Telefónica is a Spanish multinational telecommunications company headquartered in Madrid. It has a presence in 15 countries across Europe and Latin America. In the telco space, it ranks seventh in revenues, sixth in market capitalization and fifth in number of subscribers. Telefónica describes itself as a “technological company of platforms,” including network and physical assets, IT and systems, products and services, and a fourth platform on top enabled by AI and data.
In this framework of platforms and technological enablement, a key pillar of the company’s digital transformation is customer experience. In 2017, Telefónica sought to introduce digital voice agents into its call centers with two main objectives: Drive customer experience and optimize costs.
With an initial focus on Telefónica Peru, in September 2018 the company awarded this project to IPsoft. The business wanted to limit the number of calls transferred within the contact center to reduce costs and improve overall customer experience.
Many customers were spending far too long navigating Telefónica’s Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system, and when those customers were finally able to speak to a human agent, they were unlikely to resolve their issue without being transferred to another service representative.
Telefónica implemented Amelia as a voice-based customer service agent for its Peruvian contact centers to handle all calls received to the hotlines (commercial and technical B2C care mobile, landlines and TV), which fielded roughly 72 million calls, (38 million handled by humans) in 2018. As a result, the company developed 28 specific skills it wanted Amelia to master, including 18 end-to-end automated skills, and 10 skills that would require Amelia to route a call to an appropriate human agent. Amelia’s skills included solving a variety of customer queries including outstanding balances, plan changes, invoice dates and payment methods.
With her speed and accuracy, Amelia handles the entire demand of call volume for B2C customers, which enables the company to better serve its customer base.
After several months of training and refinement, Telefónica deployed Amelia as a real-time live customer service rep. After a four-month ramp up, Amelia now handles 100% of mobile phone traffic. She recognizes customer intent correctly on 88.3% of calls, and customer abandonment rates on Amelia led calls decreased 44% from the initial week of deployment. In addition, customer satisfaction in calls managed by the virtual agent are at the same level as human representatives.
These results are driving Telefónica to develop 15 additional skills for Amelia. She’ll soon be responsible for handling home services issues, including TV, internet and home phone queries. With her speed and accuracy, Amelia handles the entire demand of call volume for B2C customers, which enables the company to better serve its customer base.