AI tools to proactively solve customer issues bring innovation award to Vodafone NZ

Vodafone NZ wins “Robotic Process Automation Innovation Award" in the 2020 AI Breakthrough Awards

Befitting a technology leader, Vodafone NZ is today named the winner of the Robotic Process Automation Innovation Award in the 2020 AI Breakthrough Awards, for a program to enrich customer experience, drive people engagement and maximise efficiency across the business.

The international award recognises a vast program of work within the Customer Operations team, deploying 58 robots over a one-year period to proactively identify potential customer issues and fix them.

Three examples of these 58 robots are:

  • Activating phone numbers for large businesses: Using AI tools to provision bulk lots of mobile numbers (MSISDNs) for large Enterprise and Government customers to save time and reduce mistakes. Previously one agent could process 70 numbers in one day - while a robot can transfer thousands overnight as well as check for duplicates or errors.
  • Offering online credit payments: An automated process was developed so customers could process credits owing via an online form, which is faster and reduces the margin for error.
  • Checking the ‘do not reply’ inbox: Despite coming from a ‘donotreply’ email address, approx. 5,000 emails each week are sent to unmonitored email accounts. Using AI, a robot was built to do keyword searches to identify a range of common customer issues and solve them proactively.

Mark Fitzgerald, Head of Digital Tools & Service COE, Vodafone NZ, says: “We’ve been exploring how digital tools can both enhance our customer’s experience as well as increase productivity. Our RPA Squad has been incredibly effective in identifying and resolving reoccurring customer issues - while also reducing time-consuming, data-heavy tasks to free our teams up to focus on solving the more complex customer problems that really need human intervention.

“This award recognises how we’re applying innovative problem solving to offer a better customer experience, and it’s even more pleasing when we can solve potential issues before a customer even realises it.

“An added bonus is AI-powered robots can process complex data sets overnight. By building these robots, our tech teams estimate they have saved an estimated 160,000 hours to reassign to other more complex tasks.”

The AI Breakthrough Awards recognise the best companies, technologies, products and services in the field of Artificial Intelligence. For more information, visit

For more information about Vodafone products and services, please visit

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