Zuri- The Safaricom ‘Staff’ Handling Millions of Customers and Moderating Events

Zuri Safaricom

Chatbots play a big role in elevating customer care in an age where customers expect and often get instant support and gratification. In 2018, Safaricom added a unique new personality to its staff. Her name is Zuri, and she continues to work at Safaricom, catering to customers’ needs, 24/7.

Zuri- The Safaricom Chatbot Handling Millions of Customers and Moderating Events

So far, Zuri – a chatbot – has catered to the needs of 8 Million customers across seven platforms–WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, SMS 100, SMS 234, Web chat, and the mySafaricom app. Artificial Intelligence (AI) powers Zuri.

“If you compare a chatbot to a live agent, a chatbot works 24/7 while agents go from shift to shift. With a chatbot, the customer can get assistance easily and fast and it can personalize the customer experience,” says Peter Kuria, a software engineer on Digital Channels, the team behind Zuri.

As more people become comfortable talking with technology, it has become normal to no longer have to call and wait on hold on customer care lines but instead, interact with bots such as Safaricom’s Zuri for customer support.

For a chatbot to simulate real-time conversations and engagement, it uses Natural Language Processing (NLP), which is a branch of AI that gives it the ability to understand text or chat and spoken words the same way a human being can.

To further provide an elevated customer experience, Kuria says, Zuri is continuously being improved to give customers something akin to a personal touch by keeping the language simple.

“When you are building a chatbot you want it to imitate, as much as possible, a real customer care representative the way they would engage you in a conversation,”

As the digital revolution rages on, the team handling Zuri is working to make her more sophisticated to provide a quality user experience.

In a first, in May this year, Zuri was the moderator at Safaricom’s Full Year (FY) 2022 Results announcement, a hallmark of the chatbot’s versatility.

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