MultiChoice introduces T.U.M.I chatbot to handle customer queries

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Chatbots have become increasingly ubiquitous when it comes to handling customer queries. We have seen the financial services industry in SA embrace the technology in particular and now MultiChoice is getting in on the act by announcing its new chatbot called The Ultimate Master of Information or T.U.M.I.

Why there are punctuation marks between the letters is unclear, but T.U.M.I is said to be an artificial intelligence chatbot designed to help customer queries regarding MultiChoice services and products 24/7.

“T.U.M.I is an evolutionary leap in our service capability. Born and developed right here in Africa, T.U.M.I is a tangible manifestation of our commitment to innovation. This is not innovation for its own sake; the focus is to continue to grow our capacity to give our customers an excellent service experience,” explains MultiChoice South Africa CEO, Nyiko Shiburi.

The company adds that T.U.M.I can assist in real-time with customers in an online, text-based conversation. MultiChoice also notes that the chatbot features advanced natural language capabilities, although it is unclear whether this extends outside of English for now.

At launch, T.U.M.I will be able to assist customers with clearing decoder errors, checking balances, reconnecting products, making payments, managing holiday home viewing and changing packages. The company says more features will be added over time as the chatbot learns based off of the number of interactions it has.

T.U.M.I currently lives on the DStv website and in time, it will port across MultiChoice’s digital ecosystem including on DStv Now (website and app), Showmax (website and app) and Facebook Messenger. The chatbot will also act as a concierge to onboard new customers to DStv Streaming in future.

The system has already been in operation for a month, refining aspects of its functionality and learning in the interim since 5th May.

How T.U.M.I will free up the company’s current call centre workforce to assist with other customer service related tasks, remains to be seen.

“Thanks to T.U.M.I, MultiChoice is in-step with international technology and customer-service trends. T.U.M.I places us at the forefront of customer interaction providing DStv subscribers with another channel to connect with us,” Shiburi concludes.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.

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