Blog

Welcome to the Creative Virtual blog! Here we cover all of the hot customer experience topics in mobile, social, web, IVR and so much more. We also share company announcements, details about upcoming events and give you a peek into what happens behind the scenes.

Our regular contributors have over 90 years of combined experience specifically with customer engagement, natural language virtual assistants and knowledge management. When you add in the experience of our guest authors and the other Creative Virtual team members who occasionally contribute, there is no better place to get expert insight.

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Chatbots in Action – Creative Virtual at CCW 2018

13 Feb 2018

contact centre chatbots

By Björn Gülsdorff, Chief Business Development Officer

The end of February is Call Center World time, Europe’s biggest “international conference and trade show for innovative customer dialogue”, now in its 20th year. (Congratulations!)

Whilst chatbots and artificial intelligence (AI) made it to the stage last year already, they have now become one of the major topics of the show and I am excited to have three speaking slots with our partner sogedes.

Excited and a little bit nervous: Since last year, the AI hype cycle is said to be past the “peak of inflated expectations” and having started the descent into the “trough of disillusionment”. Read more

Supporting Customers and Employees in the Digital Age

25 Jan 2018

digital experience

By Liam Ryan, Sales Director

Every organisation is going through a digital transformation, particularly in regard to their customer and employee experiences. Virtual agents and chatbots are ideal for supporting both digital customers and employees with a reliable and consistent self-service option that also helps reduce support costs and improve efficiency.

At Creative Virtual self-service solutions are our specialty, and we’re honoured to be named ‘Best Self-Service Solutions Provider 2017’ by Corporate Vision Magazine’s UK Corporate Excellence Awards 2017. For over 14 years we’ve delivered bespoke virtual agents and chatbots designed to provide a quick, easy way for users to get information and troubleshoot issues. Read more

[Meet the Team] Maria Ward: From Virtual Agent Customer to Partner to Expert Member of the Creative Virtual Team

23 Jan 2018

Maria Ward

By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager (Global)

Creative Virtual is one of only four companies in London to be recognised by The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in the category of Innovation in 2017. The company was selected for this honour not only for our innovative technology, but also because of the hard work and dedication of our global team. Creative Virtual’s experienced, expert team is what sets the organisation apart from others in the industry. As part of the five-year celebration of our Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, we’re talking with some members of the Creative Virtual team about the technology, their involvement in the industry and what winning this award means to them. Read more

CX in 2018: Digital Transformation Means Combining Humans and Chatbots

17 Jan 2018

Digital Transformation

By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager (Global)

For years there was much more talk about digital transformation than any actual changes for many organisations, but that’s starting to change. More and more digital transformation projects are getting off the ground, and 2018 will be an important year for understanding the reality of the changes needed and putting plans into action.

During a recent roundtable event Econsultancy found that for many, digital transformation programmes are all about survival. Organisations are ‘trying to disrupt ourselves before being disrupted by others’. There is a fear of being made obsolete and digital transformation is a way to head off bankruptcy, particularly for those already struggling or less profitable than their competitors. Read more

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

Happy Holidays to You!

21 Dec 2017

Happy Holidays!

As we look to the end of 2017 and the start of a new year, we wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you to all our blog readers, customers and partners for being a part of this amazing year!

Being honored with The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise: Innovation 2017 has made this a history-making year for us at Creative Virtual. A special thank you to everyone who celebrated with us and sent kind words of congratulations! 2017 was full of other record-breaking achievements as well – participating in industry events in 11 different countries, deploying virtual agents and chatbots in a record number of new languages, having a record-breaking number of registrations for our annual Technology Innovation Showcase webinar. Read more

[Meet the Team] Antoinette Berns: Supporting a Company Culture that Encourages Innovation and Positivity

19 Dec 2017

Antoinette Bern

By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager (Global)

Creative Virtual is one of only four companies in London to be recognised by The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in the category of Innovation in 2017. The company was selected for this honour not only for our innovative technology, but also because of the hard work and dedication of our global team. Creative Virtual’s experienced, expert team is what sets the organisation apart from others in the industry. As part of the five-year celebration of our Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, we’re talking with some members of the Creative Virtual team about the technology, their involvement in the industry and what winning this award means to them. Read more

A Look Back: 2017 in Review

14 Dec 2017

2017 in review

By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager (Global)

The end of 2017 is quickly approaching and so, as has become our tradition, it’s time to take a look back at Creative Virtual’s year. To say this has been an exciting and busy year for us, our customers and our partners would be an understatement! 2017 will go down as one of the most important years in Creative Virtual’s history, so let’s take a look at some of the year’s highlights.

qa-smallBy far our biggest company announcement came in April when we were officially recognised as the winner of The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise: Innovation 2017! Read more

It’s Time to be Realistic about AI, Chatbots and Live Chat

12 Dec 2017

AI hype

By Chris Ezekiel, Founder & CEO

Recently I had the opportunity to present a webinar with Engage Customer titled ‘AI, Chatbots and Live Chat: Separating Truth from Myth’. I’m sure we can all agree how hot the market is for all things artificial intelligence (AI), chatbots and live chat at the moment. It really is exploding out there! We’re also seeing a lot of confusion, false claims and inflated expectations. My goal during this webinar was to separate the truth from the myth by showing some real-world customer examples and, through a series of live demonstrations, share best practices in deploying chatbots and human assistance for customer support. Read more

AI, Chatbots & Live Chat: Separating Truth from Myth

28 Nov 2017

AI & chatbot truth

By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager (Global)

“Industry analysts are predicting a huge increase in the number of customer interactions that will involve technologies such as machine learning applications and chatbots over the next five years. Smart organisations are already setting themselves apart from their competitors by incorporating chatbots and virtual agents into their customer support strategies to meet the expectations of digital customers.”

-Chris Ezekiel, Founder & CEO, Creative Virtual

Everywhere you turn, there seems to be another article pushing artificial intelligence (AI) or another analyst forecasting an increase in machine learning to improve customer experience and engagement. But, if you feel like the hype doesn’t always match up to the reality, you aren’t alone. Read more

[Meet the Team] Rebekah Needham: Deploying Virtual Agents and Chatbots Around the World

22 Nov 2017

Rebekah Needham

By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager (Global)

Creative Virtual is one of only four companies in London to be recognised by The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in the category of Innovation in 2017. The company was selected for this honour not only for our innovative technology, but also because of the hard work and dedication of our global team. Creative Virtual’s experienced, expert team is what sets the organisation apart from others in the industry. As part of the five-year celebration of our Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, we’re talking with some members of the Creative Virtual team about the technology, their involvement in the industry and what winning this award means to them. Read more

A Tale as Old as Time: Striving for the Best Customer Service

21 Nov 2017

digital customer service

By Rachel F Freeman, Operations Director

Every year across sectors, buzz words crop up, trends start and people look to see what is or isnt the next best thing on the market – whether it be an innovative piece of machinery, the next best app, an idea to revolutionise the way we operate in a work space or indeed what we eat in order to be more efficient and focused (does a group huddle or corporate run before indulging on beetroot and chia seed smoothies sound familiar?).

Ideas keep coming, which is wonderful, and in the world of technology it is imperative to keep things fresh and dynamic in order to be responsive to the ways of the marketplace. Read more

Good, Better, Best. How Does Your Self-Service Rank?

14 Nov 2017

best self-service

By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager (Global)

“Good, better, best. Never let it rest. ‘Til your good is better and your better is best.”

I have very distinct memories of my mother repeating this saying to us kids when we were growing up and, in a classic ‘I’m turning into my mother’ moment, found myself saying it to my niece a few weeks ago as well. I think we can all relate to striving to be our best and the great feeling of having someone else acknowledge our hard work to get there. Creative Virtual takes great pride in the self-service technology we provide, and so it’s an honour to be named Best Self-Service Solutions Provider – UK by the 2017 TMT Technology Awards. Read more

Reshaping Customer Engagement Priorities in the Financial Sector

31 Oct 2017

HKIB Banking Conference

By Philip Chuck, Territory General Manager, Greater China

“Changing World, Reshaping Priorities” was the theme of the 2017 Banking Conference hosted by Hong Kong Institute of Bankers (HKIB) at the end of September. The conference looked at how the financial services industry can reshape their priorities, try new business models and better leverage technologies to improve operational efficiency and profitability against the backdrop of shifting customer preferences and economic policies. Creative Virtual had the privilege of joining HKT at the annual conference to meet with hundreds of bankers interested in digital transformation.

One key concern voiced at the conference was the need for a better customer engagement strategy. Read more

Resisting Change Can Spell CX Disaster

26 Oct 2017

CX change

By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager (Global)

Over the summer, one of my Netflix obsessions was ‘Call the Midwife’, a TV drama that follows a group of midwives working in London’s East End during the 1950s and 60s. There often seemed to be a conflict between the traditional customs or ways of thinking and modern ideas that drove the storyline of the episodes. For example, patients resisting new medical practices such as giving birth in a maternity home instead of at home or the older generation of midwives dismissing the younger nurses’ ideas on topics like allowing husbands to be present for the birth. Read more

[Meet the Team] Jeff Clifford: Over Ten Years of Building and Implementing Natural Language Virtual Agents

19 Oct 2017

Jeff Clifford

By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager (Global)

Creative Virtual is one of only four companies in London to be recognised by The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in the category of Innovation in 2017. The company was selected for this honour not only for our innovative technology, but also because of the hard work and dedication of our global team. Creative Virtual’s experienced, expert team is what sets the organisation apart from others in the industry. As part of the five-year celebration of our Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, we’re talking with some members of the Creative Virtual team about the technology, their involvement in the industry and what winning this award means to them. Read more

Chatbots are Transforming the Way Mobile Apps are Built and Used

12 Oct 2017

mobile apps

By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager (Global)

“By 2021, more than 50% of enterprises will spend more per annum on bots and chatbot creation than traditional mobile app development.”

As one of Gartner’s top strategic predictions for 2018 and beyond, this projection really drives home the fact that chatbots are more than just a passing fad. Gartner explains that chatbots are becoming the face of artificial intelligence (AI) and transforming the way apps are built. Forward-thinking organisations are staying a step ahead of their competitors by examining their digital strategies and finding ways to incorporate chatbot technology into their customer engagement plans. Read more

Don’t Worry, the Customer Only Wants You to Be Perfect

06 Oct 2017

customer expectations

By Scott Tompkins, Enterprise Account Executive, USA

So…. I have this diploma and now have no idea what to do! Anyone else been there after graduation? Being from Delaware, I thought I would try my hand at one of the many financial service companies that call the First State home. My interview seemed to go well and as it was concluding the hiring manager asked me to sit with one of her agents for 30 minutes so that I would have a better understanding of what I would be doing in this role. I sat down and listened to “Steve” take his first call. Read more

Excellent Customer Service: What’s the secret to achieving success now and in the future?

05 Oct 2017

customer service success

By Susan Ott, Customer Success Manager, USA

Often, customer service can be a challenging world. Solving problems, providing information, making sure things run smoothly…it’s not always easy.

When I take a moment and think about companies that emanate unmatched customer service, I see an atmosphere in which employees and management alike are engaged on the front lines with their customers. Pride in the company you work for should always be at the forefront of every interaction. That emotion of pride instills a sense of teamwork and customers can feel it!

Companies who employ individuals who go above and beyond will always win me over. Read more

Postcard From Las Vegas: Happy Customer Service Week!

04 Oct 2017

Las Vegas

By Claudia Ramos, Senior Customer Success Manager, USA

When I got news that I’d be relocating with my family to Las Vegas, NV, I was thrilled with the possibility of finally breaking out of the Contact Center world and embarking on my new dream. I envisioned my big entrance in the Hotel Bizz. Dreams aside, I had to provide for my family. The reality of a crashing economy shattered my dream of working in a new exciting field. I knew that I had become great at something I did not like so much anymore. So, I accepted a Contact Center Manager job that paid 50% less than what I was making previously. Read more