How we really get to know our customers with the help of AI

How we really get to know our customers with the help of AI

Thanks to super colleague GURU

Do you or don't you click, do you buy one subscription or the other, do you go for Formula 1 or a blockbuster? If you give your permission, our GURU digital platform will know your preferences. As a result of this, it will be able to predict your requirements with increasing accuracy. Whether it’s an offer, assistance or nothing at all for the moment. Thanks to GURU, our contact with customers is becoming even more personal.

Our super-smart GURU platform helps us know what our customers want. How? "With data", says Manfred Heiningen, Data & Analytics manager at the Customer Value Management (CVM) department. "Once we have a customer’s permission, we know, for example, what he/she clicks on our website, how he/she 'swipes' in the My Vodafone or My Ziggo App, and what his/her viewing habits are via the Mediabox. We enter that data into GURU. We also give it hundreds of possible 'next best actions', responses that it can provide. Examples include advertisements via email or in banners on the website, push messages with information, and scripts for customer services so they can respond to certain questions. The responses GURU can provide are growing by the day."

Conversation partner
GURU not only receives data, but also sets to work with it. "It seeks interaction with customers from one of our channels, such as the site or apps", says Manfred. "This is how it works: a customer searches under 'fault' on our website and promptly receives a push message with information about that fault. It’s also possible our customer services might call them to resolve the fault. Or take the customer who receives an offer via email for a mobile subscription, but doesn’t respond to it. In that case, he/she won't be shown a banner with that offer on our website, as we deliberately 'block' that behind the scenes. After all: less is more. We don't want to overload customers with our messages, but we do want to help them further."

Our GURU programme team ensures GURU knows how to set to work with all that data. Bert Hendriks is the product owner of that team, and has been involved with GURU from the outset three years ago: "The basis of GURU is an existing software package called Pega Marketing. Pega is used throughout the entire Vodafone Group in twelves countries. Within the GURU project, we are expanding Pega's basic functions with an increasing number of functionalities and channels. Suppliers specialising in Pega are helping us make GURU even smarter. We've giving it more skills, as well as capabilities. It's getting wiser all the time."

Growth potential
"GURU can now communicate with customers via eleven different channels", says Bert. "Such as email, the customer service, text messages, and MyVodafone and MyZiggo. We’re immensely proud of this omnichannel approach. By increasingly using and generating data itself, GURU better understands the customer journey: such as what choices customers make when buying one of our products. And it responds to this. If someone passes on a change of address online, but doesn’t complete the form, GURU sends out an email to assist that customer further. We call swift response such as this a realtime event, which will soon be happening in many more instances. GURU is continually growing, in terms of channels and skills. And when you grow, you need more space. That's why GURU is now running in the cloud. That offers plenty of space to continue growing rapidly."

Judge of character
The 'self-learning models' might well be GURU's most important capability. Manfred: "As a result of this, it will be able to predict whether something is relevant to a customer with increasing accuracy. Suppose our data and analysis reveal a certain customer group are probably interested in advertising for this subscription. In that case, GURU sends that advertising to that group. It then sees which specific customers are indeed interested, and uses that knowledge to make subsequent customer interaction even more appropriate. In this way, our marketing’s increasingly focused on the individual. This is artificial intelligence (AI) in action."

Super colleague
"For our contact with customers, GURU’s added value is unprecedented", Bert states. "More and more big companies in the Netherlands are working with Pega. However, the way in which we are bridging the gap between offline and online communication –⁠ and therefore putting the customer first –⁠ makes us unique. Manfred adds: "The fact we're fully committed to using this AI resource makes truly smart marketing possible. Thanks to GURU and the knowledge it has about us and our customers, our contact with them is becoming increasingly valuable. We couldn't live without this super colleague now."

Do you want to meet this super colleague? See if there are jobs at VodafoneZiggo!