Our Customer Insights, Data & Analytics (CID&A) team at Scotiabank is a community of inclusive and collaborative innovators.  We work with partners across our global operations to develop solutions that improve the customer experience while leveraging leading-edge technology to drive real impact.

We are always questioning the status quo to further advance our digital transformation. In 2021, our CID&A team led the development of a Chatbot to provide our customers with a faster self-serve experience. Hear from two of our Scotiabankers – Narcisse and Rafal – about their successful journey through the Chatbot project and their involvement in the development of this incredible AI technology.

Meaghan: Hi Narcisse and Rafal! To start, can you tell our audience what your role is at Scotiabank and when you started your career journey here?

Narcisse: I joined Scotiabank in June of 2021 and am a Data Scientist with my main focus being on Natural Language Processing.

Rafal: I am a Data Science Director here at Scotiabank and am coming up on my sixth year as a Scotiabanker!

Meaghan: As a Scotiabank customer myself, I’ve seen first-hand the impact of the Chatbot product, and I can’t wait to learn more about how it was developed. For anyone who may not be familiar with Chatbot, can you tell us a little bit about the product and what the purpose of the project was?

Narcisse: A chatbot is a conversational AI product that offers another way for our customers to interact with us. We aimed to modernize digital customer care platforms to enhance the customer experience. We implemented the Chatbot virtual assistant technology in the mobile banking app with the end goal of enabling our customers to better self-serve through chat. Although the mobile chat is the channel of choice for digitally active customers, 96% of our contact centre interactions were still phone-based. With the implementation of the Chatbot, 10-15% of calls could be avoidable with better self-serve through chatting with the bot saving both our customers - and our employees! - valuable time.

Meaghan: Developing such an impactful product is an incredible feat – did you work with any other teams or vendors in the process?

Rafal: This project was unique in the fact it involved several internal and external partners. The Chatbot provides answers on hundreds of topics from chequing products to credit cards to mortgages, so we needed the support of all these Scotiabank teams, Scotia Digital, and the Contact Center to ensure the information we provide to customers is accurate and helpful. 

Narcisse: Another exciting partnership in this project was with our cloud partner! Our partnership and collaboration with the cloud team allows us to use cutting-edge technology to create the most effective AI product possible and serve our clients in the best way we can.

Meaghan: What was the most exciting part of working on this project? On the contrary, what did you find the most challenging?

Rafal: For me, the most exciting part was building a dynamic product that directly interacts with our customers and can help them find answers to hundreds of different topics. The challenging part was proactively understanding what answers our customers are looking for and building AI that can process the infinite ways a client may ask a question. 

Meaghan: What skills would you say were critical to successfully completing the project?

Rafal: Multiple skills are involved in a project of this scope which is evident from the deep roster of talent that worked on this Chatbot. We had UX designers and content writers ensuring that the AI’s responses are appropriate - especially for those customers that face certain impairments. We had deep knowledge of Scotiabank’s operations from our contact center and product teams to ensure customers are provided the right information.  We also had a technology team from Scotia Digital consisting of engineers, software developers, and QAs that ensure the Chatbot is working properly on a multitude of different devices. Finally, we had a team of data scientists and engineers that come from multiple different disciplines including PHDs in engineering and neurolinguistics - they were essentially the ones ‘building the brain.’

Meaghan: Thank you both again for your time! Last question - what impact do you feel the Chatbot has had on the organization as a whole and on our customers?

Narcisse: The Chatbot has become the main conversational AI product of Scotiabank and offers an advanced technology to solve a wide variety of our customers’ inquiries. The “chat with us” option helps our customers interact with us in a simpler and faster way and has had a high impact on our customers’ satisfaction rate. Customer needs change with time; therefore, building and leveraging an advanced Artificial Intelligence product to serve their needs has helped us take one step toward a more technologically advanced future.

If you’re looking to champion innovation and join our team in making a real impact, we’re hiring.