One NZ Uses Generative AI on AWS to Transform Customer Experience

One New Zealand (One NZ) today announced it is using generative artificial intelligence (generative AI) capabilities from Amazon Web Services (AWS) to help its contact centre agents better understand why customers call, and how to proactively support call resolution. After just three months of going live, the new solution powered by AWS, the world’s leading cloud provider, has helped One NZ achieve a 10% increase in customers who report dealing with a knowledgeable and friendly representative, and a 10% increase in customer trust.

One NZ developed the new generative AI solution using AWS AI services, including Amazon SageMaker, a fully managed service to build, train, and deploy machine learning models, and AWS Lambda, a serverless compute service. It analyses customer questions and issues generated from thousands of calls a day, and provides call agents recommendations on how to respond to incoming calls, enabling instant data-driven insights. For example, agents can proactively inform callers about mobile black spots based on past calls. The service integrates with cloud contact centre, Amazon Connect, which is used by over 1500 One NZ staff and partners across voice and chat channels, and answers over 330,000 customer requests each month.

“Improving customer service is a top priority for One NZ, and this requires a better understanding of our customers’ issues and concerns, and taking quick action to resolve them,” said One NZ SME & Consumer Director Chris Fletcher. “Working with AWS, we’re able to use generative AI to significantly improve our speed of response, accuracy of advice, and service performance for our customers. This supports our strategy to work with world-class cloud providers like AWS to develop our AI capabilities to unlock performance and efficiencies.”

In building the generative AI solution on AWS, One NZ analysed thousands of previous call transcripts and categorised them by products and outcomes to assist in developing a machine learning (ML) model. Previously, call centre agents completed record-keeping of calls and outcomes, juggling note-taking with often lengthy and complex calls with customers.

Now, the solution records, transcribes, and processes every call made to a One NZ contact centre using AWS within 10 seconds of the call ending. Every call is accompanied by a synopsis of the product or service discussed, mood and sentiment, contact history, and the action taken by the agent. The system also picks up language sentiment such as sarcasm, and can process basic Te Reo Māori and a variety of accents.

Different teams across One NZ can use the large volumes of data produced to adapt products and services such as residential broadband and mobile plans to enhance customer service. One NZ can also identify emerging themes in customer issues, reduce friction for future customers, and be proactive in decision-making around go-to-market channels.

Throughout the development of this generative AI solution, One NZ maintained a focus on ethics and data privacy, removing all personal information including names and addresses of customers, and all information being processed by One NZ.

One NZ is currently working on adding additional functionality, including an interface for agents to search and access examples of customer issues in real-time on a customer call, ease compliance checks, or proactively identify potential network issues before they unfold across the country.

“We’re going to continue evolving and developing the process, keeping customer outcomes front of mind, as this is just the beginning of how we can use data and analytics in this way,” said Fletcher.

One NZ plans to make the solution available through Amazon Bedrock, a fully managed service that makes foundation models (FMs) from leading companies available through a single application programming interface (API).

“One NZ is on a path to becoming an AI-driven telco with customer experiences, products, and operations all driven by AI,” said Tiffany Bloomquist, country manager for Commercial Sector at AWS New Zealand. “There are some compelling use cases emerging from generative AI and we continue to see great potential for it to disrupt and transform industries when delivered at scale. We’re excited to see One NZ’s commitment to AI and look forward to supporting their journey as they embrace an AI-driven future.”

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