Vodafone Idea users will receive a link via SMS to initiate a conversation using VIC on WhatsApp
While it is not new for a company to use WhatsApp to offer chatbot services for client engagement it is a first for Indian telecom operators
Telecom operator Vodafone Idea, announced the launch of VIC – an artificial intelligence powered digital customer service and support virtual assistant for its customers. It is now live on the company websites, My Vodafone and My Idea Apps, and on one of the most popular messaging app, WhatsApp.
Vishant Vora, Chief Technology Officer, Vodafone Idea said, “In line with our digital first approach, we are constantly innovating and deploying technology based solutions which are cost effective, convenient and offer instant resolution for our customers. VIC, an AI powered intelligent customer service platform, developed by our technology partner, ORISERVE, is an industry first initiative and has huge relevance especially at a time when customers are house-bound."
The service has been developed for Vodafone Idea on technology provided by ORISERVE, a start-up that makes multilingual conversational chatbots. It is currently available in Hindi and English.
While it is not new for a company to use WhatsApp to offer chatbot services for client engagement it is a first for Indian telecom operators. These facilities are largely provided by banking and financial services. Note that telecom rival Jio has recently collaborated with Facebook owned Whatsapp to enable retail services through the messaging app. Jio’s parent Reliance has also invested extensively in natural language processing and AI-based chatbot startups like Reverie and Haptik with a view to expand the solutions across their app ecosystem.
Vodafone Idea users will receive a link via SMS to initiate a conversation using VIC on WhatsApp. VIC was built rapidly to circumvent situations arising out of the Covid19 spread which has globally compromised traditional human-dependent customer support channels like the regular retail touchpoints.
Telecom operators have also been dealing with some difficulty in arranging for users to get retail recharges due to the lockdown in the country and have been taking up a number of initiatives and offering incentives to enable users to recharge online. Cellular Operator’s Association of India has repeatedly reached out to government bodies to open access to retail recharge points.
In response to the needs of the times, Vodafone Idea VIC Virtual Assistant can be accessed 24x7 for customers to get instant response on a host of service requirements including bill payments, recharges, value added services, plan activation, new connection, data balance, bill requests and much more.