January 30, 2020

Chatbots in Telecom: Why Do Companies Need Them?

New technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning are transforming the way businesses and organizations operate. Various industries are capitalizing on the benefits these technologies can provide.

Though the telecom industry remained untouched for many years, the way people communicate with these companies is also changing.

Some of the biggest telecom players are using AI-powered bots, both chatbots and voice bots, to improve customer experiences with better service speed and quality. Not only this, artificial intelligence is also helping companies proactively detect, predict, and fix network anomalies and reduce operational costs.

In fact, global AI in telecommunication is predicted to reach $1 billion by 2023, growing with 32% CAGR during 2018–2023.

Global AI in telecommunication

Let’s discuss how intelligent, AI-powered chatbots can revolutionize the telecom industry and why you should leverage them.

Why Do Telecom Companies Need Chatbots?

Most established telecommunication companies have huge user bases, which means that they receive a constant flow of customer requests all day. While some users seek help to set up their equipment, others complain about something not working right, and so on.

What makes it more difficult for these companies is that people expect instant solutions as they depend a lot on mobile and internet connections. People also prefer to have more interactive communications and omnichannel experiences.

That’s why most telecom companies maintain large customer support services that run 24/7 and cost big money. Leveraging AI-powered chatbots seems a great solution to this.

In the telecom industry, chatbots can perform a number of functions without constant human intervention. They can:

  • Handle customer requests that are repetitive in nature such as inquiries about recharge plans, pricing, coverage areas, basic setup procedures, etc.
  • Reduce waiting times.
  • Redirect customer requests to appropriate departments.
  • Provide 24/7 support.
  • Remind customers to recharge before their current plans expire.
  • Collect customer feedback.

Chatbots come with a plethora of benefits such as greater user engagement, higher customer satisfaction, and cost-savings.

With the advancements in technology and the rising service standards, telecom companies need to include chatbots to improve performance. You can make your customers happy with human-like text and voice bots at their service.

Related article: Omnichannel Customer Service: Why should you implement it in your business?

How AI Chatbots are Changing the Telecom Industry

Telecom companies are using chatbots to deliver customer experiences and solve their customers’ problems without the need for them to talk to a human agent. They also ensure that customers don’t have to endure long waits and endless options.

Telecom company, Movistar, reduced their customer service costs by more than 30% using our AI-powered chatbot, Nikko. They wanted to give their bot a personality that even your mother could approach to seek help for a smartphone-related issue.

Nikko is an expert in Movistar products and services. It comes with a human-like empathy that helped the company build trust and boost user engagement.

The chatbot not only interacts with their customers, but also with their systems and web services. It provides them specific information about lines and their statuses.

How AI Chatbots are Changing the Telecom Industry

With the addition of Nikko to their customer care team, the telecom company:

  • Reduced their customer service costs by over 30%
  • Increased self-service KPIs
  • Delivered a fully-omnichannel experience to their customers.
  • Gained new customers through digital channels.
  • Achieved rapid growth in their ROI.
  • Increased their customer retention rate to +80%.

Mario Castellanos González, an expert in innovation and strategy, shared, "The evolution of the virtual assistant has occurred very naturally, because it is easy to use, intuitive and it is simple to understand what is happening and what customers need."

González’s team later started using our Live chat solution too. Their bot, Nikko, also won the Intelligent Assistants Awards in 2015.

Chatbots like Movistar’s Nikko are transforming the telecom industry. Along with offering common benefits like 24x7 support and cost effectiveness, smart text and voice bots can also help:

1. Facilitate Smooth and Transparent Communication

Many customer requests need to be transferred to other departments. Customers often find it annoying to wait when their call gets transferred between departments, and explain their issue to different people. They also expect that the first person they speak to should resolve their issue.

Chatbots can play an important role in such situations. As a primary point of contact, a chatbot can help customers connect with the expert who can resolve their problems.

Your bot can collect basic information about your customers and their issues, which include details like:

  • Whether the person is a new customer or is already using your services
  • Whether they hold an individual or a corporate account
  • Their account number
  • Whether their issue is related to general information, finance, technical failure, etc.
  • More details about the issue such as slow connection, overcharged, etc.

This way, chatbots can resolve simpler issues on their own. For complex issues, they can connect the customer with a human operator and update the operator about the customer’s problem.

Using chatbots will ensure that your customers don’t need to repeat their information and that they can experience smooth communication. Along with chatbots, you can also use voice bots to interact with your customers.

2. Overcome Language Barriers

Customers are likely to use natural and informal language when communicating with companies and support teams.

If any of your customer is not a native speaker, they might find voice communication difficult due to different accents. Voice bots can help telecom companies overcome regional and language barriers for clear communication.

The same holds true for chat conversations. Intelligent chatbots understand spelling and orthographic mistakes as well as regionalisms. This makes them an ideal asset for your customer service team.

Our AgentBot’s natural language understanding engine helps it interpret everyday language and understand what people want to say. The bot also learns from each interaction it has with customers through machine learning.

It can help you create a chatbot or voice bot that integrates human empathy and the understanding of everyday dialogues to improve your customer communications.

3. Boost Conversions

Chatbots can collect data about the way a customer interacts with them. Based on the records of previous chat conversations with different users, you can give them personalized offers.

There are higher chances that a customer will upgrade their current plans when they get custom deals and offers. The chatbot can simply redirect them to a specific page of your website to avail the offer.

Such offers can make your customers feel valued and help you build customer loyalty. At the same time, you will also be able to upsell and increase your average order value to generate more revenue.

You can also use bots to remind them to recharge when their current plan is about to expire or send them bill reminders. This way, they won’t have to worry about their data packs running out.

24/7 support availability also impresses customers and helps you earn referral customers, which is again a good sign for your business. And you can boost conversions with bots that ensure a good customer service speed and quality.

4. Streamline Bill Payments

Customers of telecom companies often face billing errors for both voice and data contracts, which leads to a poor customer service reputation.

You can optimize your billing and payment collection process using Aivo’s AI-powered bill payment solution. It can help you connect with your customers through automatic messaging on their preferred channels.

They will first receive an automated, custom SMS that will inform them about their balance and give them the option to pay now or later. Once they click on the link, it will redirect them to the window where they can interact with the bot.

If they choose to “Pay Now,” the bot will ask them to enter their card details and pay their bill immediately. If they choose “Pay Later,” they can establish a payment guarantee.

Streamline Bill Payments

If your customers don’t respond within three days of receiving the SMS, the bot will give them an automated call. The bot will provide them with the same options to pay at that time or later through the voice call.

Aivo's integrated solutions that use SMS, chatbots, and voice bots can help you save on operating costs, reduce payment times, and improve your customers’ experiences.

Related article: Artificial Intelligence: What is it and how does it work?

Conclusion

If you want to increase customer retention and acquire more customers, the best way is to keep your customers happy. And to do that, you need to deliver great customer experiences with short turnaround times and smooth communication.

As we’ve already discussed above, leveraging smart, AI-powered chatbots can help you get an edge over other telecom firms. We recommend that you make these emerging technologies an asset to accelerate the growth of your business.

If you want to discuss anything about creating and leveraging text and voice bots for your firm, please feel free to connect with us.