X5 Retail Group, a leading Russian food retailer, is deploying a robotic telephone platform based on advanced speech technologies. Used to handle incoming calls and make outgoing calls without human intervention, the group’s new voice assistants simulate dialogue with customers and help resolve their issues.
“After the caller formulates a question, the bot uses complex machine learning algorithms and accumulated data to identify the subject of the request. The bot can then maintain a dialogue with the caller and learn his or her name, as well as collect the caller’s date of birth, phone number and customer loyalty card information and enter this information into the system,” X5 explains.
The bot has more than 300 different phrases in its arsenal, according to the group, “with new conversation scripts created within a single day.”
“Most callers say they feel no difference between talking to a person and a bot,” claims X5.
From voice bot to visual interface
The retail group uses these technologies to enhance the functionality of existing call centres: “In the Pyaterochka retail chain, robots already resolve up to 50% of all requests on loyalty issues each day, and the conversion to target action is more than 60%. At the same time, the costs to maintain a bot are five to seven times lower than that of an operator.”
The robot also processes incoming scripts for registering loyalty cards (transferring points between cards and checking a customer’s card status) as well as outgoing calls to conduct Net Promoter Score (NPS) polls.
The system is a proprietary development of the X5 Big Data department. Yandex’s SpeechKit technology (a part of the Yandex.Cloud online services platform) is also used.
The next step for X5’s Big Data department is “to scale the use of voice robots in the Pyaterochka and Perekrestok retail chains and to create a convenient app with a visual interface,” said department director Sergey Dobryakov.
Listed in London and Moscow, X5 Retail Group operates the Pyaterochka, Perekrestok and Karusel retail chains. Among the group’s recent initiatives in the field of innovation was, earlier this year, to launch of the Retail Innovation Tech Alliance (RITA), an international startup scouting program, jointly with other Russian companies.