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Press Release | 19 Jul 2017

Vodafone UK steps up customer focus with new initiatives

Vodafone UK steps up customer focus with new initiatives

Vodafone has launched the next phase of its mission to simplify the mobile industry, putting customer needs at the heart of its service.

Having abolished roaming charges in 50 destinations and introduced industry-leading care initiatives like TOBi the chatbot in April, Vodafone has made even more improvements that put customers’ needs at the heart of its service, including:

New digital customer service initiatives

  • 24/7 social media care on Facebook and Twitter
  • 24/7 ‘Message Us’, a new support service in the My Vodafone app, putting customers in control of how and when they contact us
  • Trialling of new voice authentication services, making it easier for customers to verify their identity, access their details quickly and receive an account update through Amazon’s personal assistant, Alexa
  • Expanded service capabilities using our chatbot TOBi, to provide customers with instant answers to specific questions about their account as well as advise on the best SIM only deal

A UK first for Pay as you go customers

Later this summer, we’ll be introducing Vodafone Total Rollover, the UK’s first Pay as you go full bundle roll over, so customers will be able to use all the credit they’ve paid for and say goodbye to the ‘use it or lose it’ approach they’ve had to accept in the past.

Network enhancements for even better coverage

We’ve also been working hard to deliver what is now our most reliable network ever. This includes using existing masts to enhance indoor 4G coverage across many areas of the UK.

Nick Jeffery, Vodafone UK CEO said: “Our new service offerings illustrate our commitment to putting our customers at the very heart of everything we do. Whether it’s providing 24/7 customer care, developing innovative new digital services or outstanding indoor 4G coverage, we are determined to make our network and services easier to use, faster and more engaging for our customers than ever before.”

24/7 Digital Care +

We’re now offering 24/7 support across Facebook and Twitter, building on our existing cover via Web Chat, both online and in the My Vodafone app. Vodafone is the first major telco in the UK to offer 24/7 support.

We’ve also introduced a 24/7 ‘Message Us’ service in the My Vodafone app, enabling customers to initiate and re-visit conversations with our advisors whenever it suits them. Customers can see a full history of previous interactions with our chat agents and receive alerts to let them know we’ve just replied.

Later in the summer, we’ll add a ‘group messaging’ feature, enabling customers to stay with the same agent throughout their query. The agent can also pull other specialists into the conversation as required, which means customers no longer need to be transferred to other agents and then forced to explain their situation all over again to someone new.

New voice control features

We’ve been working with some of the world’s most sophisticated voice recognition technology to improve services* for customers calling our 191 number for help.

This includes testing a new capability that will free customers from having to remember passwords to access their account. By registering and repeating a pre-recorded phrase, customers can confirm their identity based on the unique sound of their voice. We’re trialling it now and aim to complete our pilot study by the end of the summer.

We’ve also developed a fresh skill for Amazon’s Alexa that will enable customers to ask the digital assistant for information about their Vodafone account. Once the customer has followed a simple authentication process, they can ask Alexa for billing data, account details and information about extras. We expect to launch the ‘Ask Vodafone’ skill later this summer.

TOBi at your service

When we launched TOBi in April, we were the first UK mobile provider to deploy an artificial intelligence chatbot to speed up responses to customer queries. Initially used to answer popular support questions in Web Chat, TOBi’s role has now been expanded to answer account-specific questions on subjects like roaming. TOBi can also offer advice on SIM only price plans. Already learning new skills, TOBi understands what a customer needs help with more than 90% of the time, and will be handling even more account transactions by year’s end.

Refreshed Pay as You Go Offerings+

Customers have told us how frustrating it can be to top up, then lose unused call and text credit at the end of 30 days. So later this summer we’ll be introducing Vodafone Total Rollover, the UK’s first Pay as you go plan that lets customers carry over any unused call, text and data allowance into the next month. Building on our data rollover plan, this allows customers using our Big Value Bundles to make the most of their spend each time.

We’ve also recently increased our data allowances across our Big Value Bundles. The £10 bundle increases from 500MB to 1GB, the £20 bundle from 4GB to 6GB and the £30 bundle from 12GB to 20GB. And a brand new £5 Big Value Bundle means our Pay as you go plans are now more affordable and even better value.

Enhanced 4G experience on our most reliable network ever+

Vodafone’s current multi-billion-pound network modernisation programme has resulted in our most reliable network ever, with our call setup success rate at an all-time high, fewer dropped calls and the best indoor coverage** we’ve recorded to date.

As part of our commitment to deliver outstanding network performance, we’re now combining some of our existing spectrum bands to increase the availability and quality of our 4G service across major UK locations***. This includes both outdoor and, crucially, indoor locations, to give customers confidence that our network will be there when they need it.

-ends-

Notes to editors:

  • +Click on these links to read three Vodafone UK blog posts providing additional insights into our digital changes, our refreshed Pay as you go (PAYG) offerings and our network improvements. Please note that the PAYG post will go live at 12pm BST on July 19, while the Network post will go live at 8am BST on July 20.
  • *Services include a new call steering system that lets customers tell our helpline exactly why they’re calling, so they can be put straight through to the most relevant agent. For example, if customers say “I want to change my address”, our voice recognition software will automatically direct their call to the right place, reducing both the need to transfer callers and waiting times as well.
  • **We are reusing the 2100 megahertz (MHz) spectrum for 4G, following the reuse of 900MHz for 3G, which has enabled our enhanced indoor 4G service.
  • ***Locations for increased 4G service improvements include Glasgow, Liverpool, Bristol, Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Reading, Swindon, Stoke and London, with other areas of the UK to come throughout 2017.
  • Our confidence in the reliability of our network is underpinned by our 30-day Network Satisfaction Guarantee, which gives new and upgrading customers 30 days within which to try our network before deciding whether to stay with us. We’re listening for feedback from existing customers too – the Network Satisfaction feature in the My Vodafone app can be used to provide comments on our network performance, and in exchange we credit customer accounts with a 250MB UK data bonus as a ‘Thank You’ for helping us improve.

 

 

About Vodafone UK

About Vodafone UK

Vodafone UK is a technology communications company that connects people, businesses and devices to help our customers benefit from digital innovation. Our services span mobile, fixed line connections, home and office broadband, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

We have a strong track record as a tech pioneer, making the UK’s first mobile phone call, sending the first text message, and making the UK’s first live holographic call using 5G in 2018. We were also the first to start carrying live 5G traffic from a site in Salford, Greater Manchester. As of September 2020, we have 5G in 54 locations in the UK and 193 across Germany, Spain, Italy and Ireland.

In September 2020, leading mobile benchmarking company, umlaut, named Vodafone as London’s best network for 5G. Our 4G network coverage currently reaches over 99% of the UK population. And in October 2020, Vodafone was named Network Provider of the Year by readers of leading technology advice website, Trusted Reviews.

Today, Vodafone serves more than 18 million mobile and fixed-line customers in the UK. To help deliver Gigabit UK, our full-fibre broadband roll-out programme now covers 15 UK towns and cities through partnerships with CityFibre and Openreach.

For more information about Vodafone UK please visit: www.vodafone.co.uk.

Vodafone UK Media Relations

Telephone: +44 (0) 1635 693 693

Twitter: @VodafoneUKNews

Website: https://newscentre.vodafone.co.uk

Vodafone Limited

Registered Office: Vodafone House, The Connection, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2FN

Registered in England No: 1471587