Vodafone UK wants to deliver outstanding customer service in the best channel for the customer, but that’s a challenge when they receive contacts from general billing enquires to technical device issues or home broadband queries. Vodafone wanted to improve customer experience while improving digital adoption.
The answer was a solution called Intelligent Care that works out which customers are going to call and then pro-actively reaches out to those customers with all the information they need. That often means customers no longer need to call. And when they do, the system steers them to the best possible channel for their individual needs.
AI | Intelligent customer care at Vodafone
Accenture and Vodafone have used AI to get smarter about the way the communications company handles 15 million customer calls a year. See more.
Accenture analyzed customer contact patterns, including both pro-active and re-active communications, to create a x-channel view of a customer’s journey. The team then built an intelligent system to route incoming calls to the best channels for them, learning from past behaviour patterns to steer customers. The system can also predict when customers were most likely to contact the company and send out relevant, pro-active messages before they needed to get in touch.
Less than a year after Intelligent Care’s launch, inbound calls were down by 1.5 million and digital channel use increased by 26%, while customer satisfaction flourished.
"It makes customers feel like Vodafone is looking out for them, giving them as much support as they need."
— Phil Goss, Head of Digital Care – Vodafone UK
People and culture
Vodafone defines its customer care in two ways: pro-active and re-active.
Intelligent Care supports both. The former predicts why customers are contacting the company and also understands why they’re reaching out. The latter is when a customer calls and the system intelligently routes them to the best channel for them. The system depends on a strategic use of data and analytics, married to a deep understanding of customer behaviour.
By combining those elements Accenture has created a pro-active system that anticipates customer needs. For example, when a customer goes roaming overseas, they may encounter a larger bill than they normally expect. Intelligent Care sends them a text. This is personalised to them as individuals to let them know why the bill is higher so they don’t experience bill shock.
When reacting to calls, the system uses voice analytics to establish why a customer is calling, linking this information together with everything Vodafone knows about that customer, to select the best channel to serve the customer for that individual reason for calling.
Vodafone considers Intelligent Care to be a win-win: the company delivers great service to its customers, but does that in a really cost-efficient way by steering them to self-service capabilities whenever appropriate. As an added benefit customer service agents are no longer taking some of the simple stuff, so they can help customers with the really complex things they want to speak to an advisor about.