Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

m-Services

MTN Gets Chatty With AI Customer Engagement Chatbots

Article Image
MTN Group is aiming to position itself as a customer experience leader by investing in a set of new digital customer service tools, including chatbots powered by artificial intelligence (AI), to help bring its CEM capabilities to the forefront of the industry.

The move is an extension of MTN's ongoing engagement with IMImobile , a customer service-driven software company, which is helping the operator to utilize digital channel optimization solutions for its customer experience management (CEM) strategy.

According to IMImobile, the agreement will help support MTN's digital lifestyle services, for which it will provide "cloud digital customer engagement suite to help optimize the customer experience for rich digital content services."

That sounds dangerously close to clichéd marketing rhetoric, so what does all of that jargon actually mean? Well, it mainly boils down to MTN Group Ltd. deploying some tools with machine-learning capabilities for its social media channels. Automation of digital customer service channels is becoming a popular CEM strategy with bags of potential, with a number of major providers now capable of delivering technology that can instantly handle inbound customer enquiries through digital channels.

"MTN is pleased to renew the contract with IMImobile and looks forward to accelerating the growth of its already successful Digital Lifestyle Services portfolio with new capabilities, products and services delivered under this agreement," said Herman Singh, chief digital officer of MTN. The enthusiasm is palpable.

Principal channels being targeted by enterprises and communications service providers for automation and the introduction of AI capabilities include Twitter and Facebook, but there's still a lot to be learned about how such tools will work: While some companies have successfully deployed news and CEM-related chatbots, Microsoft had an awkward moment last year when its Twitter account for an AI project called Tay went spectacularly wrong.

Tay was an AI program designed to exhibit learned behaviour from other Twitter users, in order to gain social understanding and key cultural points of reference, thus being able to properly engage with its audience.

But, perhaps predictably, the Internet community did what the Internet community does, and within hours Tay's self-learning programming had been "corrupted" by thousands of users inputting sex-obsessed, discriminatory and downright nasty messages, forcing Microsoft to abruptly abort the project.

Let's hope MTN's forthcoming social media automation project yields a less controversial outcome.

— Tim Skinner, Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub

Story

AI's impact on African telcos

Many African telecommunications companies are turning to artificial intelligence as a differentiator to improve their mobile networks and enhance customer service and experience as they transition from traditional telco offerings into new tech-first verticals.

Story

Four AI trends to look out for in 2024

Connecting Africa has compiled a list of four artificial intelligence (AI) trends to look out for on the African continent in 2024.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Upcoming events

AfreGov 2024
March 12-14, 2024
Kigali, Rwanda
Africa Tech Festival 2024
November 11-14, 2024
Cape Town, South Africa
More Upcoming events

Sponsored video

More videos

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Africa Tech Perspectives

Story

Uber's Marjorie Saint-Lot on inclusion and sustainability in Africa

Uber's Country Manager for Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire, Marjorie Saint-Lot, shares how the ride-hailing company is approaching public-private partnerships, environmentally friendly initiatives and gender inclusion in Africa.

Story

The 100 most influential African leaders in 2023

A new report from Africa Tech Festival and Connecting Africa puts a spotlight on the top 100 African leaders in the telecoms and technology sector in 2023.

Story

Deep dive into East Africa's tech startup ecosystem

New survey reveals a lack of access to investors, reliance on international VCs and global recession trends as the biggest barriers for East African tech startups to access funds.

More Africa Tech perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Guest Perspectives

Story

Omdia View: January 2024

By Omdia Analysts

Highlights in January 2024 in the Middle East and Africa included a $200 million fintech deal between MTN and Mastercard as well as 5G network trials by Telecom Egypt – that and more in this month's Omdia View.

Story

Omdia View: September 2023

By Omdia Analysts

Highlights in September 2023 in the Middle East and Africa included more 5G spectrum licenses, vendor and operator strategies, and partnerships – that and more in this month's Omdia View.

More Guest Perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up
Tag id test-002