[Part 3] How Top Banks Leverage IVAs to Enable Self-Service: The Integration of IVAs in Non-Traditional Channels

By Richard Simons, CEO of Creative Virtual USA

This is the third post in our seven-part blog series – How Top Banks Leverage Intelligent Virtual Assistants to Enable Self-Service.


We’re increasingly seeing smart machines like our intelligent virtual agents (IVAs) being integrated into various systems to help people self-serve and create a more efficient use of human resources. Typically, IVAs have been used online and with live chat, but some of our clients are being creative with their deployments, even creating a customer engagement hub that reduces customer effort and helps them find information faster. Here are four non-traditional ways our clients are deploying IVAs in non-traditional channels.


More customers want access to customer support from their mobile devices, and our apps are being configured to ensure the optimum experience for customers. For example, some virtual agents are built as standalone app and some mobile apps contain a link to a intelligent virtual agent that is integrated into their regionalization. When people ask questions, the virtual agent knows where they are and can provide specific information based on their geography.

For example, when a customer asks, “Where’s my nearest store?,” the typical result would be to deliver a webpage that asks the user to provide more information such as zip code. With an IVA, when a user asks the same question, the IVA immediately provides the retail locations nearest to them. This makes it effortless for the user and deflects calls from the call center. Using V-Person™ technology, clients are receiving contact deflection rates of up to 80%.

Social Media

  • Twitter: Clients can use their IVA on Twitter. Rather than having the user type a question into Twitter of 140 characters of less, they can just click the link to the IVA and type their specific question. Since the IVA can be linked to their personal account, they can get a personalized answer directly on Twitter without leaving the site.
  • Facebook: Our clients are using IVAs on Facebook. Customers can ask questions in the Facebook environment, and receive answers without leaving Facebook. They can also be linked to the appropriate page on the brand’s website, or escalated to live chat, IVR or a live agent.
  • Forums: Our technology is being used by another client within Lithium forums. Users post questions which gets parsed using our smart V-Person™ technology. If we have an answer it will be automatically posted to the forum. Our surveys show that 40% of questions posted in a forum can be answered by an IVA.

CRM Systems

  • Process Integration: Clients are linking their IVAs with CRM software like Salesforce and Siebel to help customers activate their software. When a customers gets an error code during activation, the IVA pops up and takes them through a process. We’ve seen an 80% reduction in human intervention in this process of validating their software licenses.
  • Support Ticketing: Clients have also integrated their IVAs with the Salesforce ticketing system. IVAs look at the tickets, and automatically offer a solution or answer to the inquiry. The ticket will remain in the Salesforce queue until the customer says, “Yes, you’ve answered my question.”

Call Centers & IVR Systems

  • Call Center: Clients are deploying IVAs within their call centers to increase agent productivity and increase overall customer satisfaction. Using our knowledge management system, V-Portal™, they are leveraging their ability to reuse all of the natural language and understanding of common customer questions to provide different answers to the call center where appropriate.
  • IVR: One of the big concepts that we’ve helped our customers with is that customers 1) don’t want to repeat themselves and 2) want first interaction resolution. It’s easy to do this in live chat because you can just pass the conversation through to the live agent, but you can also pass conversations through to the IVR. If the customer asks a question that needs to be escalated to the IVR channel, they are given a smart route through the IVR without having to go through the traditional channels. This proves to be faster for the user, and a more effective use of the IVR.


Stay tuned for the fourth part of this blog series – Using an Intelligent Virtual Agent to Increase Sales. Subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss a post.

Did you miss the previous posts? Here’s part 1 and part 2.