Social Customer Service

Navigating the Chatbot Confusion in 2018

04 Jan 2018

navigating chatbot confusion

By Chris Ezekiel, Founder & CEO

The new year is here, and with it has come much of the confusion from last year about chatbots and artificial intelligence (AI) and how it all fits with your organisation’s business goals. It’s easy to get swept up in the media hype. For some that means approaching chatbot and virtual agent projects with inflated expectations, and for others that leads to a scepticism about it all being a passing fad.

At Creative Virtual, we’ve always taken pride in the relationships we’ve built with our customers, guiding them through best practices for implementing this technology and keeping their solutions successful year after year. Read more

CXM 2017: Meeting New CX Challenges in India

26 Jan 2017

smartphone users in india

By Shantanu Purandare, Executive Director, India

According to a recent study, the number of internet users in India is expected to reach 600 million by 2020, nearly double the approximately 343 million users currently. A big factor in this growth is the increasing availability and adoption of smartphones. As the world’s second largest mobile phone market, India is predicted to see a growth from 240 million smartphone subscriptions to 520 million by 2020. With more and more customers becoming digitally connected, companies in India are facing new challenges when it comes to building a happy, loyal customer base.

For this reason, creating world-class customer experiences for digitally inspired and demanding customers is the focus of Customer Experience Management 2017, India’s largest customer experience event. Read more

Messaging Apps: Over 3 Billion Users and Counting

29 Sep 2016

SMS and messenger apps

By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager (Global)

Times are a-changin’. After a transatlantic phone call with me several years ago, my now 94-year-old grandfather marvelled to my parents about how clear the line was and how easy it was to understand what I was saying. It was nothing like the international calls he used to get from his sister many, many years earlier! Compare that with the expectations of my 4-year-old niece. I recently had to explain to her what a payphone is (or was!). For her, it’s normal to be able to FaceTime with me even if we have the Atlantic Ocean between us. Read more

[Part 3] How Top Banks Leverage IVAs to Enable Self-Service: The Integration of IVAs in Non-Traditional Channels

03 Nov 2015

How Top Banks Leverage IVAs

By Richard Simons, CEO of Creative Virtual USA

This is the third post in our seven-part blog series – How Top Banks Leverage Intelligent Virtual Assistants to Enable Self-Service.


We’re increasingly seeing smart machines like our intelligent virtual agents (IVAs) being integrated into various systems to help people self-serve and create a more efficient use of human resources. Typically, IVAs have been used online and with live chat, but some of our clients are being creative with their deployments, even creating a customer engagement hub that reduces customer effort and helps them find information faster. Read more

Offering Mobile and Social Support for Increased Customer Engagement

27 Jun 2014

Internet World 2014

By Chris Ezekiel, Founder & CEO

It’s impossible to have a comprehensive discussion about customer engagement without raising the topics of mobile and social. Customers are on the go and expect in-the-moment service, literally at their fingertips. They are increasingly taking to social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and community forums to seek support and air their complaints. Organisations that ignore these channels are missing out on prime opportunities to engage with customers and risk being branded as out-of-touch with consumer lifestyle.

During my recent presentation at Internet World, Creating a Mobile and Social Experience for Your Customer’s Lifestyle, I took on these two hot customer experience topics. Read more

Join Me at Internet World 2014 for My Session on Creating a Mobile & Social Experience for Your Customer’s Lifestyle

03 Jun 2014

internet world 2014

By Chris Ezekiel, Founder & CEO

In today’s world, social and mobile platforms have become a lifestyle. Smart companies know that customers will connect with them on smartphones before work, from computers during the day and from tablets in the evening. Customers are looking for, and expect, an experience that is convenient for their lifestyle, regardless of how inconvenient those demands might be for your organisation. And research shows that if you don’t provide that experience, they will leave you for a competitor that can.

On Wednesday, 18th June I will be sharing more about creating a mobile and social experience that fits with customer lifestyles as a speaker at Internet World 2014. Read more

Are we unique? We like to think so …. But: are not!

01 Apr 2014

By Erik Braun, Director, Creative Virtual Benelux

TweetingAs humans and thinking persons, we like to believe we are unique, coming up with all kinds of new ideas. Yet when it comes to contacting the companies we buy our products and services from, we may not be quite as one-of-a-kind as we think. When we have questions, we tend to call them up or send an email or a tweet. But what do we see when we study those tweets? We see that this traffic is to a large extent – at least half – repetitive! And as we know: computers best handle repetitive things! Read more

See Smart Help Solutions in Action

13 Mar 2014

By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager (Global)

On Wednesday, 26th March Creative Virtual will be hosting a complimentary, live webinar on smart help solutions featuring two of our customers: National Rail Enquiries and Motability Operations. The speaking panel will include Kathryn Daniels, Information Development Manager at NRE, Alison Chapman, Communication and Development Manager at Motability Operations, and Maria Ward, Head of Web Services at The Virtual Zone, our partner company.

Smart Help Solutions in ActionBoth NRE and Motability Operations have been using Creative Virtual’s technology since 2007, and their well-established natural language smart help solutions continue to play important roles in their overall customer experience strategies. Read more

How Intelligent Virtual Assistants Can Transform the Social Channel

05 Dec 2013

By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager

Intelligent virtual assistants have brought customer service a long way from the days of the switchboard operator in the 1960s. Back then who could have guessed that one day a virtual person could play the same role answering thousands of questions in what would equate to light years for a human being. And now, with social networks becoming a mainstay of communication, virtual agents are working their way into the fabric of social conversation.

When used in the social channel intelligent virtual agents can do wonders. They are valuable from both the customer and company perspective. Read more

How Virtual Agent ‘Ask Lisa’ Transformed National Rail Enquiries’ Customer Service Channels

18 Mar 2013

By Chris Ezekiel, Founder & CEO

On 7th March I was joined by Kathryn Daniels of National Rail Enquiries and Maria Ward of Virtual Zone Ltd to host a webinar showcasing National Rail Enquiries’ NRE Webinar Title SlideBvirtual agent Ask Lisa. First launched in 2007 through collaboration with our partners The Virtual Zone, Ask Lisa is now used by NRE across multiple channels to provide information on traveling by rail in the UK quickly and easily to rail customers. During the webinar Kathryn gave a live demonstration of some of the features and functionality of Ask Lisa on the NRE website and Facebook pages. Read more

Free Webinar: How National Rail Enquiries Uses Virtual Agents for Multi-Channel Customer Support

28 Feb 2013

by Mandy Reed, Global Marketing Manager

Ask Lisa v2On the day that Apple revealed Siri, there was an excited buzz in the Creative Virtual offices not only because there was a cool, new iPhone to be had, but also because of the attention that was being brought to virtual agent technology. For years before Siri became a household name (and had a relationship with Raj on The Big  Bang Theory), we’ve been developing and implementing natural language virtual agents that give users the sensation of communicating with a ‘real’ person.  Since 2007, National Rail Enquiries (NRE) has utilised Ask Lisa, a V-Person™ by Creative Virtual and our partners The Virtual Zone, to successfully provide customer support across multiple channels. Read more

Socialise Your Brand into Your Customer’s Lifestyle

05 Dec 2012

by Chris Ezekiel, Founder & CEO

Social networking has become a lifestyle for many consumers and for companies at the forefront of customer experience it has become another opportunity to increase consumer-to-brand interaction and secure loyalty. But the truth is only about 40% of companies today have really made the commitment to bring customers together on social platforms, leaving the others to rely on the call centre as their only public face.

Our latest solution, V-Person Social Media™ is a call to action for enterprises looking to improve customer retention and a demonstration of our own commitment to evolve our suite of self-directed customer service solutions. Read more

National Rail Enquiries Launches Virtual Agent “Ask Lisa” on Facebook

02 May 2012

by Jessica Cody, Marketing Manager

Creative Virtual and their partner The Virtual Zone have enhanced social media Virtual Agent technology with the launch of National Rail Enquiries’ Ask Lisa on the company’s Facebook page.  Instead of simply having the website Virtual Agent accessible from Facebook, Ask Lisa has been integrated into the Facebook page as an app.  This allows the user experience to remain in one location, so there is no need to leave Facebook or open another window.

nre facebook lisa1

This advancement in Virtual Agent technology shows how the Virtual Agent can be placed in a number of locations and presented in different layouts.  Facebook Virtual Agents such as these are easy to implement, since the knowledgebase from the website Virtual Agent is re-used in a new context. Read more

Incorporating Social CRM Into Virtual Agent Technology

22 Feb 2012

by Jessica Cody, Marketing Manager

Maximizing your company’s social media presence and delivering an excellent customer experience go hand in hand. When deciding whether to go with a certain product or company, individuals are much more likely to listen to the opinion of a fellow customer than to a company advertisement. For this reason, it makes sense to combine social media with a company’s customer relationship management system.

Social media is a simple, yet cost-effective, way for customers to engage with your brand, and to listen to what people are saying about your company and/or product. Social media presence can come not only from social networks such as Facebook or Twitter, but also online product reviews and a company’s online community, which can be a very useful resource for support. Read more

Bringing Web Self Service to Facebook

17 Oct 2011

by Jessica Cody, Marketing Manager

More and more companies are now launching virtual agents on their websites to guide customers to the correct web pages, show them images of products they would like, help them fill out online forms and answer various other questions. Now it is time for the next step in online customer service.  With approximately 500 million users on Facebook (many of whom spend copious amounts of time throughout their day on the site), it makes sense for web self service to take advantage of this platform.

Verizon FiOS has launched their virtual assistant, Ask Verizon, on their Facebook page, so people can ask questions about their FiOS TV, Internet and digital voice directly from Facebook. Read more