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PegaWorld iNspire 2023: Progress and Enjoyment with Every Connection: VodafoneZiggo's Journey to More Meaningful Customer Dialogs

In 2019, VodafoneZiggo embarked on a journey to create more meaningful dialogs with their customers in service of their mission to make valuable connections to people and for people. This required them to undergo an organziational transformation shifting both technologies and mindsets to build the decisioning engine of the future. Watch this replay to learn how VodafoneZiggo applied Next-Best-Action across almost all of their inbound and outbound channels with Pega’s Customer Decision Hub, the challenges they faced and the steps they took to reach their ultimate goal: progress and enjoyment with every connection.


- Hi, good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for joining us this afternoon, and hopefully you've had some lunch. Sorry about the lunchtime slot, but this is one I'm really looking forward to introducing today. So today we have Nicole Verburg from VodafoneZiggo. Nicole is the director of Customer Value Management, and she's been leading a company-wide business transformation towards meaningful customer dialogues using Pega's Customer Decision Hub. They've recently rebranded their program to GURU, Make Sense, Add Value. Now not only is Nicole spearheading this program, but she's also an amazing public speaker. So you may have caught her in 2019 on the main stage. She was up there doing her thing and was brilliant at it. So you're in for an absolute treat today. And she's also often seen presenting, oh, that's better, often seen presenting at the local university in Amsterdam. So she's well used to an audience. So please give it up for Nicole. Please have your questions ready for her. She'll take some at the end. And welcome, Nicole. Thank you.

- Thank you so much for the kind introduction, Jo. It's so good to be here. So glad to be back after four years' time, and the last time indeed was on the main stage. Who saw the presentation at that time? Yeah, quite a few. Thank you for being there, and thank you for being here today. Kind of I hope you were able to have lunch. Anyway, on the journey, four years ago until now, I could talk for hours on what happened. The good things, the challenges, the journeys we have had, the setbacks, it just for hours. There's so much to tell, but don't worry, I will just keep it to the 45 minutes we just have planned. So let me just see how this works. So this was me on the main stage four years ago. Just a little introduction of VodafoneZiggo for the ones who don't know the organization. So we have Vodafone and we have Ziggo. In 2017 we came together as a joint venture in the Netherlands. In other countries we are kind of competitors. So it's quite interesting how these mother companies work together in different parts of the world. Vodafone, it's about telco, Ziggo, it's all about fixed. When you combine them, that a key strategy was to create or to sell converged, to make customers or reach out to each other's basis and make them converged. We've been quite successful in that. So to give you some numbers, we have five million Vodafone customers, four million Ziggo customers, and 1.5 million customers are now converged. So we have been quite successful in that, and Jo already introduced also the brand GURU. And so we have rebranded our campaign, the whole business transformation to GURU. Why did we do that? Because just Pega, or just business transformation, there are many in this organization. So you wanna stand out, you want your stakeholders to listen, you want to claim the moment actually for your program. So that's why we gave it the name GURU. And GURU is all about a wise person taking decisions based on data. And GURU is empathic as well. Hey, it'd like to listen, it's a friendly person. So we thought, okay, that's a good name for this program. It makes sense, adds value for the customer, but certainly also for the company itself. So I read about the company, and all the way from the Netherlands, I brought this movie to tell you and to show you the great things we do. When I see this movie, it always makes me proud to work at VodafoneZiggo, and you saw it in the last few seconds, our purpose, enjoyment and progress with every connection. And that's what we do, that's what we breathe in the society, but also in the office, and for our customers. Recently we introduced a new strategy, but you can still see our key purpose in the center, enjoyment and progress with every connection. But it's all about exceptional experience now, our objective is to have a plus NPS of 50 in 2025. That's quite a challenge, because currently at Vodafone we're a little above 20, but Ziggo is below 10. So we really have to just work together, all teams together, to go to the plus 50. That's quite a challenge, but I'm really, really excited about what's down there, the smart digital experience. That's a new pillar, and it is all about creating super simple, super smart, and super personal customer journeys. And that's what Pega CDH is about. So actually Pega CDH, that is positioning the one-on-one communication as the heart of our strategy. And what would we like to achieve for our customers? Because that's what it actually is about. This is Tim, you might recall him from our presentation four years ago. On the left-hand side, it's quite an unhappy Tim. On the right-hand side, he's happy. Moving from one of many to segments of one. So on the right-hand side, Tim is just receiving the information he would like to receive, all based on AI adaptive learning, all the data we have on the behavior of Tim, on the product information that we have from him. So he's happy. So what happens? It's actually that we really tailor and use the data to exclude him from specific information. And who is Tim? Tim is a Vodafone customer, you can see that. He's a conscious customer. That's why we present to him Vodafone. Vodafone Campaign, the new campaign we launched recently, it's all about reusing, refurbished, redo your mobile phone. And we sent to him a Ziggo promotion, a deep promotion, because we also found out in the interaction we had with Tim that he's quite price conscious. So it's a good promotion. And who doesn't like that? The mechanic comes to his house and install the Ziggo, the broadband. So what we would like to achieve, our big, hairy, outrageous goal, had to be, heck, it's FOMO, fear of missing out. So if the customer receives information from Vodafone, or Ziggo, we still have two brands in the Netherlands, if it receives the information, he thinks, I need to open that, because it's relevant. It's information about my Wi-Fi, and Wi-Fi is added to the metal of pyramid nowadays, so it's very relevant. It can also be about a new OTT player, like HBO Max, or Prime, or another one that's who knows what will come soon? But it can also be about a promotion, or recently we launched our priority program, a loyalty program for all our customers. And we do a pre-sale. We did a pre-sale recently on Coldplay. Thousands of people just were able, thousands of our customers were able to just get the tickets in a pre-sale. So it's all about FOMO, fear of missing out, just have that interaction with the customer, be important for the customer. And we have been quite successful so far. This is, by the way, a picture of Ajax, this is the soccer club we sponsor. I must be honest, this is not a picture of this year, because we didn't do well this year, but last year we were. But if we look at what we achieved, our accomplishments in the last five years, GURU generated 10% of our SIMs sales. So 10% is additionally sold to our customers using GURU. That's a couple of million euros annually. GURU generated about 30% additional sales on our sports and movies packages. That's a couple of million too. That adds up nicely. 50% of all our campaigns are always on nowadays. And so that also leaves room to spend time on other things, the new campaigns, or to tailor your campaigns, really look at the dashboards, and see how you can really just make them more specific, or add more data sources to your campaign to have an even higher conversion. And so the 50% we're happy with that. Of course, we would like to have a, yeah, 60 or 80%, but it's also dependent on the market dynamics. Sometimes cloudy weather, sun shining, it really depends. You need to sometimes move back to more volume-driven campaigns, because you just need the numbers. But we are happy with the 50%. Another thing that we achieved is that our out rate dropped, it dropped with one third. So that's quite good as well, because our customers seem to like our information, or the communication we send out seems to be more relevant so they opt out less. So that's a nice number as well. And if we compare batch to always-on marketing, we were able to reach out to, in the beginning 75% of our customers, but nowadays it's 85%. So 10% plus of our consumer base, 4 million is quite a number, we are able to reach out to. So again, good numbers, good resource. So we are happy with our program so far. When I was prepping this presentation, and I had a lot of conversations with the team, with peers, also with the Pega team, and we thought, okay, how to really just focus, what to focus on, and we have the what and we have the how. And how is much more people related. And we thought, okay, the how is quite neglected, and actually power of how is underestimated. If you have a specific challenge, or even facing a problem, and you peel off the onion, you actually come down to the how, something is not working well from a stakeholder management perspective, or maybe from a team that's not working properly. But I will deep dive on that later. But I will start with the what, because it's always interesting also to share some learnings on the what part. On the what, it's about portfolio, channels, and data. So our portfolio, if we look at all the treatments, currently we have migrated about 80% of all our treatments from Unica system to Pega. That's 100% of our Ziggo base, and about 50% of our Vodafone base. So we're not there yet. But also if we look at the phase we're in at the Ziggo side, it's now business as usual. It used to be a project, now it's business as usual. The Vodafone side, it's also a project still. What we found difficult is to arbitrate non-commercial with commercial messages. Who is experiencing the same problems? No one? Can imagine. We decided as part of our strategy to have commercial campaigns, to have service campaigns, and engagement campaigns. So we also ask for permissions. We also send out communication about, for example, to swap modems, for example. And so we have different kind of campaigns, but we also deal with the P times V, at the propensity times value, for the value of non-commercial campaigns, it's much lower. So how do you arbitrate? How do you make sure it's balanced well in the communication you send out to the customer? So one solution is to use logarithmic scales. Secondly is to have not just one banner, for example, in the item-specific page, but to have three, one banner for commercial messages, another one for engagement, and the other one for service. So that will help. Another thing, that's the bullet number two, is the customer intent. So on specific pages of the website or in the app, the customer is not, yeah, is not willing to receive commercial information, because the customer is looking, for example, for Wi-Fi problems, how to solve these in the households. It's not good to send out a commercial communication at that time. It's much better to send a service-oriented information, or something about CSR, about the brand, the power of merging Vodafone and Ziggo. So it really depends on what kind of communication, where you are, and what the customer intent, or the customer needs are at a specific moment of time. If we look at the channels, 60% is now used in GURU, and we have quite a number of channels on the Vodafone side, on the Ziggo side we have the My Vodafone app, we have the My Vodafone web, we have the same on the Ziggo side. So quite a number of channels. So you can split the channels in assisted and non-assisted, and outbound and inbound. And we kicked off with the call center channel, that's the second bullet. And we noticed that to really convert service agents to sales agents, that's quite difficult. And so, of course, you have the top sales agents in this service agents pool, but it's not everyone. So we did do a lot of programs, we did do a lot of incentive programs on that, a lot of training courses, but we have not been successful so far. So my advice to you is if you're starting and just launching Pega CDH, start with digital channel. You can build up your portfolio, you can test and learn, start small, not to be the biggest campaign. Just start and learn while doing. What's also very important to have is a channel strategy in place. You need to know if your achievements are in a specific channel. It's also helpful to get your stakeholders together, to really get the focus together, to really decide together what the roadmap is, what the KPIs are, what you need to achieve in the next year. And you cannot just leave it for, let's say, half a year. You just need to just update it, and communicate it also well to the people that are involved. So that would be my advice on the channel level. If we go to data sources, I think we have unlocked about 80% of our data nowadays. Please start as soon as possible with identifying the data sources that you need, because it just takes time to unlock it, and to make it available on the Pega system. So start when you think about a new proposition, not go to market, not later on, but just please just start thinking about it in the beginning. Maybe it's not 100% sure, yeah, specific, but at least you start, and from that moment in time, you can just update and change it, and add more data sources. As some of the campaigns we were running, and we didn't think it through correctly, we had one eight data sources, 18 data sources, we had to use to send out a specific campaign. I mean, that's very sensitive, you can make mistakes, and that's not what we want. So our learning here definitely is to start as early as possible with thinking about the data sources that you need. Another thing that's really important is reporting and documentation. Even though we have 7,000 colleagues, some data sources are just owned by one single person. So if this person is on holiday, you cannot access, maybe you have questions about the data sources, maybe you have questions about the data availability, about the data quality, you cannot reach out. Documentation will certainly help in doing that. Reporting too, for example, if you want to be successful in the call center channel, you need to have reporting, because the call center agent will only perform better if he or she knows what the numbers are. If he or she knows where she's getting up in the morning for, what the numbers of the day are. We took a couple of years to build that reporting, that slowed us down immensely. So please think about how do you wanna set up the reporting and be successful from the beginning onwards. If we move to the how, that's all about the team. The way of working, personal leadership, it's like partnerships. And with many of you, we have partnerships. It's not only the partnership with Pega, it's also the partnership we have with our vendors and the people who are helping us, offshore and onshore teams. It's also about peers, just people we meet here during these days. But let me deep-dive in those topics. Let me first introduce my team to you, my 35 very talented people. I just love them, they're great. Six different nationalities. It really helps to have an international group of people just work on the program. It's key because you can get them from all over the world. In the Netherlands, for example, we don't have the experienced people we just need, so I'm very happy we have such an international team. And we do a lot of fun stuff. And we do walks, we just have a morning sessions, we have the week starts, we have knowledge-sharing sessions, we have the fun factor. We just have, yeah, different quizzes we do together just to get them engaged. It's about different topics that some of our really love and enjoy. So it's really, really keen to have a really knowledgeable, intelligent team. And what we did, we actually kept the same number of people in the team. What we did, we all retrained them from Unica to Pega. And they were really, really willing to learn, because it's the new technology, from an old-fashioned maybe to a newer. They were all willing to or stay because of that. Because they see they are challenged on a day-to-day basis. They want to really develop themselves. So we give that opportunity at VodafoneZiggo to really develop themselves. And they're also ambassadors. If they go to birthday parties, for example, but also if they have sessions with stakeholders, with peers, they are able to tell the story, the GURU story about our achievements, what we do, about our vision, what we want to achieve. So the team and the people are really key in the how and in your success. The way of working. It's about the sprints, it's about the Jira board maybe, it's about other things, the briefing process, for example. It's really good to just write it down so everybody who is involved does exactly know what the expectations are. You need to have RACI or RAPID what you use. Also really know who is giving input, and who is a decision maker on specific domain. And it is constantly changing. It's changing because of the roadmap changes, maybe the market dynamics will change. There's so many influences that you would need to really be flexible in your way of working, and being flexible in your way of working does also mean you need to be flexible as a person, as a team member. So you also need to have very clear and open communication to your stakeholders, to the people you're working with. Take them by the hands, maybe more than you would like to, but it's really keen to just, yeah, not let go. If you wanna be successful, you have to take the extra step, to put the extra mile into that, and to be really successful in what you want to achieve. Personal leadership. Actually this whole program being the leader, or the head, of this business transformation has been a gift so far. There are challenges. There are great learnings. Every day is different. Every day I do learn all aspects of leadership. Yeah, I use them. So some of them are put down here, for example, the stakeholder management. You really need to involve the C-suite, the CEO, the CIO, the CDO, the CDDO, the CDTO, whatever you have, they all need to be involved, they all need to support your program, otherwise you cannot just be successful. And we're dealing with many, many different departments within the organization. Actually I cannot name a single department that's not involved in the business transformation I'm leading. So it's so important to do that stakeholder management well, and almost it's a day job to do that well, and to be really a true ambassador of the program and everything about that. It's also about resilience. It's not only tailwind, there's a lot of headwind as well, it can be bumpy roads, and also the market situations, for example, the roadmaps that are changing, reporting that's not picking up correctly, the agents that we don't have them really motivated to keep the utilization up. You really have to be resilient. And it is one of the key aspects, I think, what I learned during these four or five years. And also the agility and adaptability, it's also linked to that. It's all linked to everything, is really to be able to change, be able to change. What I mentioned earlier, it's about moving from a project to actually business of usual. So how will that impact? Different campaigns, how will that make a change? You need to adapt, and also you need to make sure that your team adapts to the new situations. So there's a lot of just, yeah, leadership in the whole program. And I really enjoy that. If we go to partnerships, this picture was taken a month ago. And we all have partners in our work, because only with partners we can be successful. And partners, they're often thought leaders. Let's do it together. Let's really make sure it's not only me being on stage and telling the story to our CEO, or the C-suite, or to my peers in the senior management team. We need to do it together. It's so good that also our partners do stand up, tell the story, tell the story about Generative AI, for example. Why do I need to be on stage and tell that? It should be really a joint effort. So also during this session, it was hosted by Pega, we invited my team there, but also our friends, CVM and friends. So we invited IT, we invited Marketing, we invited from the call centers, just very big group of people there. So again, not to hear the story from me, but really to hear it from our partners. That is such an incredible value that's often underestimated because there's a different voice to it, there's a different exposure. There are best practices that also our partners can really share about what's happening in the market. So it's really, really important to use together and discuss how you really make this partnership successful in that. Don't sell, but prove. Sometimes a partner, it's not the best partner to work with, because they don't have the competencies actually that you need. Partners, please be open in what you can do and cannot do. Because we are in this together, we're in this together for the long term. So it's really about just making the program successful together. Be honest, be open, acknowledge if you don't know something, and let's work it out together, but we really do need to make it a success. The multilevel inspiration session, I already mentioned that a little bit. It's gonna also be on all levels. So this was on the senior management team level, whether on the C-suite level, just also the ones who were actually execution in the systems making the changes. It's really important to involve them as well. And last, on this page, is the retrospective. It's so good to just sit together every quarter and discuss the tips and the tops, or the tips and the flops, just to be able on the people process, the capability side, the content part. Are we good with the data? Are we just on the right track to just make it all happen together? So that's important. Often we don't make time for retros, and we just keep on going, but the efficiency and the quality actually goes down. So my advice really would be is really spend the time and to do retrospectives. And on the peers. This was the prep session to actually coming over to PegaWorld. A lot of Duchies together, different organizations. So good to just see each other, and already just make contact before arriving here, because you now you wave to each other, you drink a beer at Hakkasan, it's just so nice to just have that connection, because that connection is so extremely valuable. The people in my team are very, yeah, very, I can't without them, but also the peers, they have also a lot of knowledge. We can build it together, and I'm extremely lucky to work at VodafoneZiggo, and at the Vodafone sides we have Vodafone Group, we have so many different Opcos, 12 different Opcos in Europe, that we can share our knowledge with. Also on the Liberty Global side, we have a number of different Opcos we can share learnings with, but also ask best practices, discuss pitfalls, and sometimes just a little bit complain about what's happening, because we need each other also from a resilience perspective to just, sometimes you just need to just talk to each other and be listened to in what you experience during the program. So networking is key, and that's what we all do today. But also we go home and this contact just keep them alive. Spend time on just meeting and greeting again with each other. And some people, the insurance companies, the banks, every six weeks I spend 30 minutes with them just to discuss. And sometimes we just talk, and I listen, or we just share information, or we make sure that our teams are connected on the topics that we have questions on. Myself, I go to a network event almost once every week for CMOs, just to get more knowledge on digital transformation, on digital development, and nowadays a lot also on Generative AI, because it is relevant to get knowledge or to be inspired from outside. It is so relevant for our own development. And I can use that again to be a good leader for my team and for the program. This was it. So thank you for your attention. I hope you walk out with the thinking that if there's a problem, if you are facing a challenge, please think of the how in that sense, and find a solution very quickly. So my last words to you are stay curious and have fun. And I hope you enjoyed the presentation.

- So anybody got a question they'd like to ask Nicole? If so we've got a microphone around somewhere. Otherwise, I'll ask one one.

- I see a question there.

- [Audience Member 1] Hello, hi, Nicole. Thanks, I really enjoyed that by the way. I'm glad you brought up data and getting access to data, 'cause we found it's been a real problem. How'd you know at the beginning what type of data that you really need, and what tips would you give?

- It was really important to think about what kind of use cases you want to implement first. So my advice is to not start with the biggest campaigns, but start small, and then gradually build it up. But from a data perspective, because it takes such a long time to unlock it, it's good to just go through your campaigns, and see how you can enrich the campaigns you would like to do. When we first started, we had workshops. We made a difference between right shaping and brainstorming innovation. Due to Corona, we kind of moved towards right shaping, so that's more like reviewing what kind of campaign we had on the legacy system, and try to see how we can just make it better on the Pega system. And then you look and see, okay, what kind of data source can really enrich it? So we start really small with the use cases we want to implement. So not the biggest one, but make that list already, and see also maybe in some cases it's much more easier to unlock the data than in others. But I was also mentioning as sometimes it's just one single contact owner of that specific data, and if that person is really willing to help and supportive of the program, that can also be a reason why to just start with that kind of data. So there are lots of different arguments why to choose with a specific data source. Thank you for your question.

- [Audience Member 2] First off, thank you, and great presentation. I had a question on KPIs. Which ones did you guys agree on, and how'd you measure 'em? Did you do a tree-first control? Or how'd that really work?

- Yep, for the KPIs, we have many different KPIs in the organization. I think too many, and we do have control groups in place now, so we do see a good delta, but what we do sell, so it's on the numbers, so it's actually the actual conversion that we have the numbers on. So on the sales numbers, for example, the example I gave with the incremental sales, so the incremental sales, that's really on the various groups we have defined. That's a very relevant KPI. But also on the opt out, it's also a question, so it's on the sales side you need to know how successful you are from a company perspective, but also please think of KPIs on how you can measure your success towards the customer. And we have defined the opt-out KPIs being a relevant one to monitor. We also have close alert, for example, the score that's given to a specific email, but these numbers are just really low. So not significant numbers to measure. Does it answer your question?

- Yeah.

- Okay.

- [Audience Member 3] Are there any best practices you would mention from going from Unica to Pega? The email system?

- The best practices in that sense? From which perspective? From a data perspective.

- [Audience Member 3] I feel like, yeah, from a data perspective and kind of training the teams, and getting them kind of ready to use that system versus Unica.

- Yeah, yeah, again, start small and upgrade them. Then I think what's really important is to change the mindset of the people in the team. You need to make the Pega, you need to tell them how exciting it is to work in Pega, and what different tooling there are about the Pega Academy, how many courses there are, you could just follow easily. So I think that's where it starts to motivate the people, and that they are willing to really make that effort in doing these courses, and get upgraded in that system. So I think that's the key. And again, it also starts with the simpler campaigns to migrate. And what we find difficult in that sense is kind of when is the handover moments? Smaller campaigns are, it doesn't have that much impact on the actual numbers, but when there are larger campaigns, you really have to think, okay, what is the turning point that you switch it off in Unica and switch it on in Pega for 100%. So that's where you need to be keen on, that kind of give to you as kind of something to be mindful of. Does that help?

- Any other questions?

- No, well, thank you very much, Nicole. Great presentation as always. Nicole has said that if you wanna ask her more questions then do feel free to reach out to her, link in with her, or she'll hang around here for a few minutes before she goes and grab some lunch properly if you wanna have a chat. Otherwise, thank you very much for coming.

- Good to be here.


Industry: Communications Service Providers Product Area: Customer Decision Hub Solution Area: Customer Engagement Topic: Customer Engagement Topic: Digital Transformation Topic: PegaWorld Topic: Personalized Customer Experiences

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