By Richard Simons, CEO of Creative Virtual USA
We recently hosted a webinar for customer service professionals in the banking and financial industries entitled How Top Banks Leverage Intelligent Virtual Assistants to Enable Self-Service. To continue the conversation, we’ve compiled highlights from the webinar discussion in a seven part blog series to help you make important decisions about your customer support strategy.
WHY USE INTELLIGENT VIRTUAL AGENTS
What Drives Our Business
All the surveys show that customers are very happy doing things themselves. This includes helping themselves online without having to contact the call center. What also helps shapes the business case for self-service tools is that all of the research shows that the activities that customers are engaging in online are going to be with what Gartner calls, “smart machines.”
Gartner predicts that by 2018, 30% of online interactions will use smart machines like ours – an artificial intelligence machine which we call intelligent virtual agents (IVAs) – to help customers do whatever it is they want to do in various environments. As a matter of fact, we’re very excited to have been named a Cool Vendor in that smart machine category by Gartner this year.
Primary Benefits of Smart Machines
- Customer Availability: People want to be able to help themselves in many different ways – whether they’re trying to buy something or get more information about products or their account. Additionally, they want access to information at any time of the day or night without relying on business hours to resolve their query. IVAs enable effortless self-service options for customers that want fast answers online.
- Agent Productivity: IVAs can also leverage the same information that is available to customers within the contact center, and make it available to live chat agents so there’s a consistency in what’s being provided to customers across multiple environments. This leads to shorter wait times and faster resolution.
- Multichannel Compatibility: Customers visit websites using different devices like computers, tablets, and mobile devices, and want to engage using different methods like the telephone, social media and SMS. Even more customers want to type, text and talk, which is particularly important in mobile environments. As a result, customer information has to be available consistently in all channels. IVAs can be deployed virtually anywhere providing access to the same customer information across any given channel.
- Personalization: Providing a vanilla answer to a customer doesn’t get them excited. In fact, simply pushing a page to them provides a mediocre experience and makes them have to do more work to get an answer. IVAs can personalize the information, make it specific to the customer, and create an effortless experience. Your customers will reward you by giving back surveys that say they’re really excited by what they’ve seen.
- First Interaction Resolution: First interaction resolution is another concept that is incredibly important to customers. When somebody engages with the system and asks a question that can’t be solved online, they want to be escalated; and they want their question to go with the escalation. They don’t want to repeat their question when they talk to an agent or go through an IVR system. IVAs can easily facilitate this process and deliver the conversation to the live agent for seamless follow through.
- Big Data: Finally, we use structured and unstructured data to build and constantly improve the system based on the voice of the customer. Customer feedback is the main mechanism that drives our deployments and creates positive customer experiences. In the end, the real-time feedback helps make the IVAs more responsive and more effective for the customer.
Creative Virtual’s smart technology is built off of V-Portal™, our knowledge management system that is a major differentiator in the market. Our knowledge management system helps manage, maintain, and set up these systems in all the different environments in which people are working, and we’re sharing content across all of those environments to help the customer. In doing so, clients are able to create customer engagement hubs that enable customers to find what they are looking for in one place without having to search many resources to find information. V-Portal is what enables us to do all of these clever things in a timely, cost efficient and really cool way.
Stay tuned for the second part of this blog series – Two Banking Use Cases of Intelligent Virtual Agents. Subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss a post. You can also watch the 30 minute webinar to see a live demo of how top banks are leveraging intelligent virtual agents.