Vodacom’s TOBi, a bilingual bot, highlights the ability to assist customers while delivering exceptional customer experience, says the company.
“Our digital transformation journey is not only about technology, but also about delivering meaningful connections and remarkable experiences to our customers,” says Dee Nel, Vodacom South Africa’s director of commercial operations. “We are investing in our digital infrastructure, processes, and skilled professionals, including our innovative bot, TOBi, to build a customer-centric ecosystem that exceeds expectations. Through this holistic approach, we aim to elevate the bar in customer experience excellence. ”
Vodacom provided the following information:
One of the key milestones of TOBi is its proficiency in two of South Africa’s most popular languages – English and isiZulu. By breaking down language barriers, TOBi allows customers from diverse backgrounds to receive support in English, a widely spoken language, and isiZulu, South Africa’s most prevalent language, spoken by almost a quarter (23%) of the population according to South Africa Gateway.
Although TOBi converses mostly in English, the bot seamlessly understands and responds to customer queries fairly accurately, with Understanding Rate scores of 95% and 93% for the Voicebot and Chatbot respectively. This innovation not only enhances the customer experience on TOBi but also showcases a commitment to inclusivity and accessibility, ensuring no one is left behind.
Natural Language Processing (NLP) advancements
TOBi’s implementation of advanced Natural Language Processing technology marks another significant milestone. Through continuous learning and training, TOBi has become proficient at understanding the intricacies of human language, including slang, context, and nuances. By interpreting and processing customer queries more accurately, it ensures prompt and precise responses, significantly improving customer satisfaction and resolution times.
Customer experience is greatly enhanced when customers feel understood and valued. TOBi, read backwards as iBOT, has reached a milestone by providing personalised assistance tailored to each customer’s unique needs.
By leveraging data and customer history, TOBi can recall previous interactions, preferences, and purchase history. Armed with this knowledge, the bot can offer personalised recommendations, provide a more personalised experience, mirroring the empathy and understanding of a human customer service representative.
For instance, at the advent of the Covid pandemic, when social distancing was the norm and customers could not access Vodacom’s physical stores, TOBi, as a trusted self-service agent, was able to remotely support customers and this included a convenient way to Self-Rica a SIM – a South Africa first innovation. Customers can self-RICA 24/7 via the My Vodacom App.
Seamless Integration Across Channels
TOBi’s ability to seamlessly integrate across various communication channels is a milestone that greatly contributes to an omnichannel customer service strategy. Whether it is via SMS, WhatsApp, Voice, Web, VodaPay or My Vodacom App; TOBi ensures a consistent and unified customer experience.
Customers can effortlessly switch between channels without losing context, enabling them to engage with the business at their convenience, while still receiving the same level of prompt and accurate support. In instances where the customers’ query is too complex for TOBi to resolve, it is routed to a human agent, also known as Smart Routing.
Continuous Improvement through Customer Feedback
A truly exceptional bot is always evolving and improving. This milestone is achieved through TOBi’s commitment to gathering and utilising customer feedback effectively. By analysing interactions and customer ratings, the bot identifies areas for improvement, enabling regular updates and enhancements. This iterative process ensures that TOBi continues to learn, adapt, and deliver even better customer experiences over time.
The milestones achieved by TOBi highlight its significant contributions to customer service excellence. Through its ability to support customers in multiple languages, its advancements in Natural Language Processing, personalised assistance, seamless integration across channels, and continuous improvement based on customer feedback, TOBi has truly transformed the Vodacom customer service landscape.
Available 365/24/7, TOBi has and continues to transform the way customers engage with the Vodacom brand. For instance, TOBi can solve just over 2 million customer queries a month via SMS, WhatsApp, My Vodacom App, VodaPay App, Web and Voice. Currently, TOBi can service approximately three times the Prepaid volumes currently being serviced by our call centres, and just below half the volume of queries currently handled by our Postpaid call centres.
As Vodacom strives to provide exceptional experiences to customers, TOBi stands as a testament to the power of technology in revolutionising customer service and living up to the Vodacom brand’s purpose of an inclusive society through the utilisation of an additional languages, with the hope of ensuring the language barrier is minimised.
Whether Prepaid, Top-up or a Contract customer; TOBi is always online, accessible and ready to engage via WhatsApp (082 009 8624) or via SMS (082 009 4975) or via My Vodacom App.