Reinventing our customer experience: harnessing the power of remarkable tech

Cloud technology used by customer service agents are helping us to resolve customer problems quicker and deliver a more personalised service

Improving our customer experience (CX) is a key priority in 2021. We want it to be simple and seamless to contact us - and we want to solve your problem as quickly as we can.

So we’re upgrading our customer service technology and reinventing how we manage the customer experience across all our touchpoints including voice, online chat and social media. By using cloud services and innovative new technology like Amazon Web Services (AWS) artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) services, we aim to provide customers a more personalised and intuitive experience, while also reducing wait times, and helping solve issues faster.

It might not be easy for you to see behind the scenes, but it’s a bit like transitioning from a small traditional sailboat to a state-of-the-art luxury yacht – to make the experience much smoother and the journey quicker.

We’ve already made great strides since we began migrating to Amazon Connect, an omnichannel cloud contact centre, last year. For example, we moved LiveChat and our chatbot TOBi to Amazon Connect, which is resulting in significant improvements for our customers, as reflected in the positive feedback we are getting.

“We receive around 1.7 million calls from customers each month”, says Mark Fitzgerald, Head of Digital Service & Tools. “We have lots of great staff, and we’ve been hiring more people in our Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch call centres, but they need the latest technology tools to deliver remarkable, seamless service that is more personalised, faster and more intuitive. This is what Vodafone’s new contact centre telephony platform, built on Amazon Connect, will deliver.”

“It is a new digital platform that will make delivering great customer service really easy for our frontline teams, by simplifying the customer interface and integrating it better with our other support channels. And we are not just looking at new features in our IVR (voice) channel, but some exciting enhancements in messaging and integration with our social channels too.”

To ensure the success of the initiative, and to test and learn as we implement this new system, there is a staggered release of the new technology to the different contact centre teams across Vodafone New Zealand.

In the meantime, here are some new features that customers should start to notice over the coming months:

  • A new, New Zealand automated (but real!) voice to answer customer calls. We’re super excited that a great New Zealander is about to go into studio to record the audio that customers will soon hear when they call us. Watch this space! In the meantime, we’re borrowing a pre-recorded Aussie voice.
  • You’ll know who you’re speaking to. A cool new feature of Amazon Connect is called agent ‘whisper’, which gives the name of the agent to the customer just before the call connects (saying, for example, “You are now being connected to Neil”).
  • A simplified menu of options. To direct your call to the right place, quicker.
  • More digital, self-service tools. We appreciate that a lot of the time, you just want to go online to sort the problem yourself. So we’ll be rolling out more features in the coming months, including social media integration and enhancements to our technology platforms.

As Mark summarises: “We want contacting us to be remarkably simple, each time customers call. We’re not there yet, but we are working hard to make this happen soon.”

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