Virtual Agent Optimization: 5 Benefits of a Proactive Invite

By Rachael Green, Client Relations Manager

While intelligent virtual agent technology is certainly not new, companies are finding more innovative ways to make them more productive for the customer experience. Some of our clients are leveraging the new normal of customer engagement, but retooling their virtual agents to be more proactive than reactive. So what does that mean?

Traditionally, virtual agents have been placed in a static location on a page, just waiting for the user to engage with them.  While this has clearly been a very successful strategy in the past, companies are now experimenting by using virtual agents to proactively solicit the engagement from the customer, instead of waiting for the customer to engage with the virtual agent. This is what we call using a “Proactive Invite.”

Proactive invites are beneficial because they can help customers navigate and find information more quickly and more accurately. Oftentimes, there is so much information on a page that users can become overwhelmed.  By inviting users to engage with the virtual agent from the beginning, you can give them a sense of security and simplicity.  You can also easily guide them to the right solution, page, or escalation channel based on their needs. Here are five things a proactive invite does to encourage customer engagement.

  1. Provides Instant Help: Using a proactive invite lets the customer know you are there to help them. Think of the retail sales associate that welcomes you and offers her assistance when you walk in the door. A virtual agent can do the same thing – welcome your customer as soon as they arrive online and indicate you are ready and available to help.
  2. Showcase Your Self-Serve Options: Similarly to the above, a proactive invite by the intelligent virtual agent will encourage more customers to self-serve who might not have done so otherwise. Your most successful self-serve flows can be placed in the invite, giving the user instant access to popular help flows. Again, it showcases the availability of the tool and provides a user friendly interface that can help customers locate the information that they need – fast!
  3. Deliver Targeted Content: Be creative with your virtual agent technology by anticipating customer needs. A proactive invite can be used to send highly targeted content by delivering the most relevant pages, highlighting information on (or based on) the web page they are visiting, show FAQs, or  directing them to the appropriate point of contact or channel. For example, if a visitor is looking for their account balances, have your virtual agent pull up a video of how they can stay on top of their finances on the go using your mobile app.
  4. Reduce Wait Times: By proactively helping customers navigate your website or app, you can answer customer questions fast and deliver a more positive customer experience overall. Retailers can push accessories for the jeans the customer added to their cart, a cable company can set an appointment if a customer visits their new customer page, or a travel company can make recommendations on top destinations as a user browses through travel packages online.
  5. Reduce Customer Support Volumes: Where a proactive invite is used, virtual agent volume can easily double, which results in more calls and chats deflected.  When delivering high resolution content, you can further boost the number of calls and chats deflected. This winning combination reduces customer support costs, helps you better maximize your live agent resources, and results in higher customer satisfaction.

To learn more about how to use an intelligent virtual agent on your website, download 10 Ways a V-Person Can Transform Your Website.