Case Study

Vistra Energy

Vistra Energy is one of the ten largest electric companies in the US. The Texas-based utility company wanted a more efficient and customer-friendly way to handle millions of calls each year. So Vistra worked with Interactions to create Ivy, an Intelligent Virtual Assistant solution that contains nearly 20% more calls while reducing operating and IT costs.

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The Problem

Vistra Energy receives more than 10 million calls each year. Delivering exceptional service on these calls is essential to retaining customers, since customers can choose their own provider in the deregulated Texas market.

To manage large operating costs for its most used channel, Vistra implemented a self-service system based on a Touch-Tone and directed-dialogue solution. Caller tasks varied from the simple (reporting an outage) to the more complex (resolving a billing issue). Eventually, self-service rates plateaued as the system’s natural language implementation met its limit.

Vistra’s specific goals included:

  • Increasing call purity and improving routing accuracy
  • Reducing operations and maintenance costs
  • Reducing customer frustration to enhance customer experience
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Conversational Contained Calls Accurate Intent Economical

The Solution

After careful evaluation, Vistra Energy chose Interactions to fully replace their existing IVR. While other vendors offered a rigid solution that limits callers to a specific path, Interactions was the only automated customer care solution that engages customers in truly free-form dialogue.

Interactions built a hosted conversational solution that expands Vistra’s self-service capabilities to include:

  • Greeting callers with an open-ended “Thank you for calling Vistra Energy. How can I help you?”
  • Enabling fully unstructured conversations with an automated solution that applies business rules
  • Providing 14 self-service transactions, such as making payments, setting up recurring payments, moving service, or reporting an outage
  • Gauging intent with unprecedented accuracy with Interactions Adaptive Understanding Technology™ that seamlessly combines artificial and human intelligence

As a result of this new cloud-based solution, Vistra was able to streamline operations, increase contact center efficiency, and eliminate the need to deploy expensive onsite equipment during peak seasons.

The Results

Customer satisfaction: Supporting Vistra Energy’s exceptional service goal, their Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) rose by 11%

Seamless language transitions: Capture rates for Spanish speakers is up, as the IVA responds in the language the customer uses during the call

Call containment: Vistra successfully completes 18% more calls without the need for an expensive live agent

Additional savings: Beyond call center savings, Vistra saves more than $750,000 in IT costs and more than $200,000 in cost avoidance

Accelerated run rate: Vistra reached their payback goals in just 40 days

Expanded use: Vistra plans to bring new self-service scenarios online in just a few weeks, compared to several months lead time with their previous solution

Vistra Energy Case Study Stats
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“Customers will go through an entire self-service transaction, conversing with the system, and never realize they are talking to a machine.”

– Ed Anderson, Senior Manager of Call Center Technology

Vistra Energy is a market-leading competitive retail electricity provider, powering the lives of more Texans than any other retailer. Vistra Energy offers a variety of innovative products and solutions for residential and business customers, including exceptional customer service, competitively priced electricity service plans, and renewable energy programs.

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