The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) is a multi-billion-shilling fund authorized by the government of Uganda through the NSSF Act, Cap 222 to provide social security services to private sector employees in that country. NSSF is a secure, innovative and dynamic social security provider that guarantees security, safety and a competitive return on members’ savings of over 2% above the 10-year average for inflation. Recently, the social security provider introduced powerful self-service features with AI-powered digital customer assistant named ‘Sanyu’, based on Avaya technology. Richard Byarugaba, CEO, NSSF, tells Intelligent CIO Africa why it was important to automate customer interactions and how Sanyu has helped the company reduce contact waiting times by providing easy self-service for routine transactions.
The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) is a quasi-government agency responsible for the collection, storage, responsible investment and distribution of pension funds from private sector employees in Uganda that are not covered by the government pension scheme.
Founded in 1985 as a maintenance fund covering all employees in the private sector, participation for both employers and employees is mandatory, and the company is the largest pension fund in the countries of East African society, with assets of 15.5 trillion USh (USh $ 4.406 billion ), from June 2021.
Recently, NSSF in Uganda has transformed its customer experience with powerful self-service features by introducing an AI-powered digital customer assistant named ‘Sanyu’ based on Avaya technology.
According to NSSF, Sanyu is an advanced chatbot that now serves as the company’s frontline of customer service, integrated into the organization’s Avaya OneCloud CCaaS contact center solution and a range of digital touchpoints. The NSSF stated that following the implementation of Sanyu, the chatbot has reduced waiting times for customers who contact the organization by providing easy self-service for routine transactions – in the process freeing up human agents so they can address more complex requests.
As the national savings scheme authorized by the Ugandan government to provide social security services to all private sector employees in the country, the organization sees a very high volume of interactions and transactions and serves customers through multiple channels such as a web portal, app, messaging platforms, call- centers and a physical branch network.
Richard Byarugaba, CEO, NSSF, said: “We estimate that our customer service staff spent about three quarters of their day on easy-to-answer queries, such as requests for declarations, registration and frequently asked questions (FAQs). By automating most of the these interactions our agents now focus on transactions that require human intervention, typically at the higher end of the value chain.This transformation paid off during the pandemic as lockdowns and distancing reduced our customers’ visits to physical branches and increased demand for our call centers and online platforms. ”
The implementation of an advanced AI-powered digital customer assistant chatbot with Avaya Technology comes as part of NSSF’s latest efforts to digitize the customer experience. Over the past two years, the company has moved over 94% of its member transactions and interactions to digital channels, with only 6% of customers using walk-in service centers across the country. However, the digital shift has necessitated a transformation of how incoming requests are handled.
“We had struggled to keep up with the large amount of frequent inquiries that came in and we did not have a solution that offered customers the same experience and convenience on our various digital platforms. We wanted to have unlimited capacity to respond instantly “At any time, on customer inquiries. There was also a need to free our front-end staff from routine support requests and enable them to focus on more complex tasks,” said Byarugaba.
Sanyu emerged as the solution integrated into NSSF’s customer-facing interfaces such as a web portal, mobile app, mobile browser and social messaging clients. Botten interacts with customers through text-based chat and delivers powerful self-service, automating workflows such as employer registration, member registration, member benefit tracking, member provisional balance, member declaration and frequently asked questions. And if it can not meet the customer’s request, Sanyu will seamlessly send the inquiry to the best available agent.
Since October 2020, nearly 164,000 customer transactions and interactions have been recorded through Sanyu, and the NSSF is confident that the solution will contribute to an improvement in its network promoter score (NPS) and initial contact resolution rates.
Companies are built from the experiences they provide, and every day millions of those experiences are delivered by Avaya Holdings Corp. Avaya shapes the next for future work on innovation and partnerships that deliver game-changing business benefits. The provider’s cloud communication solutions and multi-cloud application ecosystem provide personalized, intelligent and effortless customer and employee experiences to help achieve strategic ambitions and desired results.
Vinod Kumar Puthanpura, Territory Account Manager: West, East and Central Africa, Avaya, said: “With its rollout of Sanyu, the NSSF is at the forefront of adding artificial intelligence to the customer experience. With the powerful AI tools available through Avaya “The OneCloud ecosystem, NSSF has introduced tremendous self-service features that enhance both customer and employee experiences. And put the organization well on its way to becoming a digital business. We look forward to further supporting NSSF as it continues this journey.”
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Not so long ago, there were two primary forms of customer service communication: telephone and fax. Today, the list is endless: voice, live chat, email, SMS, social media. Customers are also increasingly seeking to serve themselves without any human intervention using voice, knowledge base articles, forums / message forums and automated chat (which is easier than ever with simple app integration). Thanks to Avaya’s AI-powered technology, the vendor makes it easy for customers to connect with organizations and businesses across all communication channels and devices – both voice and digital – without confusion or complexity. Avaya believes that customers should not resort to a phone call because digital engagement is not designed for the job.
NSSF Uganda manages assets worth over $ 15.5 trillion (US $ 4.406 billion) per year. June 30, 2021, invested in fixed income, equities and real estate assets in the East Africa region. As the largest fund in East Africa in terms of value, the company has the ambitious goal of growing its assets under management to 20 trillion USh (5.6 billion US $) by 2025.
Since 2012, the fund has been regulated by the Uganda Retirement Benefits Regulatory Authority, while the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development is responsible for political oversight.
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