AWS Machine Learning Blog adopts Amazon Polly to enhance efficiency and customer experience

This is a guest blog post by Ashish Gupta, Chief Technology Officer & Chief Product Officer from In their own words, “ is India’s largest insurance marketplace, which enables customers to compare multiple insurance products before making a purchase.”

Since our inception in 2008, has pioneered a new FinTech ecosystem, which has redefined the way India is buying insurance. During our decade-long journey, challenges have been an inherent part of our constant evolution and progress.  At the heart of our business growth is solving consumer problems, quickly and efficiently. We have a philosophy—nip it in the bud! In 2017, our business numbers grew in scale. The number of average transactions grew to 250,000 a month from 120,000 a month previously. This meant that we were managing more consumers and solving more of their problems than ever before. We managed nearly 100 million customer queries over the phone in 2017.

Obviously, we need to innovate to keep up with this growth. It’s not possible to serve the expectations of our customers using traditional tools. Therefore, it’s paramount that we adopt new cutting-edge innovations. Amazon Polly, a text-to-speech (TTS) solution, has been the perfect tool for meeting our day-to-day challenges. Through the adoption of Amazon Polly, we have taken our customer service to the next level, resulting in higher output and greater productivity. We currently use Amazon Polly in the following ways:

  • Voice broadcasting
  • Critical voice alerts
  • Inbound calls

Amazon Polly made a difference to our processes and efficiency by enabling us to shift from sharing one-size-fit-all, pre-defined responses to customer queries, such as “Your documentation is pending” or “Something was wrong with your uploads.” With Amazon Polly, our system identifies the customers and generates a voice call that resolves their queries on a personal basis.

In short, we are now able to send messages that are relevant and that focus on specific problems. Here’s one example: “Thank you for submitting your address proof. However, the income proof you were submitting is incorrect. Can you please send us your 3 months’ bank statement or 3 months’ salary slip?” The move to Amazon Polly adds to our seamless customer experience and facilitates a more actionable communication.

Since the integration of Amazon Polly with our in-house IVR calling service, PBee Connect, we have witnessed substantial improvement in customer engagement, particularly for those calls where there is a specific call to action.

In our case, we adopted Polly four months ago. Since then:

  • We have processed more than 150,000 calls leveraging this system.
  • 80 percent of the calls made by PB Connect were answered, 53 percent responded positively, and 41 percent of sales were closed without the interference of agents (they were only involved for underwriting process at a later stage).
  • Amazon Polly has become the standard voice across all IVRs.
  • All service inbound IVRs are now voiced using Amazon Polly, providing an excellent customer experience throughout the service journey.
  • Over 50,000 calls land on service inbound every month, and the number is increasing regularly as we grow.
  • Since the response rate has been phenomenal and customer acceptance has been outstanding, we intend to increase the use of Amazon Polly on IVR calls by over 10X in the foreseeable future.

The amalgamation of these factors has resulted in a more efficient workforce, enhanced customer experience, and decreased time spent on customer handling. Being an early adopter of technology will ultimately contribute to a better bottom line for our business. Although there are other TTS innovations, the design of Amazon Polly facilitates seamless integration into our systems. Further, its capability to understand the Indian accent also makes it an ideal choice for us.

Here is an example of how Amazon Polly has been integrated into our existing tech system:

Being pioneers in the insurance aggregation space in India, constant innovation is embedded in DNA of our business. Apart from the adoption of Amazon Polly, we have also developed an in-house artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot, PBee.  On any given day, advisors receive nearly 20,000 questions. PBee is specially designed to provide professional, optimized, and standardized customer support for all general queries. It also has the unique ability to provide insurance quotes after analyzing the customer requirement in detail. The success of PBee can be seen in the impact that it has had on our operational efficiency. It has dramatically reduced the response time from as long as 25-30 seconds to an instant response. This has resulted in high customer satisfaction, ratings that increased from 60% to 85%, and better output.

The way forward  

Parallel adoption of tech never yields optimum results, integration does. Therefore, we plan to integrate Amazon Polly and PBee to leverage maximum benefits for our business.

Based on the success of our PBee and Amazon Polly powered interactive voice response (IVR) engine, now intends to build a voice bot, PBee Talk, that uses Amazon Polly for all of our post-sales support. This would enable customers to speak to us on our toll-free number and get answers to their queries on policy status, next actions, claims support, etc. This will be achieved by integration of text to speech and speech to text features. In fact, we envision Amazon Polly to be a game changer for our clients who might have literacy challenges or might be visually impaired.

In the future, we anticipate that 90% of our calls will use the Amazon Polly TTS service, which will allow personnel at our call center to focus on other activities that bring revenue to the organization and add value for our customers.

About the Author

Ashish Gupta heads all things digital at Policybazaar, including product, technology and digital marketing. A graduate from IIT(D), Ashish has been a serial entrepreneur for the last decade with 2 exits under his belt. His passions include travelling, playing cricket and just chilling in front of the television.