering a compelling service that solves customer's problems.
Launched in 2017, Laybuy is a fast-growing buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) provider with a market-leading position in New Zealand. By 2021, Laybuy was expanding and customer enquiries were increasing by 50% annually. The customer service team doubled in size which added significant costs and yet a backlog of queries continued to grow. Laybuy knew that slow responses led to a poorer experience and reduced customer satisfaction, and that greater automation was required.
As the busy Christmas and New Year retail period approached, over 11,000 support tickets were outstanding. Analysis showed that many of the most common customer queries were simple to answer, for example, information on how to reset passwords or policies on hardship, refunds and returns.
Working with Ambit, Laybuy deployed a conversational AI chatbot or ‘digital employee’ in a matter of weeks.
Called Hugo, the chatbot was initially tested with five conversations, showing an immediate result in that all-important pre-Christmas period. After three weeks, 7% of all queries were being answered, equating to 1,400 queries re-directed or deflected from the contact centre, giving customer service staff some vital breathing space.
Hugo now handles 70% of all queries. His contribution was obvious during Mania, the company's annual 24-hour global flash sale - designed to help its 14,000 merchant partners reach new customers, drive increased sales and lift average order value. During this year's sale, Laybuy processed more than 21,500 transactions however, the Customer Service Team received fewer support tickets during Mania 2022 than in the previous year.
Gary Rohloff is a confirmed advocate of leveraging digital employees to automate customer service at scale.
He says “Employing Hugo was an important and innovative step to help manage the increasing demand on Laybuy’s customer service team as the company continued on its rapid growth trajectory, but without adding additional cost into the business.”
“Customers are asking questions about their money which by nature is an emotive issue, especially if they feel that they are not being heard. Today Hugo answers and resolves more than 70% of customer enquiries asked, significantly reducing the demand on our customer support team,” he says.
“The launch of Hugo, alongside the recruitment of some additional customer service staff has enabled us to increase our customer satisfaction rate by thirty percent and reduce our response time by 75 hours.”