Telefónica is aiming to trim the cost of customer care and improve subscriber satisfaction at its Movistar operation in Spain, with the deployment of the latest release of Telsis SMS Wizard, the natural language text query and response system developed by Telsis.
The group, which owns mobile brands throughout Europe and Latin America, is using its Spanish operation as a testbed, relying on SMS Wizard to automatically handle increasing volumes and types of customer care and promotional queries from subscribers.
Telsis SMS Wizard lets people ask questions by text messaging in any language and idiom they choose, and responds instantly by text with appropriate answers. The latest version of Wizard supports quicker and easier creation of services that combine text and voice, and Movistar has been quick to exploit the new functionality.
The first new Wizard application to be developed by the operator could automatically send subscribers a text message satisfaction survey immediately upon completion of a voice call with customer care agents. Other applications are in the pipeline, said Telefónica CRM technology director, Mario Soro Fernández.
“We are on a mission to drive down the cost of customer care but at the same time improve customer satisfaction levels. Too often this industry has embarked on cost-cutting in the knowledge that in reality subscribers will end up with poorer service. Our view is that by developing self-service channels alongside the call centre, we can have the best of both worlds. This latest Wizard application will enable us to prove our theory by giving Wizard a dual role; as a self-service channel of communication through which subscribers can get answers to an ever-wider range of queries, and as the means by which they can tell us immediately if we are getting things right,” said Fernández.
Movistar deployed SMS Wizard in 2005, using it alongside IVRs and agents to handle an increasing range of routine ‘how do I’ queries, as well as support seasonal and rolling promotions and the flagship Lend Me 4 Euros service which lets pre-pay phone users text for an instant balance top-up.
At sister company O2 UK, SMS Wizard is giving millions of pre-pay customers self service control over O2 Rewards, the award-winning loyalty programme that gives free credit worth 10% of the previous quarter’s top ups, up to a maximum value. Customers can either send a text message or make a voice call to the Telsis system – which automatically responds via their choice of channel. Through a common business back end, it enables them to join the scheme, check their points balance, claim Reward talk time, or opt out.