Monday, 06 November 2017 11:37

Optus looks for customer service boost with launch of Google Assistant Featured

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Optus claims it is paving the way for telco innovation in customer service with the offering, for the first time, of Google Assistant, allowing its customers to ask Google Home and selected smartphones, questions about their personal mobile plan without needing a handheld device.

The telco announced on Monday it was offering Optus Assistant, a voice-activated AI assistant, claiming it as one of only a few companies to use an authentication process, meaning that Optus customers can have conversations specific to their account.

Optus vice-president of Service Mark Baylis said Optus planned to continue testing and learning with its customers, and growing the functionality of Optus Assistant.

“Optus is the first telco in Australia to offer a Google Assistant experience for customer service, which is all part of our digital transformation journey to provide more innovative and dynamic services to our customers and make it easier for them to access customer service support,” Baylis said.

“The rapid uptake in voice assistant experiences such as Google Home has demonstrated there is a desire from consumers to simplify everyday tasks, and with Optus Assistant for Google Assistant we’ve made it simple to manage your life admin like quickly checking your data usage or phone bill balance.”

Baylis said Optus recognises customers were increasingly looking for "effortless, digital service experiences with many customers already using the My Optus App", and Optus Assistant was a voice extension of the My Optus App.  

The telco says the first release of Optus Assistant would provide personalised responses to questions around billing, travel and usage from "How much do I owe?" to "How much data do I have left this month?", and "What are the roaming rates in Italy?"

And according to the telco, the “game-changing move” means that customers can simplify how they manage their account with it – and once linked to their account, customers can ask questions on impulse without the need for a handheld device.

“To talk to Optus Assistant using Google Home, customers simply say 'Ok Google, talk to Optus' and then ask a question,” the telco notes.

And Optus says customers will automatically have access to Optus Assistant using Google Assistant when they purchase a Google Home, or on selected devices, with the service supporting most customers on Optus Postpaid plans.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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