Why 83% of Legal & General customers using AI for support prefer it to phone and email

Natalie Smithson
AI enthusiast | Tea addict | Focused on using AI assistants to win the working week
AI assistant supporting insurance customers for Legal & General

Legal & General | Insurance

Key challenges

Legal & General Insurance (L&G)* wanted to explore using AI to help manage an overwhelming number of customer enquiries. This turned into an urgent need for a near-overnight solution when covid hit and contact volumes skyrocketed. To succeed, there were critical measures the insurer would need to put in place:

  • To answer specific queries the AI assistant needs access to policy details
  • Any information given out has to be pre-approved by a legal team
  • Any personal data coming in must be fully secured and protected

Key results

L&G booked a call with us to find out how launching an AI assistant could help. They quickly understood AI-driven conversations can be natural in tone but complex in nature, just like the ones their agents were having every day over the phone.

  • Their SmartHelp AI assistant was trained to solve 95% of queries
  • They have complete control over the content of any response it sends out
  • Support teams are under less stress with routine enquiries now handled by AI
(*part of LV= General Insurance Group)
Image of the Legal & General AI (umbrella logo) with a speech bubble that says
- 4000 conversations with the AI assistant per month at peak times - 83% of customers using the AI assistant prefer it to phone and email - 95% of insurance enquiries are now handled by the AI assistant

Notable breakthroughs along the way

It takes just 10 minutes to launch an AI assistant

A few years ago, it would have been a long-winded, expensive and highly technical process for L&G to launch an AI assistant. Our unique platform takes all that pain away:

All you need to get started is your website url ― it’s that simple!

Screen on EBI.AI AI Studio platform where you are asked to enter the URL for your website to automatically create an AI assistant using its content

Customers are happier speaking with SmartHelp than calling or emailing in

Before launching SmartHelp, L&G already knew the questions customers asked them most often, repeatedly. What they didn’t know is customers would come to prefer our advanced AI assistant over traditional methods of contact, since it learns on the job in real time what customers need most.

L&G chose the name for their AI assistant and have full control over every response SmartHelp sends out to their valuable customers, which can be edited any time.

All they need to check SmartHelp’s progress is on their client dashboard:

EBI.AI client dashboard showing AI assistant conversation trends and data - insurance
(Data shown is for illustrative purposes only)

SmartHelp has to know the details of a person’s policy to answer more complex questions about their terms of insurance. For this, L&G can rely on our 20+ years of experience with linking technology together to connect their AI assistant with their insurance policy systems.

Now, customers can use SmartHelp to do everyday things like:

  • Check the details of their policy
  • Renew a policy
  • Make a claim
  • Cancel their insurance
  • Upgrade to a new policy

Answers to queries are instant and the AI assistant doesn’t need any input from the customer care team to perform these tasks.

Make security checks every time a customer uses AI

L&G customers are used to being asked security questions when they ring in ― it’s reassurance their personal details are held safe with the insurer, and the same rule applies when they use the AI assistant.

SmartHelp always makes a security check before connecting to the L&G policy system. Any personal information given is removed from the chat content before it reaches L&G, so customer data is fully protected.

Illustration of a man sitting at a laptop. There are padlocks and the text:

A human in the loop keeps AI in check

Having SmartHelp communicate with the L&G policy system is a complex technical challenge. Not only how it functions, but how it sounds too. Because customers will type “St” instead of “Street,” or say “Tom” instead of “Thomas”. We have to find an exact match to pass the security test, but we also have to account for the nuance of natural conversation. That’s why our team includes psychologists and language specialists who know how to configure content for an artificial brain and vice versa. A vital human in the loop, our experts understand how the human brain works so we can put in place the most useable yet robust safety measures.

Illustration of two people sitting at a desk, using a laptop. Text says

Background security checks and regulatory compliance

To maintain enterprise-grade security throughout our platform, regulators check all of the content L&G passes onto customers using SmartHelp. L&G then checks the security processes we have in place by testing our technology systems, and these kinds of checks are regularly repeated, so SmartHelp is permanently ready to defend customer data.

L&G approves and can instantly edit everything SmartHelp says to customers

Like every customer, L&G wants AI assistant content to be accurate and in line with their brand personality. Not only this, they want customers to always get the same response, no matter who’s asking a question (or how) about the same topic. That’s why, on our platform, you can use AI to generate a list of flows (sets of questions and answers) or you can write your own, but you can always edit the content of the flow, unpublish it, or delete it in an instant with the click of a button.

Conversation review is key to SmartHelp's success

L&G can see which topics of conversation SmartHelp is dealing with most often whenever they want to from the client dashboard. It’s easy for them to add new flows to make SmartHelp a little smarter than it was the month before, and because the AI assistant is speaking with L&G customers all the time, AI-driven conversations can sometimes be the first inkling something’s wrong. Say there’s a problem with a web page not working or someone hasn’t been able to get a payment through. With SmartHelp talking to people 24/7 in real time, L&G can act on this straight away, as soon as they hear there’s an issue.

L&G can quickly see where it needs to allocate resources

When L&G saw how much SmartHelp was helping to relieve the pressure on their teams, they expanded AI support beyond general insurance to help with pet and home insurance too.

They saw a sudden, sharp rise in the number of people interested in pet insurance during covid lockdowns and were able to instantly start helping all the people who got a new pet as they started to spend more time at home.

Illustration of a man holding a dog and a clipboard that shows he has a medical report

SmartHelp is always in season

Sometimes, a question about insurance has nothing to do with the individual and everything to do with the season. SmartHelp shows L&G Insurance exactly when in winter people start asking about cover for damp and when summer holiday cover takes priority.

Up-to-the-minute AI assistance

When customers started to ask more questions about insurance for garden offices, L&G recognised this as a result of more people working from home and immediately updated SmartHelp to give them answers.

Over time, trends emerge from the AI assistant’s data, which gives L&G a better understanding of their business. They can now see which days or times are most busy, with which enquiries, and plan their resources accordingly.

Illustration of a man sitting in a hammock in his garden. He's on the phone and a thought bubble shows the conversation is about his laptop.

AI gets everybody talking and it's good for business

With an expertly trained AI assistant, rigid security checks to protect their customers, and our expert team helping them peer into every nook and cranny of their customer support services, L&G has significantly reduced the pressure their contact teams were feeling.

They’ve been able to rely on SmartHelp to improve other areas of their business too, so they can help more customers in more ways, no matter what life throws at them along the way.

When L&G better understands customer behaviour, they can ― and do, make changes to their products or processes to act on customer feedback. Everything they learn from AI-powered conversations helps the insurer see in clear terms what they can do next to stay top of their game.

A couple sit on a sofa in conversation looking at a laptop and the logo for Legal & General is shown

Launch an AI assistant today (or ask us to do it)

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  • Automate up to 90% of routine enquiries*
  • Reduce your average cost per enquiry from £5 to 5p*
  • Increase customer satisfaction by 67%*
  • Move your support team onto higher value tasks

*all results we’ve delivered for our clients

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