Cognitive interaction improves customer experiences

Brazil’s leading quadruple-play telecom provider Vivo has transformed experience for more than 90 million customers and 17,000 agents. Satisfaction ratings of 90% and above, $1.5 million-plus savings and a 20% reduction in staffing levels are just some of the benefits from a blended AI model with voice-to-text and text-to-speech transcription.

Over $1.5 million saved

in annual platform support costs

Over 90%

customer satisfaction rate

20% reduction

in contact center staffing and reassignment to higher-value positions

22% of pre-paid calls

managed using a virtual assistant

Faster response

to customer inquiries

Of the companies we evaluated, Genesys proved to be the most technologically mature provider and the one that offered us the best acquisition model, so it was selected.

Rafael Grottoli

IT Director

Vivo

The challenges of a telecommunications giant

Vivo is the leading quadruple-play provider in Brazil, providing mobile, TV, internet and fixed telephony services. Today, the company is the largest operator in the country with more than 90 million customers and 17,000 concurrent agents.

In 2015, Vivo completed the acquisition of a company called GVT to expand its portfolio and gain greater market penetration. Each company in the group brought its own platform to interact with customers, operating in 30 sites distributed throughout the country.

“We had a fragmented technological infrastructure that created many inefficiencies, in addition to being a complex scenario for problem solving,” said Rafael Grottoli, IT Director at Vivo. “We needed to unify customer management and expand our service offering with a technology partner that was up to the challenge.”

A contact center transformation

Unifying the customer experience, regardless of the point of contact, was the axis that guided the technology and customer service teams during the design and execution of the TCC project: Transformation of the contact center.

TCC was launched in 2017, and the first step was to choose the right technology partner for this ambitious transformational project. Vivo invited several technology suppliers to participate in a formal selection process, aiming to find the best solution for its needs.

“We knew many platforms. We had old versions of Genesys, Avaya, Trópico, Altitude, among other suppliers,” said Grottoli. “Of the companies we evaluated, Genesys proved to be the most technologically mature provider and the one that offered us the best transition model, which is why it was selected.”

An innovative and disruptive attention model

In 2018, Vivo began to walk the path of change. Not only did it evaluate the disjointed infrastructure of its own operation, but also that of its contact center service outsourcers — the latter being a real cultural challenge rather than a technological one, since these companies still had analog telephone systems.

The first objective of the project, led by the Genesys Professional Services Team, was to provide a frictionless customer experience across the various contact channels for the entire product and service line. Vivo manages more than 70 million inbound and outbound contacts per month.

“When we were able to unify our interaction platform with Genesys Multicloud CX, we could generate an end-to-end view of customer calls, facilitating fault analysis and creating opportunities for process improvement. This was not possible before,” said Danubia Baltazar, Customer Experience Project Manager at Vivo.

Additionally, Vivo deployed an innovative and disruptive omnichannel service model, incorporating digital interaction channels, such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Aura, a virtual assistant hosted by Microsoft. A key initiative for the operation was to implement advanced self-service tools to handle repetitive and simple inquiries. The Genesys IVR has been integrated into the Vivo Aura artificial intelligence (AI) solution using partner technologies for voice-to-text and text-to-speech transcription.

When we were able to unify our interaction platform with Genesys Multicloud CX, we were able to generate an end-to-end view of customer calls, making it easier to analyze failures and create opportunities for improvement.

Danubia Baltazar

Client Experience Project Manager

Vivo

Fast and amazing impact

The new customer interaction model was launched in July 2019, and one of the objectives was “for customers to start using the new service channels,” said Baltazar. This was quickly accomplished; within a few months, more than 1 million unique customers chose to receive support through WhatsApp and other digital channels. Previously, 17% of contacts were managed through the telephone channel. The new service model reduced this number by 7%.

Vivo quickly realized that automation didn’t apply to all profiles. In fact, it took steps to figure out what kind of customers will use this new modality — and which ones prefer human interaction. Understanding this allows them to maintain a level of satisfaction that exceeds 90%.

Another highlight of the first month of operation was that now 22% of prepaid calls are answered by Aura, the AI-powered virtual assistant. The technology is so powerful that customers claim it’s like interacting with a human operator.

But, the fact that so many customers are comfortable with voicebots created new challenges for Vivo. The increasingly extensive conversations with automated systems, and with customers from regions with different accents, prompted the company to create a “robot training” center. The training center is essential for not compromising the quality of the service. Many contact center employees were reassigned to this state-of-the-art center after agent headcount was reduced by 20% because of the new interaction model Vivo implemented.

“The integration was complex, but positive; the best functionalities of each of the incorporated systems were used. And it’s working very well,” said Grottoli. “The cognitive platform is learning every day, so the next big challenge is to start using all the tools implemented to anticipate the customers’ desire and tailor for their attention.”

In addition to the technological enhancements that Vivo experienced, the company also realized a substantial cost savings. By replacing several outdated systems and consolidating with the Genesys Multicloud CX solution, Vivo saved over $1.5 million (R$ 8 MM) in annual support costs.

At a glance

Customer: Vivo

Industry: Telecommunications

Location: Brazil

Company size: 17,000 concurrent agents

Challenges

  • Update fragmented and obsolete technological infrastructure
  • Unify the customer experience, regardless of the point of contact
  • Reduce costs associated with maintaining legacy systems
  • Implement AI strategies to personalize interactions
  • Supply customers with new built-in digital channels

Additional resources

Case study PDF

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