Businessolver Blog

How AI Can Help Your Employees Understand Their Benefits — A Look Back at Sofia

How AI Can Help Your Employees Understand Their Benefits — A Look Back at Sofia
Posted on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 by Bridget Mortland

Whew! We made it through another Annual Enrollment season.


While all of us at Businessolver were working hard to ensure a successful event for all our users, no one  was quite as busy as our own personal benefits assistant Sofia.

In just over two months, Sofia resolved more than 51,000 chats. That would be like one of us trying to take almost 1,000 chats a day during the months of October and November. Not feeling quite up to the task? Me either!

Thank goodness we can turn to innovative technologies to make us more efficient and help us get the job done. In fact, Sofia handled 57 percent of our total chats in October and November and 40 percent of those were at night or on the weekends.

Getting Employees the Right Benefits at the Right Time

When one of our users opens a chat to ask for help, Sofia is ready and willing to assist.

“Are my dependents covered?” That’s one of the top inquiries each AE and you can, no doubt, understand why. Your employees need peace of mind that their loved ones have the protection they need. Sofia answered this question (or a variation of it) more than 45,000 times during annual enrollment! And just like that, she was able to ease users’ concerns with information that their loved one was verified or, more importantly, get them on the right track to getting their dependents approved if they were not.

Need proof that your employees are confused about their benefits? Three hundred people didn’t know what a copay was, over 6,000 had questions about how an HSA worked and over 12,000 needed help with their ID cards. Sofia was able to get them all the information they needed to make the right choices.  

Speed of delivery is becoming more critical

We’ve discussed before the importance of finding innovative ways to keep up with the new age of digital consumer demands. In fact, speed is becoming more and more critical. Twenty five percent of Millennials expect a response within ten minutes and more importantly they want you to give them the tools to take care of their question or needs themselves. And with 47 percent of Sofia’s customers being Millennials… she takes these expectations very seriously.

Sofia answers chats immediately, so an employee never has to wait. In fact, she saved employees 257,052 minutes over Annual Enrollment thanks to her speedy response. And more often than not, if she can’t tell you the exact answer to your question, she can at least show you where to find it. We had over 12,000 employees ask for specific plan information. Sofia was able to pull up their Benefit Guide in seconds so they could get to their answer. She understands Millennials’ drive to do things themselves, and honors that request — while also being willing to go the extra mile where needed.

The wave of the future is now

So is human interaction the way of the past? Of course not, but virtual assistants like Sofia meet an important need.

Forty percent of consumers don’t care whether a chatbot or a real human helps them. They just want to get the help they need. In fact, during AE this year, we had several examples where our members asked several questions before finally asking, “are you real?” Sofia, being modest that she is, clued the member into her true existence and thanked them for allowing her to continue to learn from their interaction. Proof that when done right, an empathetic chatbot can be just as effective in delivering a high level of customer service.

There are fun and games too.

But it’s not always serious. If asked, Sofia is more than proud to share her Trekkie knowledge, discuss her Greek heritage and most importantly, tell a bad joke. 

“What do hospital gowns and insurance policies have in common? You’re never covered as much as you think you are!”

Good one, Sofia. 

Learn more about how Sofia is way more than a chatbot below