Natural Language Processing

The Era of Intelligent Assistants is Here

10 May 2017

Intelligent Assistants Conference

By Laura Ludmany, Knowledgebase Engineer

As an introduction of the Intelligent Assistants Conference held in London on the 4th and 5th of May, Dan Miller and Derek Top of Opus Research agreed that the era of intelligent assistants, chatbots, and AI has arrived. The biggest catalyst of this was Facebook, when its Messenger platform was opened to chatbots and virtual assistants in 2016. Since then, millions of chatbots can be found on that platform.

In the professional field – in which we tend to use the terms intelligent assistants and virtual agents – machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) are basics. Read more

IAC London 2017: Real use cases and best practices for natural language intelligent assistants

27 Apr 2017

intelligent virtual assistant

By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager (Global)

Chatbots continue to be a hot topic for customer service and marketing with more and more organisations beginning to realise the potential benefits of automated conversational systems. The best way to learn about this technology, how it can be implemented and its place in the future of customer experience is to engage with companies already using it and industry experts. Opus Research’s Intelligent Assistants Conference (IAC), returning to London for a second year, offers the opportunity to do just that. The conference will feature a series of keynote addresses, expert panel discussions, case studies and networking opportunities. Read more

Virtual Agents and Chatbots and Avatars – Confusing or What!

16 Nov 2016

chatbots and virtual agents

By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager (Global)

I think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone involved with customer service, marketing, customer engagement or sales who hasn’t heard something about chatbots this year. Along with all the attention and media buzz has come a wave of confusion for the marketplace. What’s the difference between a chatbot and a virtual agent? Should I be jumping on the bandwagon and offering a chatbot on Facebook Messenger? What do my customers actually want from a self-service virtual agent? Are bots just a passing fad for engaging my customers?

If any (or all!) of these questions left you scratching your head, don’t worry.  You’re certainly not alone. Read more

It’s Time to Embrace Digital Channels and Build Smart Help

27 Sep 2016

Executive Interview

By Patrick Gallagher, Managing Director ANZ & North Asia

In my over 30 years of involvement in contact centres, IVR and customer experience applications, I’ve experienced companies investing millions in their contact centres to provide support to customers calling to purchase, enquire, complain, apply or seek assistance. Traditionally this has been the ‘tried-and-tested’ option as companies continued to invest in their contact centre in order to build their customer support capability. But, as customers have moved to digital channels, this approach is no longer enabling organisations to meet their customers’ expectations.

I drew on this experience in my recent Executive Interview with CRMXchange to discuss the growing popularity of online self-service and ensuring customers can resolve issues with minimal effort. Read more

Debunking the Myth that Digital Customer Solutions Seem Labor Intensive and Costly to Maintain

26 Jul 2016

Quick Solution

By the Creative Virtual Team

Any company considering a new system that will bring about broad changes to their operation has to think about cost. A valuable business platform has a labor and capital cost involved to install and maintain the system: V-Person™ is no different. However, our solution has a few important characteristics that help you keep maintenance costs lower than you might think.

Data Tracking and Analytics

The key to getting better at a high-volume activity like customer communication is tracking and analyzing data. Our V-Portal™ platform features a powerful reporting functionality that can track metrics like:

  • Call deflection
  • First contact resolution
  • Conversion rates
  • Customer satisfaction levels

You can also use V-Portal’s reporting system to determine which questions or concerns are most common. Read more

How does V-Person™ compare to the latest AI media hype?

20 Jul 2016

AI Hype

By the Creative Virtual Team

If there’s one thing media outlets love reporting on today, it’s artificial intelligence. Activities ranging from defeating chess masters to driving cars without human input are hailed as the next frontier of technology, or the downfall of humanity, depending on who you ask.

All the media bluster about the innovative things that AI can do ignores one key element for enterprise clients: customer communication. Our virtual assistant customer service solution learns how to talk to customers and solve their problems while also taking into account the context of each interaction.

The lost art of AI conversation

Artificial intelligence from companies like Google and IBM has made headlines for doing things like painting, researching diseases and analyzing the work of famous artists and athletes. Read more

Does V-Person™ Customer Service Technology Self-Learn?

19 Jul 2016

self-learning

By the Creative Virtual Team

Artificial intelligence is a popular technology, used today for everything from diagnosing breast cancer to completing levels of Super Mario World. A big catalyst in the advancement of this technology is the concept of self-learning, which allows AI to autonomously improve decision-making to achieve desired outcomes.

Self-learning is a valuable component of our V-Person customer engagement solution, but it alone doesn’t make our platform a cutting-edge tool for customer service.

Why self-learning is not the ultimate goal for customer experience solutions

Customer service platforms are designed to do just that: serve the customer. Self-learning technology in fields like art and music is free to continuously iterate upon what it has learned, which makes it possible for AI to paint and create music. Read more

IAC London 2016 Day 1 – Pioneering the 4th Industrial Revolution

27 Apr 2016

IAC London 2016

By Gianandrea Gaetani, Junior Knowledgebase Engineer

With all the talk revolving around the convergence of Artificial Intelligence, the present and future implementations of Intelligent Agents, Robotics, identity and biometrics, quantum, nano bio tech, and 3d printing, the Intelligent Assistants Conference held in London on the 26th and 27th of April left participants debating where we all stand in tech matters. Is it too soon to talk about the 4th Industrial Revolution just yet?

Whether we want to believe it or not, businesses today are left to navigate the chasm in an ever changing digital world. Digital and biological worlds tend to get closer with every passing year and static businesses and websites seem to be coming alive through the implementation of Intelligent Assistance. Read more

IAC London 2016: Helping humans harness the power of intelligent assistants

25 Apr 2016

Intelligent Assistants Conference London 2016

By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager (Global)

For the first time Opus Research is bringing their Intelligent Assistants Conference to Europe. IAC London 2016 is being held 26-27 April at Grosvenor House in London and will be co-located with Intelligent Authentication Conference 2016. The Opus Research team has put together an impressive agenda of expert panel discussions and keynote addresses focused on the conference theme of ‘helping humans harness the power of intelligent assistants’.

Creative Virtual is proud to be an event sponsor of IAC London 2016 and to have both our CTO, Peter Behrend, and our Founder & CEO, Chris Ezekiel, speaking as industry experts. Read more

Don’t be a Robot: Are Instant Replies Always Best?

31 Mar 2016

don't be a robot

By Alessandro Giordo, Web Developer and Support Technician

I’ve always loved the interaction between human and machine. No wonder I’m a Developer, used to communicating every day with computers and programs using their language, or mine.

When I started using online chats and support chats, I also started wondering about having a computer on the other end “talking”, creating a feeling like it’s a real person answering your questions.

The line between a robot and a human being is quite clear still in many areas, although we have come very far from even a few years ago. There are ways of masking the feeling of artificiality, and I’m here to talk about some of them which can be a reality today. Read more

The Smart Machines are Coming! Are You Ready?

29 Mar 2016

smart machines in banking

By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager (Global)

“Smart machines offer huge potential benefits to early adopters within financial services, even with regulators barring banks from some use cases. CIOs must proactively prioritize potential investments in smart machines and begin pilots in 2016.” *

Everything seems to be getting smarter these days – our phones, our TVs, our watches – and now even our banking experience. In their recent report Where Banks Can Use Smart Machines, Gartner Analysts Tom Austin and David Furlonger explore the impact six smart machines (smart vision systems, virtual customer assistants, virtual personal assistants, smart advisors, other natural-language processing technologies and smart campus infrastructure) will have on financial institutions during the next few years. Read more

It’s Time to Talk About the End-to-End Digital Employee Experience

15 Mar 2016

service desk virtual agent

By Chris Ezekiel, Founder & CEO

Talking about the end-to-end digital customer experience is nothing new. Over the past several years we’ve seen organisations take on the challenge of how to serve highly connected, always on customers. While this has certainly not been an easy undertaking, companies are now understanding the importance and necessity of providing customers with a complete digital experience and are embracing it throughout the organisation as a key part of their overall customer experience strategy.

What has been missing from this conversation for many organisations has been the end-to-end digital employee experience. The good news is that recently this has started to change, and I’m seeing a real maturity happening within organisations. Read more

CBD in Arabic: “Upside down and right-to-left”

03 Dec 2015

CBD Arabic

By Björn Gülsdorff, Head of Business Development

It’s been very exciting times recently as we prepared the launch of an Arabic version of Commercial Bank of Dubai’s (CBD) Virtual Assistant Sara. Building a virtual assistant in Arabic turned the interface and our natural language processing upside down.

Or, to be precise, it flipped it from left-to-right to right-to-left.

Once again, we saw the advantages of our rule based approach: Starting from the English version of Sara, we created a language library and a CBD knowledgebase in parallel. Doing this, we focused on the content needed for the project at hand, without having to start with complicated language models, grammars and whatnot. Read more

‘Eureka!’ in the Detail

19 Feb 2015

Salvatore Vuono freedigitalphotos

By Rachel Freeman, Head of Operations

I’m amazed at how often many of us fall into the trap of assuming that something is understood within our various industries based on the fact that we are in it daily. Whilst we work on generating interest via marketing materials, tweets, webinars and blogs and talk about the big picture of, in our case, the incredible utility of self-help tools, we sometimes forget the basics and the oft missed gold dust in the daily transactions of what many of us, customer and supplier alike, take for granted or possibly even overlook.

All of the Creative Virtual Smart Help tools have wide capabilities to report on detailed user interactions, survey comments, and high level summary information including total amount of conversations, questions asked, clicked FAQs and, of course, the level of success in terms of how well the tool has responded in order to enable a smooth and satisfying customer experience. Read more

Analyst Report: A Very Good Report Card for V-Person™ Technology

01 Jul 2014

evaluation

By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager (Global)

The Patricia Seybold Group, a strategic advisory service for customer-centric executives, recently released their second evaluation of Creative Virtual’s V-Person technology. This independent report, written by Mitch Kramer, Senior Consultant and titled Creative Virtual V-Person: Delivering Personalized Answers to Customers’ Questions, serves as a follow-up to the original review produced in 2012. In the report, Mitch evaluates our virtual agent technology against a rigorous set of customer-focused criteria important to organisations that want to improve customer experience, increase brand loyalty and reduce customer support costs.

The detailed, 37-page analysis takes a deep dive into V-Person and V-Portal™ (our knowledge management, workflow management and business intelligence reporting platform) and outlines how our technology can be used to deploy virtual agents on web, mobile, social and IVR channels to answer customers’ questions directly or through guided, question and answer dialogs. Read more

Introducing Commercial Bank of Dubai’s Virtual Banking Assistant

30 May 2014

CBD's Ask Sara

By Björn Gülsdorff, Head of Business Development

Customer experience has become a key differentiator for organisations, particularly in the very competitive financial services space. And so when Commercial Bank of Dubai (CBD), a provider of personal and corporate banking services in the United Arab Emirates, began a redesign of their website they looked to intelligent virtual agent technology to create an innovative and personalised experience online.

The result is a new banking portal featuring Virtual Banking Assistant Sara. The sophisticated natural language technology powering “Ask Sara” allows the virtual assistant to engage conversationally with website visitors 24/7. Sara assists visitors of the public website as well as CBD’s logged-in customers with tasks such as form completion and is integrated with live chat to seamlessly escalate users needing further assistance. Read more

Creative Virtual Receives Top Marks in TechNavio’s Virtual Assistant Product Comparison

13 May 2014

By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager (Global)

On 18th April, leading technology research and advisory company TechNavio released their Global Intelligent Virtual Assistant Market 2014-2018 report. The report covers the Americas, EMEA and APAC regions, and includes in-depth industry analysis, the Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA) market landscape and key vendors operating in this market space. Last week they followed up that report with a blog post sharing a head-to-head virtual assistant product comparison.

We’re pleased to share that Creative Virtual is identified in TechNavio’s report as one of the industry’s key vendors, and our partner company The Virtual Zone also made the list as a prominent vendor. Read more

Top US Bank Deploys Pilot of Natural Language Self-Help System in Spanish

30 Apr 2014

By Tim Sanger, VP Customer Experience Solutions

We are incredibly pleased to announce that one of the top banks in the US has deployed a pilot using our V-Person™ technology for self-help, in Spanish. Providing great service is a challenge and it’s made even more so when Spanish speaking customers are forced to “self-help” in their second language. Couple that fact with the understanding that “The U.S. Hispanic population has increased six-fold, since 1970” (Pew Research – February 26, 2014) and the path forward is clear – companies who are interested in truly serving their diverse customer base, need to provide diverse and intuitive solutions. Read more

Top US Bank Goes Live with Creative Virtual Solution

27 Feb 2014

By Courtney Schreier, Marketing Manager

We are incredibly pleased to announce that one of the top banks in the US has gone live using our V-Person™ technology for a self-help system.  We estimate that this is the largest installation of an intent-based natural language system in the financial services industry today.

But what’s even more exciting about this deployment is the part V-Portal™has played in it.  V-Portal is our proprietary knowledge management system that allows for advanced personalization across channels.  This is a unique feature in the marketplace today.  From the business perspective, it means that customers are delivered a unique and exceptional experience that is tailored to them and the products and services they are using with the bank. Read more

Providing Smart Help in a Telco Environment

19 Dec 2013

By Richard Simons, CEO, Creative Virtual USA

As we look forward to 2014, it’s interesting to reflect on how the smart customer journey has evolved over the years. Today we announced that a major telecommunications provider has selected us for a program to improve their self-service website options. Now more than ever, enterprise cable, telco and ISPs are looking for ways to ensure their clients feel valued and respected.

I think the idea of “smart help” is especially imperative in a telecommunications environment, where customers want to gain access to their account, conduct the appropriate transactions and get on with their day. Read more