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Vodafone taps IBM Watson to speed up online queries

TOBi the chatbot an innovative way of offering customers quicker web chat service

Vodafone reveals the latest member of its AI family - TOBi the chatbot.

The chatbot, which is powered by IBM Watson, aims to provide customers with a smooth and efficient way of having simple queries answered.

The chatbot, for instance, will be able to help customers with roaming related questions.

“Customers can always transition through to a human advisor if they get stuck,” says Helen van Orton, customer operations director at Vodafone New Zealand.

“TOBi is a great way for customers to ask those quick fire questions that need an answer right away, freeing up time for our frontline agents to spend with customers who have larger, more complex queries.”

Van Orton says there are plans for TOBi to be available through the My Vodafone app in the future, so customers will be able to get their questions answered whenever they want and while they are on the go.

TOBi will also be available on the Contact Us page to save customers time on the phone.

Visitors to the page will be able to use a search tool so TOBi can direct them straight to the correct team rather than seeing the traditional list of numbers.

Van Orton says the chatbot complements Vodafone’s customer service team.

“TOBi is an exciting step forward in giving our customers the quick and seamless service they want,” says van Orton. “Our ambition is to give our customers the best experience possible, and TOBi is another important step towards achieving that ambition.”

Customers are encouraged to interact with the chatbot, as with most AI, TOBi will learn more through experience, she says.