Customer Experience, Service & Success

BICS and Cognigy develop AI Agent for customer support in China

The chatbot answers customer queries and facilitates real-time translation between Chinese users and English-speaking support teams

International communications enabler BICS has unveiled a new customer support AI Agent tailored for customers in China. Developed in collaboration with the conversational AI platform Cognigy, the chatbot assists customers via the popular Chinese social media super app, WeChat. Users can communicate seamlessly in their native Chinese language, as the AI Agent instantly translates the interactions into English for the BICS support team and backend systems.

While BICS already provides a similar English-based bot on WhatsApp in various regions, the absence of this channel in China prompted the development of a WeChat-specific solution. WeChat, being a cornerstone of digital life in China, encompasses messaging, social media, mobile payments, and business communications, filling the void left by the absence of global apps like Facebook.

To facilitate cross-language, cross-channel communication, the chatbot relies on an intermediary component situated between the WeChat user and the BICS support center (via Salesforce). A customized BICS solution (via AWS) facilitates the exchange of information from WeChat to the BICS cloud, where the Cognigy.AI, translation resources (via Azure), and BICS customer support team sit.

Building a chatbot on the WeChat platform presented challenges related to regulations, data privacy, and firewalls. For instance, WeChat’s robust security measures prevent the sharing of users’ phone numbers. Therefore, an alternative secure ID verification process was implemented to confirm user identity.

This is a significant enhancement to the user experience for our Chinese customers,” says Malcolm Chan, Senior Vice President, Enterprise, Asia Pacific at BICS. “It not only tailors our chatbot services, available in most other markets, to the region but also meets our customers where they are, using their preferred platform. Users can easily make queries in their mother tongue while accessing BICS’ global support team, made possible by recent advances in generative AI and the excellent support and platform from our partners at Cognigy.”

Philipp Heltewig, CEO and Founder of Cognigy adds to this achievement, “We extend our congratulations to BICS for their impressive tech solution for the Chinese market. BICS has demonstrated great innovation in overcoming unique market challenges, and we commend its commitment to enhancing customer experiences.

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