Telco TIME dotCom unveils chatbot to boost customer experience

Malaysian telco TIME dotCom has launched a chatbot, T-bot, in partnership with IBM. Leveraging on IBM Watson artificial intelligence (AI) technology, T-bot was created to provide consumers with an interactive and smart virtual assistant. It currently runs on TIME's Facebook page.

T-Bot is trained with more than 1,000 intents, question variants and entity aliases. It uses natural language processing capabilities to offer instant and comprehensive replies, as well as perform basic troubleshooting.

In a statement to A+M, Angelia Ooi, TIME's head of marketing and experience said its Facebook page is one of its most popular customer touch-points and plays an integral role in allowing TIME to interact directly with its customers. With this in mind and with the growing virtualisation movement, the telco believed it would be beneficial to launch a chatbot.

"After a thorough selection process involving multiple vendors, we finally decided on IBM as their IBM Watson Assistant is able to understand intent and respond accordingly, and can even improve upon its ability to determine the correct intent over time as it learns via experience," she added.

Ooi said that the chatbot allows the company to reach "a happy medium" between technological efficiency and human reasoning. This enables TIME to boost its query response rate and overall customer experience.

TIME posted a 10.6% revenue growth year-on-year revenue growth for the first half of its 2018 financial year to RM468.8 million. This was due to higher sales recorded from the data and data centre businesses, which grew RM72.4 million and RM5.6 million respectively.

The telco said it expects the industry to remain challenging for the second half of 2018, and will continue to improve its existing domestic fibre network, while placing emphasis on coverage footprint expansion in Malaysia.

On the regional front, TIME will work with its associates in Thailand and Vietnam to connect Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos. TIME will also explore opportunities to expand its data centre market presence regionally and grow its current ecosystem to include interconnected players from various industries.

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