The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC)

Chatbot Development

NFCC website with Penny the customer service Chatbot window open

As part of our engagement with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) to redesign their website, we determined they needed a way for users to get in contact with a member agency and find information quickly and easily. We introduced a virtual assistant, Penny the Chatbot, which has become a preferred point of customer service.

The NFCC is the largest and longest-serving nonprofit financial counseling organization in the U.S., with a goal of helping people live more financially fit lives. Having partnered with the organization in the past on successful lead-generation and awareness campaigns, they turned to us again to develop a user-friendly website. We did that and more, including an empathetic entry point that’s an alternative to tying up staff and phone lines.

A Need for Modernization

With numerous credit counseling businesses as members, the NFCC was employing a complicated, round-robin lead-distribution system. When we were asked to rebuild the organization’s website, we also created a chatbot that was custom-built to assist users in their credit counseling search. The goal of the chatbot is to drive visitors as far into the lead generation funnel as possible, ultimately connecting them directly with member agencies. We believed users would prefer this low-commitment and conversational customer support over live phone conversations. And, real success could be measured by lowering call volume and customer service strain!

Penny the chatbot profile illustration of a friendly woman with brown hair and glasses

Chatbots in Customer Service: Empathetic Automation

The solution was Penny, a cheerful and straightforward chatbot that conveniently guides users to critical information on the NFCC site. Penny also seamlessly integrates into the API that powers the new lead intake system, allowing users to be connected directly to member agencies as they convert into leads. This eliminated the need for users to enter their information multiple times, which often left them feeling “handed off,” and improved the customer experience.


We saw immediate adoption, increased use, and repeat clients that preferred this method of interaction among the NFCC’s customer base. In the complex process of debt counseling, anything that provides a more empathetic and streamlined lead intake stream is good for everyone.

First Year Results