Virtual Agents Make the List as a Contact Centre Trend to Watch in 2014

By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager (Global)

ID-100215681With the start of a new year comes a variety of lists sharing top industry predictions, trends and forecasts for the upcoming year. One of these comes from Frost and Sullivan’s Juan Manuel González. His The Eight Most Influential Contact Center Trends for 2014 looks at the eight tech trends call centres should evaluate to raise their game this year. Of particular interest is the second item on his list: Virtual Agents.

In a previous post I discussed the advantages of implementing a virtual agent within the contact centre as an ideal tool for live support agents to better assist customers and themselves. However, in his list Juan focuses on the benefits to contact centres of using virtual agents as an online self-service option for customers.

They allow a customer to cut to the chase and ask a question, have a dialog and go through transactions, or be routed quickly to the right spot rather than go through tedious menu prompts. Depending upon the degree of sophistication, these agents can offload a tremendous amount of calls from a contact center, and help complete transactions on the web. But they can also reinforce a company’s brand image because the personas can be designed to closely represent the type of agent and way a company wants their agents to interact with customers. Virtual agents can be smart, friendly, helpful, knowledgeable and consistently on-message with respect to brand values, which it is hard to get live agents to consistently do.

This assessment of virtual agents is spot-on. The power and flexibility of the technology gives organisations the opportunity to customise their virtual agent in a seemingly endless number of ways. This includes sharing videos with users (such as a demonstration of how to troubleshoot an issue), being deployed on mobile devices (using apps, HTML5 or SMS) to provide mobile customer care, and integrating with social media channels (including Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and community forums)—all of these technologies also making Juan’s list as trends to watch.

Sound too good to be true? Request a demo to see how a virtual agent can help you raise your contact centre’s game in 2014.