Personalized & Multimedia Service
DATEV’s services are used millions of time each year. Their community alone was used 10 million times in 2019 alone. DATEV divides its services into two areas: 1:1 service between people and takes place via classic channels such as telephone, email or chat. Second, 1:N service which enables customers to provide self-serve via other media such as their knowledge base or support videos. In 2018, an analysis revealed that strengthening their service landscape, especially in the 1:N service, could reduce the volume of time-intensive frequent inquiries via phone.
DATEV evaluated the market for a suitable technology and identified chatbots as the most promising solution to meet its needs. System flexibility combined with USU’s expertise and proven track record were key deciding factors in selecting USU’s chatbot solution for their customer service.
By intelligently deploying chatbots where they delivered the most business value, we aimed to bolster our existing service processes with a new future- proof solution. It was important for us to not just offer added value to customers, but also to offer a more personalized service experience. We definitely succeeded in doing that.
Alexander Heisserer, Product Owner USU Knowledge Management, DATEV
At a glance
1,000 service employees, 1.65 million inquiries per year (2018)
About DATEV eG
DATEV eG is a German software company and IT service provider for financial services including tax consultants, auditors and lawyers as well as their clients. With approximately 325,000 customers, more than 7,900 employees and a annual revenue over 1 billion euros (2018), DATEV is one of the largest IT service providers and software companies in Germany. DATEV’s customer support team delivers high-quality services and maintains an excellent industry reputation using USU expertise and technology to excel and digitize their service processes.
- The complexity and variety of service requests are increasing, requiring more individual service and higher efficiency
- Evaluate to what extent service employees can be supported by chatbots
- Identify suitable use cases and calculate ROI for each
- Integration into company infrastructure and expansion of bots into multiple service areas
- Comprehensive and well-integrated solution for digitizing customer service processes
- USU established expertise expertise and successful track record in the development and implementation of chatbot solutions
- Highly flexible solution with minimal development effort and fast go-live
- Analysis of the DATEV service landscape
- Feasibility concept and use case evaluation for chatbots
- Identification and preparation of initial use cases
- Modeling, implementation and testing
- Go live
- Ongoing optimization and implementation of additional use cases
- Further use cases planned for enterprise-wide use
- Implemented 40+ chatbots for individual customer service processes
- Rapid, context-sensitive customer support via intelligent Q&A technology
- 24/7 on-demand availability
- Significant workload reduction for service employees by handling the most time-consuming inquiries
- Low creation and bot implementation cost makes it an economical and efficient solution for new, focused topics
Using chatbots for specific service requests
Concrete use cases which detailed how to best use bots proved critical to DATEV’s success. This includes identifying the economic viability of each scenario. The organization envisioned using free-text bots, which enable easy modeling of complex issues via decision trees for guided troubleshooting. This requires well- defined and focused use cases, as well as in-depth knowledge of classic questions and answers. Doing so allowed them to develop well structured topic-specific dialogs through which the bot could easily navigate.
The first chatbot was developed to support DATEV customers with the new Payment Services Directive (PSD2). The project required an expedited launch to support customer service agents. Shortly following go-live, the bot had already been used over 8,000 times.
Significant workload reduction
Today, DATEV successfully uses multiple bots and has continued launching new ones. They provide context-sensitive help, not as a simple question and answer dialog, but to help channel inquiries and provide guidance. The bot’s free-text technology means that reading and listening are now twice as fast as speaking and listening. The bot guides customers through defined processes using built-in decision trees. This mimics the same process customer service agents use, but takes less time. If no solution is found, the customer can be easily transfered to another channel or escalated to an agent. Today, DATEV has built many additional use cases for topics such as accident insurance or salary questions. Customer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and in most cases has significantly reduced the internal workload for service staff. DATEV’s goal is to launch 100 expert bots each focused on a specific topic within the project’s first year.