What do banks need to know about customer experience in the mobile-first era?

By Courtney Schreier, Marketing Manager, Americas

Last month, Mark Schwanhausser, Director, Omnichannel Financial Services at Javelin Strategy & Research and Richard Simons, CEO of Creative Virtual USA sat down to discuss how changes in technology are changing the way we bank during a webinar hosted by Creative Virtual.

Mark outlined many of the most common reasons customers choose to switch banks, such as excessive fees and unsatisfactory customer services. He also made recommendations advising banks to target particular segments of the population for new products and services based on their high level of engagement with both financial institutions and different digital channels. Mark also asserted the need to move past reactive banking and aim for proactive banking, thus creating a better customer experience for banking customers.

Richard showcased some of Creative Virtual’s own virtual agents, including several which are currently in deployment by financial institutions. What’s especially notable about our virtual assistants is their ability to provide personalized information to customers on authenticated pages. They can also be used to generate more revenue, based on prompting customers about buying things they’ve previously looked at, or based on their current products and services.

To watch the webinar in full, click here.

Providing a Superior Omnichannel Customer Experience with Virtual Assistant Technology

By Chris Ezekiel, Founder & CEO

Happy CX Day! Today we celebrate great customer experience and the professionals who make it happen. A successful omnichannel customer experience strategy requires a combination of a dedicated, knowledgeable team and innovative technology (read more about that here), and it’s great to have a day set aside to bring attention to that.

Last week I presented a webinar titled Providing a Superior Omnichannel Customer Experience with Virtual Assistant Technology as part of CRMXchange’s Technology Innovation Showcase series. As the title suggests, I addressed the many ways in which virtual assistant technology can be, and currently is being, used by organisations to deliver an exceptional anytime, anywhere experience to customers.

After a few slides, I jumped into my live demonstrations as quickly as possible to give attendees a real look at the power of natural language virtual assistant solutions. This technology has evolved into powerful and flexible Smart Help tools which provide accurate and consistent support across contact channels, including web, social, mobile, contact centre and kiosks. With endless options for integration—live chat, call back, community forums, site search, ‘how-to’ videos, real-time data feeds, personal account information—customers receive a seamless, end-to-end experience.

What really sets Creative Virtual’s V-Person™ (virtual assistant) technology apart from other solutions is our bringing together of natural language virtual assistants with knowledge management, workflow management and business intelligence reporting into one powerful platform. This platform, V-Portal™, gives organisations the ability to bring content together in one tool, create and deploy intelligent virtual assistants across contact channels, and gain better insight into customer behaviour with advanced conversational reporting.

My thanks to CRMXchange for hosting this webinar and for having me back as part of the Technology Innovation for a second year! If you missed the live event and want to see V-Person and V-Portal in action, you can view a recording of the webinar here. If you attended the webinar (thank you!) and want to see more of our technology, you can request a live, personalised demo.

Image courtesy of pakorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Self-Serve Technology Install includes Integration that Decreases Perceived Customer Effort

By Courtney Schreier, Marketing Manager, Americas

A leading software company is now live with Creative Virtual’s V-Person self-serve technology. We are very excited to announce this system install, which includes an integration to a major cloud-based CRM system. This kind of deep integration is something we believe could benefit a wide range of companies, since it would empower their end-users to do so much more on their own, thereby increasing their satisfaction.

By leveraging back-end integration capabilities, our solution now handles more than 65% of trouble ticket volumes for this software company that were previously handled by live resources. This includes checking customer information, validity of license requests and also issuing activation codes. Our solution can also submit tickets for users who are unable to obtain new codes online.

The ability of V-Person to handle more than 65% of trouble tickets is huge. This translates to fast, intelligent and labor-saving solutions for our client. The client is then able to focus their live resources on more complex issues, cutting down on end-user frustrations that previously resulted from a slow turnaround time in getting a response for complicated issues.

This is a fantastic accomplishment for the team at Creative Virtual. This is a really clear demonstration that a fully-integrated V-Person is highly flexible and our natural language processing (NLP) is strong enough to understand customer requests and facilitate back-end processes. As a result, the need for human-to-human contact is eliminated, reserving live interactions for only the most complex of issues. This particular deployment is also key because it showcases our integration capabilities with a cloud-based CRM system. Our solution enables end-users to self-serve online in mere seconds, compared to previous manual processes that took days and as a result, customers perceive much less effort in getting their issues resolved. V-Person provides a smooth customer experience and as part of our available solution packages, is truly the cornerstone in providing smart help.

Intrigued by the idea of a smart help? Please contact us to request a live demo of our technologies.

Next Up: Join Javelin Strategy & Research in a webinar with Creative Virtual USA

By Courtney Schreier, Marketing Manager, Americas

I am excited to announce that on Thursday, September 18th, Javelin Strategy & Research group will join Creative Virtual USA in a webinar specifically geared towards financial services. The webinar will include discussions on how to personalize banking in the mobile-first era and how banks and other financial institutions can become more “proactive,” rather than “reactive” in the way they deal with customers in the era of self-service omnichannel banking.

Mark Schwanhausser, Director of Omnichannel Financial Services of Javelin Strategy & Research will speak with Richard Simons, CEO of Creative Virtual USA during this webinar. Mark will present current trends in smart technology banking, based on the research his firm has developed. Mark will also be offering some new recommendations for how banks can strategically ensure they are getting ROI from their self-service technologies and which segments should be targeted for the most effective and profitable reach in terms of omnichannel banking. Richard will share examples of successful virtual agents deployed by banks all around the world and how Creative Virtual’s technology has allowed banks to provide personalized service to their customers. This webinar will be a great opportunity for the audience to see how virtual agent technology is the perfect solution to many of the challenges posed to banks today based on the ever-changing demands of their customers based on channel preferences, perceived customer effort and receiving answers to their questions in their natural language.

Audience members will also have the opportunity to submit their questions in advance of the webinar. Register here to ensure you don’t miss out on attending this webinar!

Driving Revenues with Virtual Agents: Use Cases and Scenarios

By Courtney Schreier, Marketing Manager, Americas

On July 30th, Creative Virtual USA aired a live webinar entitled “Increasing Revenue with a Virtual Agent.” We were fortunate to have Executive Consultant and Former Gartner Research Director Johan Jacobs as our speaker. Richard Simons, CEO of Creative Virtual USA also joined the webinar to discuss examples of virtual agent use cases. The webinar concluded with a roundtable, which included some questions submitted by registrants beforehand.

Johan discussed three commerce and three support scenarios where virtual agent technology can help to close a sale.

The three commerce scenarios included instances where a VA can reduce abandoned online shopping carts, can optimize live chat support by gathering key customer data and can support an internal agent by gathering and sending appropriate content from a web interaction to a live agent.

Also discussed were support scenarios that can convert to sales with the assistance of virtual agent technology. These included instances of a user with a support need such as increasing their internet speed, which can result in a sale. Another example is driving advertising based on what a customer is asking a VA about, such as credit cards, loans, cable plans, etc. Finally, the support of an internal agent by a VA in a support scenario can also result in the driving of a sale.

Creative Virtual’s V-Person™ technology has successfully allowed some of our clients to increase their revenue streams by some of the aforementioned use cases, especially in the support environment, where a sale is not always a primary factor for deploying a virtual agent.

This webinar is now available for on-demand viewing here.

Successful Australian Launch for Creative Virtual

By Patrick Gallagher, Managing Director, Creative Virtual Australia & New Zealand

On the 6th of March 2014 Creative Virtual launched our new office in Sydney Australia, representing a significant event in the international growth of the business. Australia represents one of the leading technology centres for the APAC region and a key launch-pad into significant growth opportunities like China.

Sydney Launch EventSet against the idyllic backdrop of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House, Chris Ezekiel, Founder & CEO of Creative Virtual provided the audience with a compelling overview of the solutions that this technology is able to deliver. He demonstrated the V-Person™ technology in real life, showing how the ‘smart self-help’ systems are deployed on a number of live sites worldwide, including National Rail Enquiries, Verizon, HSBC and the RSPCA. Chris also gave us a sneak preview at a number of new developments from the Creative Virtual labs, including advanced form filling functionality and some of the more advanced reporting capability of the newly released version of V-Portal™.

With a packed room of over 30 invited guests that represented a number of Australia’s blue chip companies, the guests were enthralled by the 45 minute presentation delivered by Chris. Not only was he able to keep the audience keenly attentive during the presentation, but he was able to inspire their imagination as to what this technology could do for their own businesses. The feedback received by the Australian Creative Virtual team from the invited guests was exceptionally positive.

We also had a guest appearance from Quark, our own V-Person that resides on the Creative Virtual website. He was able to demonstrate his conversational capabilities by giving the audience a number of ‘fun facts’ on Sydney. However, Chris thinks that he may have had a little ‘glitch’ during his presentation because Quark unexpectedly decided to talk about the recent Ashes series where Australia convincingly defeated the English in the cricket (I wonder how that got in there?!).

Creative Virtual is a true industry innovator with its award winning V-Person and V-Portal technology. There is no other ‘smart self-help’ company that is able to deliver the reality of the vision like Creative Virtual can today. Creative Virtual dominates this technology in industry sectors like Telecommunications, Insurance, Finance and Banking.  That is why there are so many companies using Creative Virtual worldwide in these industry sectors, more than any other similar company. Chris is truly a thought leader in this technology and his passion was infectious on the day.

View from Sydney Launch EventSpecial thanks to the UK Trade and Investment team in Australia, including our special guest speaker Scott Strain, The Deputy British Consul General and Director for Trade, Australia and New Zealand and Odette Hurley who headed the coordination of the launch for Creative Virtual in Australia.

The day was heralded a resounding success by all and we had considerable press coverage in the following days from the Australian press, including a significant article written in The Australian – the prominent national newspaper for Australia – which you can read here.

Check out some photos from the successful launch event in our Facebook Photo Album.

Next Stop – Forrester Customer Experience East Forum

Creative Virtual USA will be a sponsor for the Forrester Customer Experience East Forum for the first time. The show will run from Tuesday, June 24 – Wednesday, June 25 at the New York Hilton Midtown. The theme of this year’s forum is “Why Good is Not Good Enough” and is focused around the new, more competitive era for customer experience. Forrester will share new research at this event regarding the drivers of customer experience quality and what really matters to customers.

Attendees to the show should expect to come away with understanding the key factors to achieving a superior customer experience and learning ways to distinguish your company as an innovator in the CX space versus your competitors.

At Creative Virtual we strive to create an exemplary customer experience for our clients with our V-Person™ Technology, delivering a seamless experience for end customers across any channel they choose to interact on. Another differentiating component to our solution is the element of personalization, that allows systems to recognize products and services current customers are using and direct them appropriately. During the show we will be giving demos at our booth to show attendees. Stop by and see us at booth 205!

Meeting the Challenges of Omnichannel Customer Experience Requires the Marriage of People and Technology

I have yet to have anyone involved with customer service and support try to convince me that providing successful omnichannel customer engagement is easy. The fact of the matter is that it can be extremely difficult and full of challenges. Even organisations with the best intentions can struggle without the proper strategy in place.

This was a common theme that ran through CRMXchange’s Tech Tank Roundtable on IVR and Self-Service held earlier this week. All of the presenters agreed that while the technology exists to meet these challenges, very few organisations are actually taking advantage of those solutions and providing a true omnichannel experience for customers.

It’s not just about the technology though. In order to successfully meet these customer engagement challenges, you must have a marriage of people and technology. It is the combination of experience, expertise and technology that takes your customer experience to the next level.  Technology alone—no matter how cool or innovative—won’t get the job done without people with the necessary experience and expertise behind it.

CRMXchange’s new webinar series of Tech Tank Roundtables is designed to give attendees an inside look at different technologies through live demonstrations. In my opinion there is nothing more powerful to prove the true capabilities of technology than seeing a live demonstration, so I was thrilled to be able to take part in the online event. As part of my demo, I also shared how the experience and expertise of the Creative Virtual team is integral to the successful development and implementation of our customer engagement solutions. It’s one of the things that sets us apart from many of our competitors in this space.

My thanks to CRMXchange for including me in their first IVR and Self-Service Tech Tank webinar. If you missed the live event, you can request a copy of the recording here. We would also love to give you an individualised live demo to show exactly how Creative Virtual’s blend of experience, expertise and technology can work for your organisation.

Hello Again Sydney! Fun Facts We’ve Learned Along the Way

By Chris Ezekiel, Founder & CEO

The Sydney Harbour Bridge

The Sydney Harbour Bridge

Hello Sydney—home of my favourite bridge and the newest Creative Virtual office! I’m excited to be back in Australia and to be officially opening our office here. While we have worked with a customer in Australia since 2011, it has always been our goal to be able to provide local support in this region. Under the leadership of Patrick Gallagher, we will now have a strong team on the ground in Australia as well as a great network of partners to help organisations meet the growing demand from Australian consumers for 24/7 self-service options. In honour of our new office, here are a few fun facts about Sydney along with some photos I’ve taken on one of my numerous trips to this fabulous city.

  1. Sydney was the site of the first European colony in 1788 when convict-bearing ships of the first fleet came from England to set up the colony of New South Wales. It became an official city in 1842, and today residents of Sydney are known as Sydneysiders.
  2. The Sydney Harbour Bridge is the widest long-span bridge and tallest steel arch bridge in the world. It was opened in 1932 and took 272,000 litres of paint to cover (just for the first coat!). It is known by the locals as the ‘Coat Hanger’ due to its distinct shape.
  3. The Sydney Opera House was finished in 1973 after 14 years and the work of 10 thousand construction workers. It cost more than 14 times the original intended price to complete.
  4. The Sydney Tower was the tallest structure when it opened in 1981, and is still the second tallest freestanding structure in all of Australia at 309 metres.
  5. Sydney is the capital of Australia’s ICT industry, with 76% of Australia’s ICT regional headquarters and operating centres located in NSW.
  6. Sydney has been the host of the 1938 British Empire Games, 2000 Summer Olympics & Paralympics and 2003 Rugby World Cup. The city is also set to host games in the 2015 Cricket World Cup.
  7. The Australia Day Regatta, conducted since 1837, is the oldest continuously-conducted annual sailing regatta in the world.
  8. Australia’s largest outdoor sculpture exhibit, ‘Sculpture by the Sea’, began at Bondi Beach in 1996. This year’s event is set to take place from 23 October – 9 November 2014.
Sculpture by the Sea

2013 Sculputre by the Sea at Bondi Beach

Creative Virtual Launches Partnership with sogedes at Call Center World 2014

By Björn Gülsdorff, Head of Business Development

From February 18th—20th Call Center World 2014, Europe’s leading event for customer service and customer dialogue will reside in the Estrel Convention Center in Berlin, Germany. Creative Virtual will be present there together with our German Partner sogedes.

But we will not just be there together—we are using this event to kick off our activities and partnership in the German market, after we had a ‘soft-launch’ of our collaboration during the Strategietage in Bensberg in November 2013. Our partner sogedes is a solution provider in Multi-Channel Contact Center Software, Customer Self-Service and Experience Management, and Quality and Performance Management.

We are very excited about our new partnership with sogedes and look forward to working with them to bring cutting-edge, innovative customer experience solutions to organisations in Germany. It is a pleasure for us at Creative Virtual to collaborate with the experienced and knowledgeable team at sogedes.

CCW 2014 provides perfect networking opportunities, reflects relevant trends and offers innovative knowledge—an ideal event for launching our partnership. Last year it attracted more than 250 exhibitors from 15 different countries worldwide.

You can find us with our partner sogedes in Hall 4, Booth E6/F7 or schedule a meeting with us before you even arrive by clicking here. I’ll be at the event on February 19th and 20th and would love to meet with you then. Hope to see you there!