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Trends for 2014 and beyond: Using Intelligent Virtual Agents (IVA)

A great article from ICMI dives into the benefits of the using Intelligent Virtual Agents (IVA) in the summarization below:

In today’s multichannel environment there are many different tools, processes, and technologies that can assist enabling in a customer journey redesign. One that’s particularly fascinating and continues to gain popularity is the IVA. It’s not just the health care industry that can benefit; the same applies across all industries, as more companies look to virtual assistants to better serve their customers.

As many companies look to add new technologies—including virtual agents—in 2014, now’s the perfect time to take a look at how and why this technology can be used to empower both customers and agents, and improve the customer experience.

“What really makes a well-designed IVA effective is that (much like humans) it has the powerful ability to learn, and can assist customers in the same way a live agent would,” said Lloyd. “There’s not a lot of hand holding required.”

And that’s why many industries are moving past traditional forms of self-service such as knowledge bases and forums to offer a much more enhanced, intelligent, and real-time advanced self-service option for customers.

Why should your contact center consider implementing IVA technology in the coming year?

There are certainly many benefits, but it really comes down to four pillars:

1. Engagement

Perhaps the biggest benefit of a well-designed virtual agent is that it feels like a real agent to customers. IVAs on mobile or websites can even be given a “face” and a name, so that customers feel like they’re having a real conversation with a live person. This leads to a higher level of customer engagement, ultimately resulting in higher levels of customer loyalty.

2. Answers

Customers reach out to the contact center because they have questions, and they’re looking for answers. Providing customers with accurate, timely information the first time is crucial to improved first call resolution (FCR) and customer satisfaction (CSAT). And enabling customers to get the answers through web or mobile means lower call volume in the contact center, and reduced wait times.

Bonus: the virtual agent can double as a great on-boarding tool, too! With the help of an IVA, new or training agents have instant access to accurate information they can use to answer customer questions. The result: a better customer experience, and faster, more efficient training and onboarding.

3. Access

Today’s connected customers need information on the go. The standard 9:00 - 5:00 service hours are no longer enough. Customers want access to the answers they seek when and where it’s most convenient for them. IVAs offer 24/7 around the clock service.

4. Insight

Customers and agents aren’t the only ones who benefit from the IVA. The technology can provide valuable insight to the greater organization. Some company’s IVA technology doubles as a research tool and captures every single answer that customers ask and then turns the data into actionable customer insights.

Imagine being able to capture every question customers and prospects ask through self-service, and then use that data to establish a true voice of the customer. The potential impact is limitless!

Outsource Consultants is a call center referral and advisory firm that helps companies find the best call center and BPO outsourcing solution. We can assist in finding solutions for inbound and outbound call centers, live web chat, and outsourced email support services. We will save you significant time, reduce your outsourcing costs and help minimize your risk when switching or selecting a new call center partner.

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