The new D Scuola portal has a virtual assistant – Anna!

D Scuola is one of the leading educational publishers in Italy and since December 2021 has been part of the Mondadori Group, with which we […]

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D Scuola is one of the leading educational publishers in Italy and since December 2021 has been part of the Mondadori Group, with which we have already collaborated in the past to create the chatbot dedicated to the HUB Scuola portal. D Scuola has chosen to add to its rich online presence the BookCentral portal, through which bookstores and management units can explore the vast catalog of dictionaries, university manuals, and school texts for every level and grade of education. The new platform allows users to manage features such as ordering volumes, tracking requested returns, searching for a specific title, and more. Guiding users through the maze of the site comes Anna, the virtual “assistant” who always knows how to help you complete even the most complicated procedures.

A Tutorial bot that guides users through conversation

Using simple and intuitive conversational trees, Anna can guide users in discovering the new portal by avoiding friction and clearly illustrating how to perform the main actions. Her most important task is to assist users by providing information on:

  • order status
  • retrieval of useful documents
  • book search
  • payment methods
  • retrieval of login credentials
  • user data update

Information is conveyed through smooth and natural interaction, following the principles of Conversational AI. To further facilitate the navigation of BookCentral, Anna not only has the chat window at her disposal but also a deep integration with the portal that allows her to highlight the sections mentioned or refer the user to the exact location of what they need. This function is enabled through the use of Dispatch Event logics that trigger specific actions on the site based on the procedure being performed.

The different facets of Anna

Two conversational agents have been developed for the D Scuola world, with similar characteristics but one fundamental difference: one of them speaks and understands Italian, the other English.

Through integration with the BookCentral platform, it is possible to make the right version of the chat visible based on the browser language and certain profile characteristics of logged-in users. But Anna recognizes more than just language: during chat initialization, a script retrieves available data about the user, allowing the chatbot to provide personalized and relevant responses based on the category to which the user belongs (library or directional unit) and any past interactions.

Passing the baton with Customer Service

If the user needs more information through chat, he/she can open a qualified ticket that will be reviewed by human operators.

To facilitate the collection of reports and make contact with Customer Service more immediately, the virtual assistant retrieves the basic information needed to handle the ticket. This allows the operator who will take up the request to immediately have all the useful data available to resolve the problem, without requiring additional effort on the part of the user.

Anna continues to learn

In the first 12 months of operation (from January 2023), a total of 6841 conversations between users and bots were recorded. Only 885 of these ended in the opening of a case to Customer Service: in the other cases, the virtual assistant was able to meet users’ needs and provide them with the necessary information.

The constant collaboration between Heres and D Scuola’s teams as well as the supervised learning process allow Anna to improve her performance day by day: from each conversation, she learns something and gets closer and closer to her goal of being the perfect virtual “assistant”.

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Il Chatbot di Heres ha fin da subito consentito di ridurre significativamente l’intervento umano per richieste di supporto di primo livello, migliorando così la qualità del servizio di assistenza fornito. La professionalità del team e la facilità di interazione della Console fornita da Heres ha consentito in tempi rapidi l’integrazione con il portale web, la sua scalabilità e integrazione del servizio, risultando un valido strumento di aiuto nel supporto agli utenti.

Matteo Marchesini

IT Project Manager, Responsabile Sistemi Informativi Libri Trade - Direzione Sistemi Informativi di Gruppo

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