Vodafone to use artificial intelligence to speed up online queries

April 12, 2017
  • TOBi, Vodafone’s new artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot, is now helping some customers online
  • It will be available soon in the My Vodafone app new messaging service as well, so customers can speak to advisors whenever they want

Vodafone UK has launched TOBi – the artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot – as an innovative way of offering our customers a quicker web chat service.  TOBi, a virtual customer services’ agent, can handle a range of customer queries including device troubleshooting, usage and order tracking amongst many others.

Recent research shows that 55% of UK consumers say that the most important factor in the ideal customer experience is getting a prompt and effective response to queries[1], highlighting the need for companies to provide faster and more integrated customer service responses. With 75% of all consumers aged 18-25 already using instant messenger everyday [2], TOBi is our answer to providing customers with the quick and easy web chat service they want.

TOBi is already available to some customers through our online web chat service. Later this month messaging will also be available through the My Vodafone app, so customers will be able to speak to advisors whenever they want and while they are on the go.

The pilot platform is powered by a combination of IBM Watson and LivePerson, in a blend of the two cutting edge technologies. This provides customers with a smooth and efficient way of having simple queries answered, before being seamlessly handed over to web chat advisors if needed. Vodafone continues to assess multiple solutions and technologies to implement the future roll out of the programme.

However, we know that sometimes customers just want to speak to a person.  That’s why in March we started recruiting 2,100 new UK customer services roles across the Midlands, the North of England and Scotland.

Neil Blagden Vodafone UK CS&O Director said: “If customers have a question or want to raise an issue, we know they don’t want to wait.  So introducing TOBi is an exciting step forward in giving our customers the quick and seamless service they want. Our ambition is to give our customers the best experience possible: TOBi is another important step in our journey to achieving that ambition.”



[1] IBM Institute for Business Value Global Telecom Consumer survey Fall 2016:

2 Ibid.

Notes to Editors

  • Visit the Vodafone blog for an in depth look at the new platform:
  • The new platform is part of a £2 billion investment into Vodafone’s network and services over the period 2016-2019.
  • TOBi and in-app messaging has been piloted with live customers over the last 3 months and will gradually be rolled out to customers over the next year.
  • Vodafone continues to assess and implement multiple solutions & technologies to continue to improve our customer service experience with tools like TOBi.
  • More details on TOBi will follow later in the year.





Vodafone UK Media Relations
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About Vodafone UK

Vodafone UK is part of Vodafone Group, one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies, and provides a range of services including voice, messaging, data and fixed communications. Vodafone Group has mobile operations in 25 countries, partners with mobile networks in 46 more, and has fixed broadband operations in 18 markets. As of 31 March 2018, Vodafone Group had 535.8 million mobile customers and 19.7 million fixed broadband customers, including India and all of the customers in Vodafone’s joint ventures and associates. For more information about Vodafone UK, please visit:

Vodafone UK partners with businesses of all sizes – from start-ups and small businesses to the largest corporates and the public sector. The company has worked with UK businesses for over 30 years, starting out as a mobile provider and becoming one of the UK’s leading total communications partners. It provides a range of voice and data services, secure communications infrastructure, fixed and contact centre capability, and unified communications, and was the first mobile phone operator to offer a truly converged service for fixed and mobile.

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