NSSF Uganda unveils Sanyu digital assistant to boost customer service

The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) of Uganda has transformed its customer experience with powerful self-service capabilities by introducing an AI-powered digital customer assistant named ‘Sanyu’ based on Avaya technology.

Sanyu, an advanced chatbot that now serves as the NSSF’s front line of customer service, is integrated into the organisation’s Avaya OneCloud CCaaS contact centre solution and a range of digital touchpoints. It reduces waiting times for customers who contact the NSSF by providing easy self-service for routine transactions – in the process freeing up human agents so that they can address more complex requests.

NSSF is the national savings scheme mandated by the government of Uganda to provide social security services to all private-sector employees in the country. The organisation sees a very high volume of interactions and transactions and serves customers through multiple channels such as a web portal, app, messaging platforms, call centres, and a physical branch network.

“We estimated that our customer service personnel were spending around three-quarters of their day on easily-answered queries, such as statement requests, registration, and FAQs,” said Richard Byarugaba, the MD, NSSF. “By automating most of these interactions, our agents now focus on transactions that require human intervention, typically at the higher-end of the value chain. This transformation paid off during the pandemic, as lockdowns and distancing reduced our customers’ visits to physical branches and increased the demand on our call centres and online platforms.”

The deployment comes as the NSSF’s latest effort to digitise the customer experience. Over the last two years the organisation has moved over 94% of its member transactions and interactions over to digital channels, with only the remaining 6% of customers using walk-in service centres. That digital shift, however, necessitated a transformation in how inbound requests are handled.

“We had been struggling to keep up with the high volume of frequent queries coming in, and we did not have a solution that offered customers the same experience and convenience on our various different digital platforms. We wanted to have unlimited capacity to respond instantly, any time, to customer queries. There was also a need to free up our front-end employees from routine support requests and enable them to focus on more complex tasks,” said Byarugaba.

Sanyu emerged as the solution, integrating into NSSF’s customer-facing interfaces such as a web portal, mobile app, mobile browser, and social messaging clients. The bot interacts with customers through text-based chat and delivers powerful self-service, automating workflows such as Employer Registration, Member Registration, Member Benefit Tracking, Member Provisional Balance, Member Statement and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). And if it cannot serve the customer’s request, Sanyu seamlessly routes the query to the best available agent.

Since October 2020, nearly 164,000 customer transactions and interactions have been registered through Sanyu, and the NSSF is confident the solution will contribute to an improvement in its Net Promoter Score and first contact resolution rates.

Vinod Kumar Puthanpura, Territory Account Manager for West, East & Central Africa, Avaya, said: “With its deployment of Sanyu, NSSF is at the leading edge of infusing AI into the customer experience. With the powerful AI tools available to it through the Avaya OneCloud ecosystem, NSSF has introduced tremendous self-service capabilities that enhance both customer and employee experiences. and set the organisation well on its way to becoming a digital business. We look forward to further supporting the NSSF as it continues this journey.”

NSSF Uganda is a multi-trillion fund which provides social security services to employees in the private sector.

The Fund is a secure, innovative, and dynamic social security provider that guarantees safety, security, and a competitive return on members’ savings of over 2% above the 10-year inflation average. The Fund manages assets worth over UGX 15.5 trillion at June 30, 2021, invested in Fixed Income, Equities and Real Estate assets within the East Africa region. As the largest Fund in East Africa by value, we have the ambitious goal of growing our Assets Under Management to 20 Trillion by 2025.

Since 2012, the Fund is regulated by the Uganda Retirement Benefits Regulatory Authority while Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development is responsible for policy oversight.

Businesses are built by the experiences they provide, and everyday millions of those experiences are delivered by Avaya Holdings Corp. Avaya is shaping what’s next for the future of work, with innovation and partnerships that deliver game-changing business benefits. The firm’s cloud communications solutions and multi-cloud application ecosystem power personalized, intelligent, and effortless customer and employee experiences to help achieve strategic ambitions and desired outcomes.


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