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Bank of New Zealand launches kiwi brand voice with Amazon Connect

Posted on 2-Dec-2020 13:30 | Filed under: News

Bank of New Zealand (BNZ), one of the nation’s largest banks, has chosen Amazon Web Services (AWS) as the preferred cloud provider for its contact centre technology. BNZ is transitioning more than 800 bank colleagues from its on-premises contact centre to Amazon Connect, an omnichannel cloud contact centre, to reduce wait and hold times, and improve accuracy in matching customers with the right banker, the first time. 


AWS will help BNZ innovate new ways for its customers across New Zealand to manage their financial services, such as mortgage applications or bill payments, that can be done via digital channels. BNZ is the first bank in New Zealand to adopt Amazon Connect to meet customer expectations in a faster and more user-friendly way with personal, dynamic, and natural service experiences.


In addition to Amazon Connect, BNZ will leverage AWS’s broad and deep portfolio of cloud services, including machine learning (ML), to develop better ways to serve customers, and introduce a unique Amazon Polly Brand Voice, Āwhina, to its customers early next year.


BNZ is the first AWS customer in New Zealand to create a unique Brand Voice using Amazon Polly, an ML service that turns text into lifelike speech. Āwhina is natively embedded within Amazon Connect and helps customers that call BNZ with banking inquiries, such as opening a bank account, obtaining a balance, or transferring funds.


BNZ can change the routing of customer service workflows in Amazon Connect with just a few clicks, being able to easily introduce new services in the future. For example, BNZ can teach Āwhina to discuss new products or services, or create an AI-powered customer service chatbot using Amazon Lex, a service for building conversational interfaces into any application using voice and text. 


“Using Amazon Connect will improve the customer experience with BNZ, reducing wait times and ensuring our customers are connected to the right banker, the first time they call. This is the first time we will put AI techniques to work to deliver a richer and more accurate experience that adapts to our customers’ evolving banking needs, and having a Kiwi voice on the end of the line will help keep the experience grounded here in New Zealand,” said Bridgette Dalzell, General Manager, Customer Connection Hubs at BNZ.


Āwhina will use its interactions with customers to continually improve how it best helps to direct customers to the information and bankers they need. We’re excited to see how our customers interact with Āwhina, New Zealand’s first natural text-to-speech voice. She reflects the values of BNZ and is consistent with what customers expect when they call us.” 


“We look forward to progressively rolling out Amazon Connect over the next year, and see additional analytics services being deployed, to help customers receive even faster and more personalised banking support,” said Ms Dalzell.


“AWS’s broad portfolio of cloud and machine learning capabilities help financial services companies like BNZ to innovate and create personalised experiences that help them to meet their customers’ banking needs,” said Nick Walton, New Zealand Managing Director for Commercial Sector at AWS. “By selecting AWS as its preferred cloud provider for contact centre technology, BNZ has a scalable and secure contact centre solution that can adjust to the changing needs of their customers in real-time, giving them the ability to easily and naturally engage with their customers.”