Sompo Japan Insurance introduces AI at call centers

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Sompo Japan Insurance introduces AI at call centers

One of the world's largest customer response systems will be introduced by Interactive Artificial Intelligence introduced by Sompo Japan Insurance Inc. at its call centers on Thursday. The system will be capable of handling up to 3,000 calls per hour.

The insurance company expects to receive calls from policyholders in the event of a large-scale disaster, such as an earthquake that strikes the Tokyo metropolitan area, so it hopes that the AI system will help with call congestion and accelerate claim payments.

Under the new system, policyholders can call a hotline for damage reports and choose whether to be answered by a human operator or AI. If operators are busy, the call will be transferred to AI.

The AI will ask the customer for relevant information, including their name, their policy number and damage incurred. The answers will automatically be converted into text to help with filing a report. NTT Communications Corp. provided the AI technology.

Due to more frequent natural disasters, Sompo Japan is having difficulty answering calls from customers at its call centers. In 2018, the company received approximately 4,000 damage reports in an hour, compared to 21 in Japan.

The effectiveness of such a manpower-based strategy has been limited as many natural disasters have occurred at night or on holidays, as the company has tried to adapt by transferring calls to its 700 branches nationwide.

The company anticipates to receive approximately 8,000 calls per hour in the event of an earthquake that strikes directly under the Tokyo metropolitan area.