Behind the Scenes of Commercial Bank of Dubai’s Sara

By Anne Westerhof, Knowledgebase Engineer, Creative Virtual Benelux

It’s been almost a year and a half since V-Person™ Sara was launched on the Commercial Bank of Dubai(CBD) website. From go-live to today Sara has grown, expanding her knowledge and features over time. She has been able to do so through Creative Virtual’s great technical team and project manager, CBD’s own excellent staff, and me, as Knowledgebase Engineer.

From the start, Sara was a much larger project than any I had worked on so far. Sara had to provide information on all products and services from the get-go (we started with about 800 FAQs!), as well as be innovative with several features I had not yet implemented in other virtual assistants. For me, Sara was, and still is, one of my favorite virtual assistants to work on for the challenge she provides.

As Knowledgebase Engineer, it is my job to add content to Sara’s knowledgebase in V-Portal™ and also to make sure that she understands all the questions CBD’s customers may ask her. But in addition to that, I was in charge of coordinating the creation of Sara’s avatar. Each emotion CBD picked for Sara was created, then continuously tweaked until she had the perfect expression on her face for that emotion. As the link between the avatar modeler and CBD, this was a fun job due to the many different emotions Sara can portray. I was also the one who created her nighttime avatar background, which was just the perfect touch to make Sara seem more real.

Now that Sara has been live for over a year, I can easily say the CBD content staff are great to work with. Communication is always smooth and the content they provide for me to add or edit is always well organized, which isn’t always the case when building knowledgebases! Today, Sara’s knowledgebase is 1.5 times the size it was at go-live, with content being updated and added based on the feedback collected from her conversations with customers and the frequent new products and services that CBD releases. In addition to that, it is surprisingly fun to learn all the ins and outs of every product and service that CBD has to offer.

Sara has many features that offer a challenge for me beyond adding and editing content. We made Sara aware of her surroundings by greeting the customer with a different text and question suggestions based on the page they are on, integrated her with live chat and, because she provides different services to logged in users than public ones, extra attention is needed there as well. Even now, we are still working on new and cool features that are challenging and rewarding for the whole team at Creative Virtual. Have a look at Sara today, in a few weeks, and a few months from now and you can see how she keeps evolving.

Whenever I hear about the positive reviews written about Sara, or read about the awards that she helped CBD win, I always feel proud about the value that I have been able to add, and happy that I have been able to work on such a project.

To find out more about what value Sara has added to the CBD website, read their Customer Success Story.