When this leading German telecommunications company automated customer service interactions through WhatsApp Business Platform, it gave customers more personalized, self-directed experiences while accelerating service quality and improving call center efficiency.
customer queries solved on first contact on WhatsApp as compared to 47% via IVR and NLU
of Vodafone contacts through WhatsApp automated with AI bot TOBi
of call center volumes shift to messaging after only six months
Vodafone Group serves over 300 million customers with mobile communications, as well as delivers fixed broadband, high-speed internet, and TV services to individuals and businesses across Europe and Africa. Today, the company is the leading telecommunications provider in Germany. Like its parent company, Vodafone Germany focuses on enhancing productivity, efficiency, and innovation by empowering employees and customers to connect anywhere, at any time.
Serving customers on their terms
Streamlining customer engagement and making its call center more efficient required Vodafone Germany to rethink traditional approaches to customer support. With a study showing that 85 percent of people want to message with companies at their convenience, Vodafone Germany wanted a proven, automated messaging channel to create frictionless customer experiences.
Rapid, responsive customer care
Vodafone was among the first telecommunications providers to use WhatsApp for global customer service. Since a high percentage of Germans use WhatsApp, Germany is an ideal place for Vodafone to explore using WhatsApp Business Platform to create more responsive, intuitive customer experiences. With WhatsApp, the company’s customers and service teams can easily text, share documents, and send images, video, and audio messages at their convenience.
The WhatsApp Business Platform facilitates easy AI bot integrations that allow companies to effectively customize their business solutions and experiences. The API integrates with Vodafone’s sophisticated self-learning AI bot—TOBi—that is powered by IBM Watson. The dynamic bot gives customers more control and flexibility to interact with Vodafone Germany on their terms and avoid wait times or other potential challenges of dealing with call centers.
TOBi Natural Language Processing (NLP) already understands 250 customer intents, as well as Vodafone documents like contracts and bills, to quickly address customer needs. Customers are connected automatically to a call center representative if the bot can’t efficiently resolve an issue.
Since TOBi routes and stores each conversation through a customer contact platform that Vodafone Germany powers by Genesys, customers and service agents avoid having to re-ask questions and repeat information. The result is more focused, relevant conversations that home in on a customer’s needs and speed resolution.
Through sophisticated automation buttons that summarize questions and prompt simple “yes” or “no” answers, WhatsApp maximizes efficiency for customers and call centers alike: 52 percent of the 200,000+ customer service interactions through WhatsApp per month don’t escalate to live chat or a hotline, already translating to a 10 percent reduction in call center volume. The speed of service is also noteworthy: Live agents can use WhatsApp to simultaneously manage multiple channels and batch their work to improve response quality and timeliness.
Vodafone implemented a WhatsApp chatbot that features image recognition and optical character recognition to help customers access digital self-service and achieve faster query resolution. Unlike legacy channels, the chatbot won’t drop a call or time out; even if it does require a customer to reboot a device, it retains the complete history of the interaction.
In addition, WhatsApp Business Platform positions Vodafone to take advantage of Facebook Shops as a showcase for its services and products, especially as more people shop online.
Trading hotline for online
WhatsApp Business Platform helps Vodafone Germany serve customers with faster, quality connections. Increased customer satisfaction fosters greater brand loyalty and less attrition, saving Vodafone Germany money and facilitating growth. Vodafone Germany has already seen:
- 57% of Vodafone customers resolve issues quickly through WhatsApp without contacting Vodafone again in any other channel within 7 days (compared to IVR/NLU 47%)
- 52% automation rate that never reaches a human agent, contributing to cost savings
- 10% of call center volumes shift to messaging after only six months
- 250 and counting customer intents recognized through TOBi NLP to continually enhance customer services
“WhatsApp Business Platform is a powerful environment enabling us to engage millions of customers in more direct, personalized ways. Our customers can initiate convenient, frictionless interactions on their terms. We’re seeing clearer and more relevant service responses, reduced call center demands, and better opportunities to interact with customers at every stage of their journey with us.”