Providing Smart Help in a Telco Environment

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. That is why our work with Verizon, another Creative Virtual customer in this sector, is so key. In 2008, Verizon contacted us with several initiatives, one of which was to improve self-service support on the Verizon website.

Working together, we were able to create a 24/7 smart help environment for Verizon. This approach to online service optimized both providing customers with the correct answers while also respecting their time spent accessing their account. In order to increase the ease and availability of self-service options online, Verizon has implemented several personalization options and prompts for virtual agent assistance to increase customer satisfaction online and decrease calls to the contact center.

Verizon Best Practices include:Ask Verizon

  • Personalization via only showing customers relevant products and services. Logged-in customers can ask account specific questions, such as their account balance and due date of their bill. Verizon also creates a unique experience for customers by allowing them to select an avatar from several options and remembering the user’s choice when the virtual agent is launched again.
  • Access to community tools link customer questions to interactive forums, allowing for a more engaging experience with other customers. This also allows customers that may have unique issues to first try to trouble-shoot themselves in a self-service environment.
  • Use a proactive virtual agent to assist clients once they’ve remained on a page for a set amount of time. If this indicates they are confused, the agent offers relevant help before customers become frustrated.
  • Use natural language processing to allow customers to ask the virtual agent questions in the same way they would ask a live agent. This eliminates tedious keyword searches and the need to sort through long lists of FAQs.

To learn more about Verizon’s smart help solutions, check out their Customer Success Story here.

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