Charlot and Emma, a multilingual assistant for CM


response time
daily conversations
human takeover

More about CM
CM is the biggest health insurance fund in Belgium.

Levels of assistance
0, 2 & 3

Use case
Customer support

Health insurance

Charlot and Emma, a multilingual assistant for CM

We all get tired of answering the same questions over and over again. To lighten the workload of CM’s customer service team, we built a powerful chatbot that can answer all frequently asked questions.

Implementing a chatbot can make customer service agents' workflow much easier and smoother. As the bot replaces everyday tasks that take a lot of time, like answering FAQs, more time is freed up, which they can use to tackle more complex tasks. CM (Christelijke Mutualiteit) struggled with the same problem: too many recurring questions that caused a lack of time. To solve this problem, CM developed a chatbot together with Oswald and Cronos Public Services. Meet Charlot!

Charlot, CM’s chatbot

13 October 2020. Mark that day in your calendar as Charlot’s birthday! Since then, you can find the chatbot on CM’s website. Originally, Charlot learned to answer frequently asked questions swiftly. Answers to questions like “How can I become a member?” or “Can you give me more information about my insurance?” were included in the bot’s brain. Moreover, Charlot could engage in conversation with CM’s customers and interpret their questions.

Luckily, the CM team didn’t stop at solely implementing natural language in the digital assistant. Charlot has been upgraded so it can have transactional conversations. Charlot is now integrated with My CM, CM’s digital platform where customers can easily request documents, check reimbursements, or make appointments by logging into their account.

Clients can now authenticate themselves through the virtual assistant, which is as secure as logging into their own account. This way, Charlot can retrieve the necessary information. For instance, answering “When did I last receive a reimbursement?” will not be a problem for the chatbot. The advantage of this authentication process is that the clients’ information is handled in an extremely secure way while still offering a frictionless experience.

Of course, this is just the beginning. "A chatbot is never quite finished," according to Laurent Gérard, CTO at CM. "The possibilities are endless. That's why we constantly keep looking at how the chatbot is used. Where it succeeds and where it fails. With that information, we can make Charlot grow. Just as our human colleagues grow in their jobs.”

Human takeover

The power of a virtual assistant lies in its potential to become even more intelligent on a daily basis. In this case, CM has a dedicated team that keeps Charlot up-to-date and teaches her to answer new questions. For instance, when the bot cannot answer a particular question, the team can take over with the human takeover function in Oswald. This means CM’s team can step in when necessary and take over any conversation. This way, the employees can assist the customer quickly whenever a question is more complex. In addition, the team can write down which questions need to be added to the bot’s brain, so the virtual assistant learns something more every day.

“Chatbots are new to CM. That’s why we decided to develop Charlot by partnering up with Oswald. This collaboration ensures that our IT people learn faster and put down tangible results.” - Laurent Gérard, CTO at CM

Bilingual bot

With more than 4.5 million customers, CM’s customer service team is definitely benefitting from the chatbot’s help. Moreover, Charlotte is bilingual and configured slightly differently for Flanders and Wallonia. As a result, the chatbot can answer in both French and Dutch. This way, she can help everyone in Belgium.

Since her birth, the chatbot has handled approximately a thousand questions per day. Specifically, the assistant took care of 74.732 Dutch sessions (which included 356.524 messages) and 48.551 French sessions (which included 274.370 messages). Roughly 14% of the sessions still require human takeover as the questions are too complex. This means Charlot can answer 86% of CM’s FAQs.

The project is already a success, workload-wise, as the team has more time to provide better services and has more time to focus on critical and complex questions. Moreover, CM’s team makes sure Charlot gets smarter every day. The possibilities are endless, as Charlot can grow as much as CM desires.

Want to try CM’s chatbot yourself? You can do so here.

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