Next-Level Kundenservice mit einem virtuellen Assistenten

aws
infrastruktur
ai

Über Krone Sonne GmbH

Krone Sonne GmbH ist ein Joint Venture von Krone und Burgenland Energie und das Unternehmen ist führend in erneuerbaren Energielösungen in Österreich.

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Executive Summary

Krone Sonne, a leader in renewable energy solutions in Austria, faced a significant challenge during peak marketing periods. Their customer service hotline was overwhelmed with inquiries, leading to wait times and potential loss of customer engagement and satisfaction. The implementation of an AI-backed virtual assistant by Krone Sonne was a resounding success. It not only enhanced customer support during critical marketing periods but also provided strategic insights while being cost-effective. This initiative has set a benchmark in customer service excellence in the renewable energy sector.

About the Customer

Krone Sonne GmbH is backed by two of the country's leading companies, Krone and Burgenland Energie, which have joined forces in a joint venture. The company offers renewable energy solutions throughout Austria and has already installed more than a thousand systems across the country. Krone Sonne's particular strength lies in the online planning and ordering of photovoltaic systems. With the experience of over 3,000 installed systems, Krone Sonne offers an efficient, cost-effective and uncomplicated ordering and planning process via its website. The aim is to make it easier for customers to switch to renewable energy solutions without compromising on quality and service.

Customer Challenge

Challenge 1

One of the primary challenges facing consumers interested in Photovoltaic (PV) systems is the inherent complexity of solar energy solutions. Each customer's situation is unique, influenced by a myriad of factors such as location, energy needs, roof orientation, and local regulations. This specificity means that generic answers often found on Q&A pages or provided by conventional chatbots fall short in addressing the individualized concerns of consumers.

Most customers approach PV systems with specific, nuanced questions that require detailed, personalized responses. The limitation of generic Q&A pages and conventional chatbots is their inability to deeply understand and process these unique variables and provide tailored advice. This often leads to consumer frustration and hesitancy in adopting PV solutions, despite their interest in renewable energy.

Challenge 2

Krone Sonne faces a significant challenge in leveraging the high-response potential of marketing activities conducted through KRONE, a prominent newspaper. While these campaigns are effective in generating interest and responses from a wide audience, managing and capitalizing on this surge in inquiries presents a complex logistical issue.

During these high-impact marketing periods, the volume of responses often surpasses the capacity of standard customer service channels. This influx can lead to delayed responses, overwhelmed staff, and potentially missed opportunities to engage effectively with interested customers. The challenge is not just in attracting attention through KRONE newspaper but also in efficiently handling the aftermath of heightened consumer interest.

Challenge 3

A significant challenge for Krone Sonne is the necessity to swiftly adapt to rapidly changing market trends and evolving customer needs. Krone Sonne needs to continuously monitor these market trends and customer expectations to ensure their offerings remain relevant and appealing. This involves not only keeping a close eye on industry developments but also actively seeking and incorporating customer feedback to refine their products and services.

Partner Solution

Krone Sonne’s virtual assistant is based on serverless technologies to meet high availability and scale out efficiently. The whole solution is deployed in AWS with OpenAI as external service.

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Large Language Model (LLM): OpenAI's GPT-4 serves as a sophisticated language model, offering intelligent and tailored responses to user queries. It utilizes its extensive knowledge base, enhanced by a vector database filled with corporate information.

User Interface: The virtual assistant interface is designed using Zoho SalesIQ's Zobot feature, ensuring seamless integration into the Zoho ecosystem. The Zobot is embedded in the website, enabling user interactions with the virtual assistant.

Database: The vector database is powered by Aurora PostgreSQL Serverless, which includes the pgvector extension and spans three availability zones. This setup ensures a robust, highly available database solution. Additionally, DynamoDB is used for storing various prompt definitions and the users' chat history, aiding in creating a context-sensitive virtual assistant. The serverless architecture allows for automatic scaling based on user demand.

Logging and Monitoring: Logs from the backend Lambda function are sent to CloudWatch, and any backend errors trigger automatic notifications in a designated Slack channel.

Security and compliance: The backend infrastructure is deployed in private subnets. Critical data storage components, like Aurora Serverless and DynamoDB, are encrypted with KMS using customer-managed keys. Data in transit is also encrypted, predominantly managed by AWS Certificate Manager. Access to AWS services is controlled through IAM roles adhering to the principle of least privilege, and static credentials are securely stored using Secrets Manager.

Deployment and orchestration: The infrastructure is defined via the Infrastructure as Code (IaC) tool, Terraform, and maintained in a GitHub repository. AWS infrastructure deployment is automated using digger and GitHub actions. Digger conducts a terraform plan on each pull request and applies the Terraform plan on merges into the main branch. New backend versions are released via GitHub actions, which build and push the image to ECR. Changes are consistently tested in a development environment prior to production deployment.

Result

To address the challenges outlined above, Krone Sonne implemented an AI-backed online virtual assistant which was integrated into Krone Sonne’s website. The solution is using a comprehensive knowledge base covering all aspects of Krone Sonne’s products and services. The goal was to provide instant, accurate responses to commercial and technical inquiries, enhancing customer experience and managing the increased volume of requests efficiently. It was designed to understand and respond to a wide range of queries, from basic information about renewable energy solutions to complex technical details:

  • Significant reduction of bounce rate: The implementation of our AI-powered virtual assistant significantly enhanced user engagement on our website, leading to a remarkable 30% reduction in our bounce rate, by providing instant, relevant responses to visitor inquiries, and reducing the likelihood of them leaving our site prematurely.
  • Lead Conversion Boost: The use of the virtual assistant led to a surge in lead generation via the website, impressively demonstrating its ability to convert potential customers' interest into business.
  • Customer satisfaction increased: Following the implementation of the virtual assistant, the customer satisfaction rating of the website experienced a notable improvement. The virtual assistant's ability to provide quick and accurate responses to user queries enhanced the overall user experience.

Benefits

Individual Responses

  • In response to the demand for personalized interaction, a sophisticated and flexible solution was put into action. It was specifically crafted to engage with consumers individually, focusing on understanding the unique aspects of each user's circumstances. This strategy ensured that accurate, pertinent, and useful advice was provided, effectively aiding consumers in navigating their journey with PV systems.

Swift Replies even in High Volumes

  • Acting as a comprehensive educational resource, the virtual assistant dispels common misconceptions and clearly outlines the distinct benefits and ROI of implementing SAFe with PEDCO, guiding potential clients towards well-informed decisions.
  • Consequently, Krone Sonne implemented a powerful and adaptable system capable of managing a large array of customer interactions while upholding exceptional standards of customer service. This system ensured that the immediate achievements of the KRONE newspaper marketing campaign led to enduring advantages for both the company and its customers.

Customer Insights

  • Interaction logs from the virtual assistant provided valuable insights into customer preferences and frequently asked questions, informing future marketing strategies and product development.
  • This helps Krone Sonne to ensure that its marketing, communication, and product development strategies are sufficiently flexible to respond quickly to these market dynamics.

Competitive Differentiation

  • The incorporation of this cutting-edge, user-centric virtual assistant positions Krone Sonne at the forefront of the competitive market, showcasing its dedication to innovation and customer-oriented solutions. This strategic move not only boosts its attractiveness in the market but also strengthens its relationships with clients.

Scalability and Security everywhere

  • Backend services respond to increased demands and are capable of automatic scaling.
  • Data is encrypted at rest and in-transit.

About the Partner

ByteSource Technology Consulting GmbH based in Vienna is one of the leading experts in the DACH region for AWS, Atlassian, AI, DevOps and agile software development as well as technical consulting. As the largest Atlassian Platinum Partner and AWS Advanced Tier Services Partner in Austria, ByteSource proves their expertise in scaling the Atlassian toolset and agile transformation on the innovative Data Center platform. With a focus on DevOps & Cloud Journeys as well as migration and advise, ByteSource realizes large-scale projects up to three times faster than IT companies with conventional approaches. The integration of generative AI underscores the commitment to deliver enterprise-level solutions with exceptional effectiveness.

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