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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Cutting Through the AI Hype

19 Sep 2017

AI & Robotics

By Liam Ryan, Sales Director

Last year when I attended the Social Robotics & AI conference I had the pleasure of speaking with Professor Noel Sharkey which brought back memories of being a contestant on Robot Wars. This month I attended the event, now called AI & Robotics THE MAIN EVENT, for a second year and again got to hear Professor Sharkey speak. This time I started reminiscing about my appearance on Techno Games where he was also a judge. I was also very aware that the robot my team entered into that competition back in 2002 seemed like a child’s school project when compared with the robots at this event! Read more

Is the Contact Centre Part of Your Digital Transformation Programme?

15 Sep 2017

contact centre

By Chris Ezekiel, Founder & CEO

I say this every year, but the Technology Innovation Showcase webinar Creative Virtual does with CRMXchange is one of my favourite webinars to present. This was the fifth year running that we’ve participated in the webcast series, and it was our most popular one yet with a record-breaking number of registrations. I love this webinar because it gives me a chance to share more live demonstrations than slides, and I know the best way to understand how our technology works and what it can do for customers and organisations is to see it in action. Read more

AI in the Corporate World Today

07 Sep 2017

2017 AI & Robotics

By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager (Global)

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has long been the stuff of science fiction, often portrayed as becoming evil and turning against its human creators – from robots rising up to destroy humanity to supercomputers trying to take over human minds. In recent years, however, AI has moved from something seen as a far-off dream of the future to an actual reality in households and workplaces around the world. AI is powering the voice assistants on our phones and in our homes, the self-driving cars appearing on our streets and the chatbots that are popping up on messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger and WeChat. Read more

A Buzz About Chatbots at G-Summit Melbourne

29 Aug 2017

G-Summit Melbourne

By Patrick Gallagher, Managing Director ANZ & North Asia

There was a definite buzz at this year’s G-Summit Melbourne, hosted by Genesys earlier this month, around the event theme: Together – Together, we can deliver iconic customer experiences by powering digital business with a human touch. The event was busy this year with a very strong turnout and plenty of interest in chatbots.

I had the pleasure of being on-hand in the AppFoundry Hub to represent Creative Virtual, an event sponsor and founding member of the Genesys AppFoundry, and show our chatbot and virtual agent solutions in action. V-Person™ technology enables organisations to provide customers with smart online help and is designed to be integrated with the Genesys platform to provide a seamless experience. Read more

Innovation Showcase: Preparing Your Contact Centre for the Future with AI and Chatbots

23 Aug 2017

CRMXchange Technology Innovation Showcase

By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager (Global)

The contact centre is integral to the customer support and engagement strategies of many organisations, but its role has been changing recently as a growing number of customers seek out digital and self-service options. While chatbots and virtual agents have gotten a reputation as being threats to the contact centre, the reality is that they can have a positive effect on the contact centre and a company’s overall customer experience.

Learn more on Thursday, 7th September at 4:00 pm UK time/ 11:00 am ET as Creative Virtual takes part in CRMXchange’s Technology Innovation Showcase webcast series for a fifth consecutive year. Read more

Together We Can Deliver Iconic Customer Experiences

06 Aug 2017

customer experience

By Patrick Gallagher, Managing Director ANZ & North Asia

Over the years, companies have invested 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.

G-Summit Melbourne, Genesys’ customer experience event taking place 7 – 8 August 2017, will address this change with their event theme of ‘Together – Together, we can deliver iconic customer experiences by powering digital business with a human touch’. Read more

An Invitation for Two to Buckingham Palace

03 Aug 2017

The Queen's Awards for Enterprise

By Peter Behrend, CTO

In the highly-charged, fast-moving blur of life in bustling Canary Wharf, some blips on life’s radar may reasonably be expected to escape immediate attention. So I offer no apology for my immediate reaction when told that we have been awarded the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise: Innovation 2017; Meah – another well-merited award pulled wearily from a thickly pregnant envelope; another trophy for the sagging shelves of the new Technology Suite, jostling for primacy against the Stevies, the TIAs, the IBAs, and the dazzling crystal of The Wharf Innovation in Business Award.

This treasonable apathy lasted for a couple of days until the truth began to dawn and the reality of an award from Her Majesty came into focus. Read more

The Most Innovative Customer Support Tool

02 Aug 2017

2017 Technology Innovator Awards

By Chris Ezekiel, Founder & CEO

At Creative Virtual our vision has always been to offer organisations the technology to enable seamless, fully-integrated, end-to-end customer engagement, and to back that technology with the experience of an expert, knowledgeable team. We saw this vision come to fruition last year when we officially added V-Person Live Chat™ to our suite of Smart Help solutions. Since then, our roadmap has continued to be all about providing a world leading enterprise level end-to-end customer engagement platform.

It is an honour to have this vision and hard work recognised for a third straight year by the Technology Innovator Awards. Read more

The British 10k and Pie in the Face for the RSPCA

27 Jul 2017

Fundrasing for RSPCA

By Chris Ezekiel, Founder & CEO

We did it! Our five-member team from Creative Virtual – Rachel, Tracey, Alex, Kristina and myself – completed the British 10k on Sunday, 9th July 2017. We raised over £1,000 for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). It was an incredible feeling afterwards, but I must say, it was the toughest 10k race I’ve ever done. At 9:30am when the race started the sun was shining bright and it was very hot! The water and shower stations around the course were very much welcomed!

At least the weather was good for the spectators! Read more

Creating the Best Conversations with Digital Customers

25 Jul 2017

digital customer conversations

By Liam Ryan, Sales Director

Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with many company executives looking for ways to improve their customer service and support. As more and more emphasis has been placed on the customer experience as a competitive differentiator, it’s become increasingly important to organisations to provide quick and easy support options for digital customers. Companies are looking for the best way to manage customer engagement and create positive experiences.

I’m proud to say that Creative Virtual’s technology has once again been recognised as the being the best in these areas. We’ve been named ‘Best for Self-Service Customer Experience Management Solutions 2017’ and ‘Best Natural Language & Knowledge Management Technology: V-Person Mobile™’ by the 2017 UK Enterprise Awards! Read more

What’s the Point of Contact Deflection?

18 Jul 2017

contact deflection

By Björn Gülsdorff, Head of Business Development

Contact Deflection – is there a reason why so many companies have this as an objective? Well, our clients tell us what their goals and pain points are, but I can’t help thinking that treating one’s contact centre as a cost centre is past its prime. Also, if you want to make money, contact with your customers is a good thing. At least, that was my theory.

I was therefore quite happy to be able to speak in front of the Call Center Verband (Call Centre Association) in Halle, Germany, as well as meet the European customer service directors of the Deutsche Telekom AG at their gathering in Budapest. Read more

Infographic: Are Chatbots and Artificial Intelligence Threats to Your Contact Centre?

13 Jul 2017

AI threat to contact centre infographic

By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager (Global)

Some academics and experts are warning about the dangers of artificial intelligence (AI) – predicting everything from a huge loss of jobs to the end of the human race. At the same time, industry analysts are predicting significant increases in chatbots and virtual agents in the customer service space. So what does this mean for your contact centre? Should you approach chatbots and virtual agents as threats? Are contact centres about to become completely automated?

Check out the new infographic below for a realistic overview of the impact AI, chatbots and virtual agents are having on the contact centre. Read more

“Keeping it real with chatbots” – Impressions from the Chatbot Summit

11 Jul 2017

Chatbot Summit Berlin

By Björn Gülsdorff, Head of Business Development

“Your talk was the most down to earth”, an attendee wrote me via the event’s messaging app after I had delivered my keynote “A Hybrid Approach to Machine Learning” at the Chatbot Summit in Berlin.

Now, is that good or bad for a keynote? Shouldn’t I have been breath-taking or ground-breaking or both – instead of down to earth?

Gaging by the talks we had later at our booth, it was a compliment. Creators of chatbots, as well as potential buyers, were happy to see a way out of the current AI craze where unsupervised machine learning seems to be the one and only solution and the power of the human brain is overlooked – and which requires enormous amounts of groomed, relevant data. Read more

AI, Chatbots and the Threat to Your Contact Centre

27 Jun 2017

live chat customer support

By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager (Global)

Warnings abound about the dangers of artificial intelligence (AI) and smart robots, with industry and academic experts such as Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates expressing concerns about everything from a huge loss of jobs to the end of the human race. Yet in a recent interview with the BBC, Garry Kasparov, chess grandmaster and keynote speaker at last year’s Social Robotics & AI conference, said this:

“Intelligent machines will not make us obsolete but our complacency might.”

So, should we be worried about intelligent machines taking over the world and triggering the end of life as we know it? Read more

Calling All Chatbot Enthusiasts to Berlin!

20 Jun 2017

Chatbot Summit

By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager (Global)

Chatbots will take centre stage – along with the Development & AI Stage and the Product & UX Stage! – in Berlin next week at the Chatbot Summit. In its second year, the summit will bring together industry experts, established vendors, new start-ups and chatbot enthusiasts for a day of keynote presentations, panel discussions and networking opportunities on Monday, 26 June 2017.

Creative Virtual is pleased to be a sponsor of this year’s summit and to have Björn Gülsdorff, our Head of Business Development, joining the list of esteemed event speakers. Björn’s keynote presentation, Enterprise Chatbots: Taking a Hybrid Approach to Machine Learning, is scheduled for the afternoon on the Development & AI Stage. Read more

APPEX Omnichannel Takes Home Top Catalyst Honours at TM Forum Live! 2017

06 Jun 2017

TM Forum Live! 2017

By Liam Ryan, Head of Sales

Enhancing the omnichannel customer experience should be a goal of every company, but we all know how challenging this can be when it comes to the reality of designing and implementing a consistent and seamless experience. That’s why at Creative Virtual we’re excited to be participating in the APPEX Omnichannel Catalyst as part of TM Forum’s Catalyst Project. And we’re proud to share that the project recently took home the ‘Outstanding Performance’ award in the Customer Centricity & Analytics stream of the Catalyst Program at TM Forum Live! 2017 in Nice, France!

First, a little about TM Forum and the Catalyst Program. Read more

Team Animal Takes on the British 10K for RSPCA

25 May 2017

Creative Virtual Running Club

By Chris Ezekiel, Founder & CEO

On Sunday, 9th July 2017 a five-member team from Creative Virtual – Rachel, Tracey, Alex, Kristina and myself – will dust off our running shoes and take part in the British 10K to raise money for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). With only about 6 weeks to go until the race, we’ll be stepping up our training and our fundraising efforts. Here are some thoughts on the upcoming run from Tracey and myself:

Tracey running the 10KTracey says: “This will be my third time participating in a 10K. Well, I say participating because with time it’s now better for me to walk than to run because my knees just can’t handle the extra pressure of running. Read more

Conversational Commerce for Demanding APAC Customers

23 May 2017

HKCCA International Symposium

By Philip Chuck, Territory General Manager, Greater China

Effortless, Accurate, Seamless, Effective. When it comes to customer service, this is what customers expect. Yet putting the right technology, process and people in place to delight customers presents challenges for companies. This sparked insightful discussions during the 2017 Hong Kong Call Centre Association (HKCCA) International Symposium on 28 April.

One hot topic was the growth of conversational systems – chatbots and virtual assistants – in Asia Pacific. Creative Virtual Founder & CEO, Chris Ezekiel, addressed this in his presentation titled Taking Your Contact Centre into the Future with EASE. He talked about the changes contact centres need to make to meet customer expectations, including best practices for bringing together chatbots and virtual agents with live chat. Read more

Creative Virtual Continues 2017 Digital CX Road Tour – Chicago and Now Indy!

18 May 2017

CX event

By Christina Wilson, Director of Customer Success, Creative Virtual USA

May began with several of our Executive team members traveling to Chicago for the Argyle CX event last week. This was our second time attending the event and again, we were not disappointed by the success we found in the numerous conversations that took place. This year we had the opportunity to Sponsor the event and had the privilege of hearing a great panel that also included one of our very own, Frank Schneider, VP of Customer Experience Solutions. Simultaneously, our sales team attended the Forrester Digital Transformation 2017, also in Chicago, to pick up strategies on innovation and growth in the digital enterprise. Read more

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