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Automating Complex Customer Service Interactions

<50% Cost of Interaction

Client Overview

One of the UK’s top energy providers, OVO embarked on a programme to migrate their SSE customer base to the OVO brand.

Problem Statement

Driven by the increasing cost of energy and a UK cost of living crisis, SSE were seeing increased calls to their contact centre.  Customers faced with significant rises in their bills were looking to explore options for setting their monthly payments and clearing their outstanding debt. The high call volumes led to long wait times and poor customer experience which could only be resolved by increasing staffing numbers.



OVO’s migration plans meant that internal development resource was not available to develop self-service capabilities for the SSE customers. DigiBlu were brought in and recommended Clevva – a low-code technology designed to enable organisations to build self-service solutions that can automate even the most complex conversations. A working proof of concept was developed and deployed Within XXX weeks and this was iterated upon over the following XXX months to support SSE users who weren’t yet migrated to OVO.


Direct Debit Reviews

SSE customers receiving Direct Debit reviews could access a Digital Expert that reproduces the contact centre agent conversation through channels such as QR codes, URLs and WhatsApp.  The Digital Expert navigates the user to the specific options available to them using a feed of the customer’s account data along with a series of simple questions.


Due to the imminent transition of SSE accounts to OVO, the Digital Expert was implemented without a requirement to integrate into core client systems. Instead, Blue Prism automations were set up to obtain customer details that support contextualised conversations and send outputs from the customer’s interaction to core systems.


The Digital Expert was also adopted as part of the Collections journey.  Customers who build an outstanding balance are contacted with options for how to settle that debt.  It is vital that individuals can still access energy services whilst efficiently navigating payment options to reach a resolution.


Customers are presented a complex set of options, such as payment plans and different meter options, in a simple series of steps to customers. Customers can resolve their arrears position without having to speak to a person, which research has shown that for many is the preferred approach. Application of the Digital Expert at this early stage of the collections process helps SSE avoid more costly interventions further down the track.


SSE have seen successful deflection of calls and chats away from their contact centre agents, with all digital agent interactions 100% compliant with policy. The cost of each transaction is less than 50% when handled through a Digital expert, leading to a forecasted ROI of 350%. By offering automation, the likelihood of customers defaulting or cancelling Direct Debits reduces, and collection of arrears is improved, protecting SSE’s revenue.

Customer experience is drastically improved for those using the new channel, and as UK digital literacy is on the rise, it is expected that innovative digital channels will play a key role in customer retention of existing customers in the future.

Customer Quote

“Our customers now have the option of resolving a debt issue using a Virtual Agent. They can do this as and when it suits them using digital channels. Customers that have taken advantage of this new channel have rated it really positively and said the overall customer experience is an improvement.”  Jon Willicombe, Head of Early-Stage Collections, OVO

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