Born in 2017, Pepper came out of a partnership between ATB and SoftBank Robotics America. As ATB’s first customer service robot, she has travelled around the province greeting ATB customers and Albertans in branches, showhomes, registry offices, and at university Welcome Weeks, trade shows, and other ATB-sponsored events.
Her job is to engage and delight customers and to complement the service that ATB team members provide. Through our proof of concept testing with Pepper, we’ve gathered data and feedback from her interactions and gleaned incredible insights into how she can best serve ATB’s current and future customers.
Here are a few of the things we’ve learned from Pepper in her first year on the job:
People may not be quite ready to trust robots to do their banking, but in the meantime, we’re gathering important learnings about what makes people comfortable and able to interact with Pepper. She is slowly building relationships and potentially helping us to bring new banking options to customers that might not otherwise be comfortable engaging with digital banking tools or machines.
Taking this into account, loud locations with multiple speakers are not the most suitable work location for Pepper. We were able to narrow down the contexts to which Pepper is most suited and we’re building experiences that shine in specific locations with a narrow audience.
When Pepper debuted in ATB branches in Spring 2017, we didn’t know how customers would react or what learnings we would find, but her first year on the job proved immensely valuable.
Voice will play an increasingly important role in our future. At ATB we’re excited about technology that will help reduce friction in banking. We can imagine a time soon when customers are driving to work and using a smart car audio system to transfer money, asking a smart TV to connect via video to a financial advisor, or asking a home voice assistant to pay the utility bills while they’re doing the dishes.
What we’re learning now from Pepper will help us optimize the user experience across voice-based channels. Pepper is just one channel of many, and she’s the first generation of customer service robots that we can use to learn and improve how we serve our customers using technology in physical spaces.
Pepper’s future is now splitting in two directions. She’ll continue to be tested as brand ambassador for ATB at public events, embodying the friendly, helpful culture of ATB. Her second role will evolve as we continue to improve her natural language capabilities, perform tests with connecting her to internal systems, and introduce robotics processing automation to complete tasks for customers.
Through it all, Pepper will continue to do what she does best: balance the digital future of banking with the friendly personal touch that ATB is known for.
Interested in exploring the future of robotics process automation with colleagues like Pepper? Check out our open opportunities here.