About the Client
Tesco Mobile Ireland is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) launched in 2007. As an MVNO, Tesco Mobile Ireland does not own its own network infrastructure but instead uses the network of Three Ireland to provide mobile services to its customers.
Overall, Tesco Mobile Ireland aims to provide affordable mobile services with simple and transparent pricing, and a strong focus on customer service.
Location: Republic of Ireland
Features Deployed: In-App Messaging, Web Chat, Web Messaging, Social Messaging, automation.
When we started working with Tesco Mobile Ireland in 2015, they had already been using webchat for several years but still very much prioritised the voice channel over the digital channels. We helped them realise the value of digital adoption, not only because of its cost-effectiveness but also because it is what most customers want. We also helped them integrate secure messaging into their app; in fact, they became one of the first Telcos in EMEA to achieve this.
The tasks we set out to address were:
- Improvement and expansion of the chat and messaging channels for Customer Service and Sales.
- Implementation of asynchronous messaging into the Tesco Mobile app.
- Consolidation of social messaging onto a single platform.
- Introduction of basic automation to triage customers.
- Deflection to the digital channels for secure payments for a Collections use case.
Firstly, it was necessary to prove the value of the digital channels. We set up daily reporting to help the Contact Centre understand the opportunities that they were missing. The Contact Centre, in turn, filtered this information to management who began to see the hunger for digital engagement.
Having proven the demand, headcount for the digital channels was increased thereby improving the availability of those channels.
We implemented in-app messaging as a better solution for customers to get assistance whilst in the mobile app.
We consolidated the social channels into the same platform to make it easier to track and resolve customer issues and provide better control and reporting on these channels.
We placed simple automation in the chat and web messaging channels to direct customers to self-serve where possible and to triage those customers who have account-specific queries before they reach an advisor. We also set up a simple lead gen automation for gathering interest in the monthly offers.
We suggested that anonymity around a chat session is ideal for Collections. We helped Tesco Mobile to start offering chat from outbound SMS as an option for Collections, resulting in significant uptake by their customers.
One of the challenges we encountered – and successfully overcame – along the way was lack of belief in the digital channels.
Phone was king and management was certain that customers still preferred to phone rather than chat. When we highlighted the missed opportunities and encouraged them to increase the headcount for the chat and messaging, volume through the digital channels more than tripled. In the same way, there was a certain amount of reticence around automation but when they came to us with a specific problem and we said: “A bot could do that for you!” – that was the turning point.
By helping Tesco Mobile Ireland see their missed opportunities and understand how to achieve the desired KPIs on chat and messaging we were able to triple their digital engagement in a very short space of time.
By increasing the availability of the digital channels, Tesco Mobile Ireland is now able to serve its customers in their channels of choice resulting in improved efficiency and customer satisfaction.
Tesco Mobile Ireland is also using automation creatively to save advisors time and to collect sales leads.
For more than 20 years, City Wonders has been offering insightful and entertaining guided tours of Europe’s iconic cities. Passionate about giving travellers incredible, memorable experiences, City Wonders provides a range of specialised tour options, including skip-the-line access to famous landmarks, small-group walking tours and visits to lesser-known sights. They have thousands of 5-star reviews and recognition as the No.1 Experience Worldwide by TripAdvisor!
In 2016, City Wonders engaged with IT Solutions to provide live chat on their websites: CityWonders.com and DarkRome.com. We guided the technical implementation and trained the agents. The project was an immediate success with an excellent conversion rate over the chat. Together we looked for more opportunities for digital engagement and added WhatsApp into the confirmation emails and tour vouchers.
And then, along came the pandemic. With travel restrictions and safety measures in place, City Wonders had to cancel or postpone its tours and significantly reduce its workforce. The company adapted by shifting its focus to future planning and preparing for a time when it could safely resume its in-person tours. During the various lockdowns, they upgraded many of their IT systems and processes, accelerating their digital transformation plans. This included a conversational chatbot to provide a great customer service experience 24/7.
In collaboration with the Customer Service Management team, IT Solutions developed, deployed and maintains a chatbot to address simple repetitive queries. Cindy, the City Wonders virtual assistant, guides travellers to find accurate answers to frequently asked questions. The assistant will also escalate the more difficult enquires to a City Wonders team member.
City Wonders’ business gradually re-opened during 2021-2022 but with limited staff available to cover the chat channel, Cindy remains in place answering customers with useful accurate information and escalating where necessary. With IT Solutions’ assistance, City Wonders has recently added Facebook and Instagram to its social channels to extend its presence in those applications.
Cindy is able to contain up to 75% of customer queries. This has resulted in many satisfied customers and a significant reduction in cost-to-serve. City Wonders has great plans for Cindy going forward with lots more exciting sales and customer service use cases in the pipeline.
Agthia is a multinational company that has been serving customers in 30 international markets for over four decades. The company prides itself on offering a diverse range of nutritious, value-driven, and ethically produced products, including food and beverages.
To support their continued growth and success, Agthia turned to IT Solutions, a trusted partner in the delivery of cutting-edge technology solutions. We were responsible for helping Agthia implement automation and proactive messaging for their water brand Alain, which involved setting up their account configuration and ensuring that their Contact Centre was ready for operation.
Our team played a crucial role in ensuring that Agthia was able to streamline their processes and communicate effectively with customers by setting up their systems in the most efficient and effective manner possible. This collaboration allowed the company to continue to provide high-quality products and services to their customers.
The Alain water service centre was facing a challenge of handling a large number of similar inquiries from its customers. To address this issue and improve the customer experience, the company decided to implement a proactive messaging solution. This solution allowed customers to access information and resolve some of their common requests independently, without the need for direct assistance from a customer service representative.
The proactive messaging covered several important areas that were frequently asked about, including updates on delivery status, alerts when a customer’s balance was low and needed to be topped up, information for new customers about the company and its products, and guidance on the availability and use of the company’s app. This approach not only reduced the workload for the service centre but also ensured that customers received timely and accurate information, improving the overall customer experience.
We introduced a proactive messaging tool that utilizes messaging platforms such as WhatsApp and SMS to tackle repetitive customer inquiries in a more efficient and effective manner. The tool was designed to handle common customer questions and provide quick and accurate responses, freeing up customer service agents from having to repeatedly answer the same questions.
By using this tool, customer service agents were able to redirect their focus and energy towards more complex customer inquiries that required a higher level of expertise and attention. This allowed for a more efficient use of time and resources, as well as improved customer satisfaction, as customers received quick and accurate responses to their inquiries.
The proactive messaging tool provided a valuable solution to a common customer service challenge, by deflecting repetitive customer inquiries and allowing customer service agents to focus on more complex and challenging customer needs.
Agthia noticed a decrease in the number of repetitive inquiries made by customers. This was due to the implementation of a self-service feature through the company’s app. The app allowed customers to proactively recharge their account balance whenever they needed to, thus reducing their dependence on the Service Team.
This not only lightened the workload of the service team but also led to an increase in sales. The convenience of being able to easily recharge their account balance encouraged customers to do so more frequently, resulting in an overall increase in sales for the company.
Founded in 2009 and accredited in February 2014, University of the People (UoPeople) are the first non-profit, accredited online university that provides quality education to students worldwide. The university offers associate and bachelor’s degree programs entirely online and free of charge. They are designed to help qualified high school graduates from around the world overcome financial, geographic, political, and personal constraints keeping them from their studies. Degree programs include Business Administration, Computer Science, Health Science, and Education. The university has a diverse student population from over 200 countries and territories.
Features Deployed: Automation, Proactive Messaging, Web Chat, Social Messaging
UoPeople’s mission is to make higher education more accessible to everyone. To fulfill this mission, UoPeople recognized the need to provide students with efficient and personalized support. As a result, UoPeople explored the use of a messaging bot to improve the student experience.
Together, IT Solutions and UoPeople used the LivePerson platform to develop a messaging bot to provide 24/7 student support. The bot was designed to answer common questions, provide guidance on academic matters, and connect students with the appropriate UoPeople departments. The messaging bot was integrated with UoPeople’s student portal and accessible via their website, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp. We created and rolled out an Outbound Proactive Messaging WhatsApp campaign to tens of thousands of prospects, directly to their phone numbers. The initial message provided a link for leads to register as a student – or they could continue the conversation directly with a human advisor, using a familiar channel.
UoPeople are constantly striving to increase their student-base, with the 2021 target set at 100,000 students. One of the main challenges faced by UoPeople was ensuring that the messaging bot provided accurate and relevant information to students. Currently, the student-base is ~75,000. With six registration periods throughout the year, UoPeople were seeking a way to connect with their established leads and interested prospects at scale, from over 190 countries. We needed to ensure that the bot’s responses were consistent with the university’s policies and procedures. Another challenge was ensuring that the messaging bot was accessible to students with disabilities and complied with relevant laws and regulations.
The messaging bot was launched in 2019, and since then, it has been successful in providing students with efficient and personalized support. The messaging bot has significantly reduced the workload of UoPeople’s support team and provided students with immediate responses to their queries. UoPeople has also reported an increase in student satisfaction and engagement since the introduction of the messaging bot.
The introduction of the messaging bot has had a positive impact on UoPeople’s operations. UoPeople has been able to scale its support services while maintaining a high level of quality. The messaging bot has enabled UoPeople to focus its resources on more complex issues while providing students with immediate support for routine queries. The direct approach of using proactive campaigns to gather sign-ups and registrations has been a huge success. The campaigns helped UoPeople get on course for their student target for 2021, and further Outbound Proactive Campaigns will be running for all future registration periods this year. Overall, the messaging bot has contributed to UoPeople’s mission of making higher education more accessible to everyone.
Merlin Entertainments is a British-based entertainment company that operates various attractions, such as theme parks, aquariums, and museums. It is the world’s second-largest operator of visitor attractions, behind Disney, and operates over 130 attractions across 25 countries. Some of its popular brands include LEGOLAND, Alton Towers, SEA LIFE, and Madame Tussauds. The company is known for providing innovative and immersive experiences that entertain and engage visitors of all ages.
Locations: United Kingdom
Industry: Entertainment and attractions
Features Deployed: Web messaging, Facebook, FAQ Bots
The challenge faced by Merlin Entertainments was the inefficiency of their customer service operations. The high volume of customer inquiries through phone calls, emails, and social media platforms was putting a strain on their customer service team, leading to delays and increased escalations. This was due to the limited resources available to handle these inquiries, with agents being held up with general enquiries and unable to address more pressing issues. The under-resourced customer service was causing dissatisfaction among customers, leading to negative impacts on the reputation and overall customer experience of the company.
To address the challenge of under-resourced customer service, Merlin Entertainments deployed web messaging and FAQ chatbots as a solution. The chatbots were deployed across all websites and Facebook platforms for all 28 attractions over the course of one year. These were designed to handle general customer inquiries with quick replies and provide detailed answers to avoid customer escalations, promoting self-service.
The chatbots were equipped with natural language processing (NLP) capabilities to understand the questions being asked by customers and provide appropriate responses. This reduced the need for customer service agents to handle general inquiries, freeing up their time to address more pressing issues. The chatbots were also able to handle a high volume of customer conversations, reducing the number of phone calls and emails and improving the overall customer experience.
Chatbots provided an efficient and effective solution to the challenge of under-resourced customer service at Merlin Entertainments by improving the efficiency of customer service operations, reducing workload for agents, and enhancing the customer experience.
The outcome of deploying web messaging and FAQ chatbots as a solution to under-resourced customer service at Merlin Entertainments was positive and significant. The following were the key outcomes:
- Reduced Escalations: The chatbots were able to handle a high volume of general inquiries, leading to a dramatic fall in the number of escalations of these inquiries. This improved the overall customer experience and reduced frustration among customers.
- Increased Efficiency: By handling a significant portion of customer inquiries, the chatbots freed up customer service agents to focus on more pressing issues, leading to increased efficiency and improved workload management.
- Reduced Phone Calls and Emails: The chatbots were able to handle a high volume of customer conversations, reducing the number of phone calls and emails received by customer service agents. This improved their overall workload and reduced their stress levels.
- Enhanced Customer Experience: The chatbots provided quick and detailed answers to customer inquiries, leading to a better overall customer experience. The self-service nature of the chatbots allowed customers to resolve their issues quickly, reducing wait times and frustration.
The deployment of chatbots as a solution to under-resourced customer service at Merlin Entertainments was a success, leading to improved efficiency, reduced workload for customer service agents, and enhanced customer experience.
Web messaging and FAQ chatbots by Merlin Entertainments was a strategic move to address the challenge of under-resourced customer service. The solution provided a range of benefits, including reduced escalations, increased efficiency, reduced phone calls and emails, and enhanced customer experience. The chatbots were able to handle a high volume of customer inquiries, freeing up customer service agents to focus on more pressing issues and improving their overall workload. The use of natural language processing (NLP) capabilities in the chatbots allowed them to provide quick and accurate answers to customer inquiries, leading to a better overall customer experience.
The deployment of chatbots at Merlin Entertainments was a success, providing a solution to the challenge of under-resourced customer service while improving the customer experience. The case study serves as an example of the effective use of technology in enhancing the customer service operations of a company.
Tesco Mobile UK is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) subsidiary of Tesco plc, a British multinational grocery and general merchandise retailer. Tesco Mobile provides mobile phone services to customers in the United Kingdom, offering a range of voice, text, and data services. The company uses the infrastructure of other mobile network operators to provide its services and operates as a low-cost alternative to traditional mobile network operators.
Location: United Kingdom
Features Deployed: In App Messaging, Web Chat, Social Messaging, IVR deflection
Tesco Mobile UK had been using webchat for several years but was still handling thousands of phone calls on a weekly basis. Tesco Mobile was keen to promote adoption of the digital channels over voice because they are more efficient and more cost-effective.
The tasks we set out to address were:
- Promotion of self-serve and digital channels for Customer Service and Sales
- Channel customer queries coming via the stores to chat instead of voice
- Consolidation of social messaging onto a single platform
- Introduction of automation
- Implementation of secure messaging into the Tesco Mobile app
- Reduce phone queues by offering deflection to chat
We successfully expanded the existing web chat to include and measure Sales, achieving conversion rates of 14% and more without a hard sell. We also assisted with the successful migration of the chat onto the new website which was structured differently to the original website.
We made chat available to the store colleagues via their in-store portal so they could consult with the customer service centre more discreetly. This was rolled out to a select number of stores and then the entire store-base.
Consolidating the social channels into the same platform made it easier to track and resolve customer issues and provided better control and reporting on these channels. The Social Media team had previously struggled with the tool they were using to answer the messages.
We placed simple automation in the Social channels to direct customers to self-serve where possible and to triage those customers who have account-specific queries.
We implemented in-app messaging as a better solution for customers to get assistance whilst in the app. This asynchronous communication was new to the offshore team but the advisors quickly adapted and handled it very well.
We set out to reduce queuing and convert customers from voice to digital by using IVR deflection to chat. The customers who chose the chat found it to be an easy channel to use and feedback was very positive.
Some of the challenges we encountered – and successfully overcame – along the way were:
- Third parties: Tesco Mobile UK uses third-parties for the different areas of their operation – we had to collaborate and co-operate with various technology providers.
- Data security: Ensuring the security of sensitive customer information was a top priority for Tesco Mobile, and this required careful planning and implementation.
The solutions implemented benefitted Tesco Mobile in several ways:
- Increased customer satisfaction: By providing multiple digital channels for customer service, Tesco Mobile was able to improve the overall customer experience and increase customer satisfaction. The company was able to respond to customer inquiries quickly and efficiently, leading to higher levels of customer satisfaction.
- Reduced wait times: The in-app chat, web chat, IVR deflection to chat and social messaging channels reduced wait times for customers and allowed them to get answers to their questions in real-time.
- Improved efficiency: The implementation of IVR deflection redirected customers from traditional phone-based customer service to digital channels, reducing the volume of calls to customer service. This allowed the company to handle more customer inquiries in less time, improving overall efficiency.
By widening the availability of the digital channels, Tesco Mobile was able to encourage the adoption of those channels by its customers resulting in improved efficiency and customer satisfaction without increasing cost to serve.