Vodafone Boosts Its NPS by 20% After Augmenting Its Virtual Agent with GenAI

The telecommunications provider’s partnership with Microsoft appears to be paying dividends already.

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Published: May 28, 2024

Rhys Fisher

Vodafone has revealed that the implementation of Microsoft’s generative AI (GenAI) solutions has significantly improved its virtual agents.

In an early win for the recently announced partnership, the telecommunications provider claims that “super-charging” its assistant with GenAI has resulted in a 20% NPS increase.

Ignacio Garcia, Vodafone Italy’s CIO and Global Director of Data Analytics and AI, also revealed that the revamped virtual assistants had improved “70% first-time resolution to 90% … just because you have agents using GenAI.”

Announced in January of this year, enhancing the customer experience by adopting GenAI infrastructure was one of the key tenets of the Vodafone-Microsoft ten-year strategic partnership.

In addition, the collaboration aimed to accelerate Vodafone’s digital transformation, expand its IoT business, and extend its M-PESA mobile money service across Africa and develop new digital and financial services for businesses using Microsoft technology.

The deal will also benefit Microsoft through a $1.5 billion Vodafone investment into the company’s cloud and AI services over the next decade.

For Ahmed Elsayed – CIO of Vodafone UK and Europe, and Digital Engineering Director – maximizing the potential of GenAI tech is critical to Vodafone’s overall CX goal:

“We want to be number one on customer experience.

In the face of rising customer expectations, we knew we needed to uplevel our ability to respond to customer inquiries.

So, let’s take a closer look at how Vodafone’s use of GenAI is helping the company improve its CX offerings.

Super CX

Less than six months into the partnership, Vodafone already appears to be reaping the rewards via the GenAI-powered enhancements of its SuperTOBi and SuperAgent innovations.

For TOBi – Vodafone’s existing virtual assistant – the adoption of Microsoft Azure OpenAI has provided the tool with the capacity to comprehend and respond more quickly to complex customer inquiries, and offer a more personalized experience.

This feature is coupled with the ability to discern and action customer inquiries that require a human touch – automatically transferring a question it can’t answer to a person that can.

Moreover, while Garcia outlined the overall boost in first-time resolution brought about by TOBi, when it comes to critical customer journey issues such as complex billing inquiries, the tests conducted in Vodafone’s Sorrento call center have actually yielded 50% improvements.

Vodafone’s SuperAgent solution on the other hand, is designed to help customer care agents by automating repetitive tasks, giving them more time to address complex queries.

It also allows employees to expand their expertise; for instance, an employee specializing in broadband could utilize the service to broaden their understanding to include TV-related matters.

Additionally, SuperAgent prevents customers from being passed around by helping agents quickly find relevant information in Vodafone’s knowledge database, as well as reviewing call and chat transcripts to identify if further training or information is needed.

Beverley Bartlett, Head of Digital Care at Vodafone, explains how whereas previously an agent would have had to manually search through numerous pages to find answers to technical questions, now, SuperAgent quickly retrieves the correct information within seconds:

SuperAgent mirrors Microsoft Copilot to help our agents look up detailed information, ensuring they can rapidly resolve issues and provide more personalized customer care.

The advancements to the two solutions have resulted in average customer call times dropping by at least one minute, alongside an increase in customer satisfaction scores.

The fallout of these CX improvements is an uptick in customer happiness, which Bartlett outlines as a key part of the company’s customer strategy:

“Happy customers drives advocacy, drives loyalty, and ultimately drives more customers.”

More GenAI News from Vodafone

Announced earlier this year, VOXI by Vodafone has become the first UK telecommunications company to launch a GenAI chatbot, aiming to improve customer experiences with more human-like interactions.

Powered by ChatGPT and developed with Accenture, the chatbot uses an AI safety framework to ensure responsible and ethical deployment.

Despite being initially available on a limited release, Mark Farbrace – Generative AI Lead at Accenture UK – has high hopes for the solution:

VOXI is using generative AI to fundamentally reinvent its business. The customer experience is only the start of how this technology can be adopted at scale across the organization.

Artificial IntelligenceAutomationChatbotsGenerative AI

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