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Operator’s summer of customer love brings upgrades to TOBi AI chatbot, Amazon Alexa integration, group messaging.

Vodafone UK on Wednesday said later this summer it will give prepay customers on rolling monthly contracts the ability to carry over unused voice, text and data to the next billing cycle.

Called Total Rollover, it builds on the data rollover service Vodafone introduced in December 2016. It is available on its Big Value Bundles, which have recently been overhauled to offer customers larger data allowances.

Carrying credit over to the next billing cycle is popular with end users, but until now it has been limited to data. Vodafone is the first U.K. operator to offer a rollover service to prepay customers that includes voice and text credit as well.

Unveiling Total Rollover was part of a broader push by Vodafone UK to improve customer service.

Its AI chatbot TOBi – launched in April – can now address a broader range of queries; Vodafone claims it can understand what a customer needs help with more than 90% of the time.

Vodafone has also been working to integrate with Amazon’s digital assistant, Alexa, so customers can ask it to retrieve billing data, account details and provide information about extras and offers. Vodafone expects to launch the new Alexa ‘skill’ later this summer.

The operator is also trialling more advanced voice recognition technology for customers who call customer services. This includes the option to adopt a voice password. Vodafone expects to complete the trial by – you guessed it – the end of this summer.

As well as using AI to improve customer service, Vodafone is also rolling out new ways for good old-fashioned human beings to interact, including 24/7 support via its messaging app, Facebook, and Twitter.

One of the more interesting enhancements – which is on its way later this summer, funnily enough – is group chat. This means a customer service agent can add specialist agents from other departments to a single conversation. It means customers aren’t transferred around different agents and have to explain their situation all over again to someone new.

Customers and agents will also be able to look through their chat history, so there should be no need to re-explain any problems the next time they have an interaction.

Vodafone is also still working to improve its network as well, and on Wednesday it said it has begun refarming its 2.1-GHz spectrum for 4G, in a bid to improve indoor and outdoor coverage.

New ways to interact with customers will be one of the key themes at Connected Britain 2018, taking place at the Business Design Centre, London. Find out more.

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