How Garanti Pension Enhanced
Customer Experience

Conversational IVR Case Study

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“The IVR completion rate for self-service calls reached 82% allowing customers to speak freely”

All Thanks to Sestek Conversational IVR


The Need

Before the implementation of Sestek Conversational IVR technology, all incoming calls to the Garanti Pension Contact Center were answered by customer representatives. This manual process was time-consuming and prevented customer representatives from providing additional services. The call center could only provide support within business hours, instead of offering 24/7 support.

The Implementation

Sestek Conversational IVR was implemented at Garanti Pension’s contact center. Sestek Conversational IVR is a natural dialog solution that combines automated speech recognition (ASR) and semantic interpretation technologies. This technology allows companies to replace Interactive Voice Response (IVR) menu trees with simple verbal requests by customers. It also provides a simple and practical routing solution by allowing customers to describe their needs in their own words and routing them to the right self-service application. With the implementation of Sestek Conversational IVR technology at Garanti Pension’s call center, agent-assisted menu navigation was replaced by direct free-style speech input, such as “I want to know my pension plan” or “I would like to apply for personal retirement insurance.”

The Results

Garanti Pension is the first organization in the Turkish pension and life insurance industries to use Sestek Conversational IVR technology; now, customers who call Garanti Pension’s contact center are welcomed by a voice response system and routed to the menu related to their desired transaction. The system understands phrases like “I want to know my pension plan” or “I would like to apply for personal retirement insurance” and makes the necessary transfers. The implementation of Sestek Conversational IVR has made an enormous contribution to Garanti Pension in terms of automation, security, and customer satisfaction.

Increased Automation: Before implementation, all transactions were conducted through agent-assisted procedures; there were no self-service applications. With the implementation of Sestek Conversational IVR, a remarkable increase in automation was observed. The call center began to provide 24/7 support instead of limiting its efforts to business hours. The following quantified improvements were documented after implementation:

  • 83% of incoming calls are answered by Conversational IVR technology; the remainder includes customers who prefer touch-tone navigation and VIP customers who reach customer representatives directly.
  • 15% of overall calls answered by Conversational IVR technology include self-service. On weekends and holidays, this percentage can reach 20%.
  • The IVR completion rate for self-service calls reached 82%.

Increased Security: Sestek Conversational IVR was implemented in the context of security procedures that required customers to provide agents with personal information like their father’s first name or place of birth. With the help of Sestek Conversational IVR technology, customers provided this information by speaking to the IVR system instead of a customer representative. The elimination of this need for agents not only contributed to efficiencies of automation but also increased security, since customers were no longer required to provide personal information to third parties.

Enhanced Customer Experience: The technology allowed customers to speak freely and be routed quickly to the correct menu to complete their desired transactions. Being able to interact easily with a speech recognition system, unlike traditional systems that rarely if ever understand what callers say, helped customers adapt to the new technology quickly. Garanti Pension has received positive feedback from its customers that points to the success of the technology. Customer comments include:

  • “Conversational IVR is cool, keep it up.”
  • “Conversational IVR is great; I’ve just completed my transactions in two minutes.”
  • “Conversational IVR is very successful, congratulations!”
  • “Your call center is very fast and Conversational IVR is working very well; thank you for these services.”
  • “Conversational IVR is perfect!”

Conversational IVR technology contributed to call center efficiency by increasing automation, security, and customer satisfaction. The high accuracy rates of speech recognition and call routing are among the important factors behind this success. According to the first measurements after the technology went live, the accuracy rate for speech recognition was 98% and the accuracy rate for intent recognition was 93%. Security procedure accuracy rates are also quite high; the accuracy rate of recognizing the father’s first name was 98%, while the recognition rate for place of birth was 99%.

Sestek Conversational IVR

  • Sestek Conversational IVR is an IVR solution combining automated speech recognition (ASR) with natural language processing (NLP).
  • The technology replaces frustrating or confusing menus with simple verbal requests.
  • Users need only say that they need to be routed to a relevant self-service application.
  • The technology handles calls more effectively and saves businesses on operational costs, saves the customer time and increase satisfaction.

Garanti Pension Logo

  • Garanti Pension is a subsidiary of one of Turkey’s largest private sector banks, Garanti Bank.
  • Garanti Pension And Life was found in 1992 to offer life insurance services, adding the private pension service in 2002.
  • After entering into partnership with Achmea in 2007, one of the strongest insurance companies in Europe, Garanti Pension began to offer a variety of insurance products that were already available in Europe.
  • Garanti Pension offers service to its customers at 112 regional offices and 1000 Garanti Bank branches.