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With GenAI, Customer Journeys Are Reaching the Next Level

Allstate, a longtime BCG partner, recently began leveraging its new GenAI capabilities in an innovative way to improve customer experiences. Using ChatGPT, Allstate aimed to gain a better understanding of key customer touchpoints, teaming with BCG X’s esteemed data scientists and engineers to create tools that further increase customer satisfaction in multiple areas, particularly issue resolution. Guided by Allstate—and inspired by the suite of AI tools the company has already successfully implemented—BCG X utilized its expertise in GenAI and built a predictive model that proactively identifies customer needs. By monitoring for the presence of indicative signals, the model provides timely alerts to the appropriate service representatives so they can take action. The new model triples prediction performance (vs. historical models), identifying customer journeys that require additional attention and support. BCG also enabled Allstate’s strong internal teams to achieve new capabilities and deliver best-in-class customer service.

"We want to provide customers with the best possible experience. Using GenAI, Allstate better understands significant touchpoints on the customer journey so we can resolve issues faster and increase customer satisfaction,” said Eric Huls, Allstate’s chief data officer. “This is our vision for AI, and BCG’s great work helped get us there."

The Obstacle

With a long history of being at the forefront of incorporating technology-based solutions, including AI, to protect its customers, Allstate was keen to further utilize emerging GenAI capabilities. The company interacts frequently with customers but wanted to take those touchpoints a step further, extracting and processing insights from them to better understand customer experiences and handle any potential issues.

In the past, this often proved difficult. Allstate’s strong commitment to data privacy and IT governance made certain AI and GenAI tools challenging to deploy quickly in existing production IT systems. Also, customer engagement cycles take a long time to develop, limiting the ability to test a hypothesis quickly and optimize its learnings.

Our Approach

The first step in improving the understanding of customer experiences was to take the existing models and intelligence and layer on additional GenAI functionality. Here, Allstate sought to gain better insights into customers’ more nuanced behaviors and complex signals to better support them. GenAI is well suited to interpret thoroughly and notify the customer support team. Allstate and BCG’s models also produce indicators that identify when there’s a potential need for elevated servicing.

Allstate and BCG then worked together to further improve the model’s performance by leveraging features that examine changes of sentiment and signals over time. These tools show whether signals are getting better or worse, which is extremely insightful, improving overall model performance: It is able to identify issues before they occur 71% of the time. Best of all, with speed always of the essence in business, the time-based tools give Allstate the opportunity to change outcomes before the customer satisfaction journey is negatively impacted.

BCG and Allstate stood up a working, well-performing customer service model in four weeks. The goal was to develop key building blocks that enable an AI ecosystem for the company, taking its prior methodologies and improving them by adding even more customer value. Ultimately, the team utilized over 200 personalized, customer-specific features already in place and added GenAI features to boost performance while targeting the most important signifiers for gauging customer satisfaction. In addition, BCG processed transcripts as connected inputs, measuring how select signals changed over time. A key factor was being able to spot customers with concerns that may not be quickly resolved and then surfacing those issues to the Allstate team. Put simply: This method enabled faster identification of customers’ needs, allowing Allstate to change the course of their customer experience with its signature great service.

The initial challenge was to drive change while ensuring that different aspects of the business were represented throughout every step. This meant bringing together groups that typically work independently to focus on the problem and help develop solutions. This multidisciplinary Allstate and BCG team—which included core members from IT, technology, and data operations, as well as BCG strategy consultants—worked in an integrated way. BCG also partnered closely with Allstate’s risk team to ensure that all work was proactively aligned to Allstate’s thought leadership and already-set governance standards on responsible AI. This yielded the ability to make sure the model was reusable, responsive, and scalable to satisfy Allstate’s long-term needs.

The Result

Together, Allstate and BCG developed a predictive ML model using GenAI tools within just four weeks. In fact, the team’s successes were so effective and widespread, they set an example for future teams at Allstate. Two significant examples:

  • The model improved prediction performance 3x (vs. historical models), identifying customers that require additional attention and support.
  • These signals are actionable and provide customer service representatives ample time to resolve potential issues quickly.

The predictive model incorporates existing customer data as well as new data extracted by GenAI tools. The ML model then builds and iterates on this data, improving performance continuously. The model ran against existing subsystems and did not require any changes to those systems.

“We want to provide customers with the best possible experience. Using GenAI, Allstate better understands significant touchpoints on the customer journey so we can resolve issues faster and increase customer satisfaction,” said Eric Huls, Allstate’s chief data officer. “This is our vision for AI, and BCG’s great work helped get us there.”

It’s all about ensuring the customer journey is positive with the best tools possible.

Next Steps

As Allstate continues to implement new GenAI solutions, the next steps involve scaling different business verticals, further refining the predictive capabilities of the model, and exploring new avenues to integrate AI for broader customer experience enhancements. BCG has continued to be a driver of change and a strategic partner supporting Allstate on its transformative digital journey. This ongoing evolution underscores Allstate’s commitment to maintaining its leadership in customer-centric innovation and making a positive impact for its customers each day.

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