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Improving Customer Experience With a Virtual Agent


A man speaks to his phone, with a 'virtual' person responding on the other side of the screen

Jafar Adibi of Talkdesk explains how using a virtual agent will help improve the customer experience.

“81% of all customers attempt to take care of matters themselves before reaching out to a live representative.”– Gartner

Who is answering calls when your contact centre is closed? Who is helping your customers when they have questions and problems outside of business hours? According to Gartner’s 2018 Best Practices for Implementing Extreme Customer Self-Service Report, by 2022, 85% of customer service interactions will start with self-service, up from 48% today.

From a recent study in Harvard Business Review: “The cost of a do-it-yourself transaction is measured in pennies, while the average cost of a live service interaction (phone, e-mail, or webchat) is more than $7 for a B2C company and more than $13 for a B2B company.”

AI-powered conversational assistants, or “virtual agents”, can quickly deliver the answers and outcomes over voice-enabled channels. They provide contact centres with a cost-effective and scalable self-service solution to meet the ever-changing customer needs and provide human-like service, even outside of business hours, to ensure consistent quality in customer experience (CX).

A virtual agent is ideal for solving common issues and automating routine tasks when agents are not available after hours, or to free agents during peak traffic periods, allowing them to focus on more complex issues.

When you already have a deep knowledge base, a strong CRM engine and the conversational transcript, it is time to build a virtual agent that can turn any time into your prime time for great CX.

Your virtual agent is a robotic process automation (RPA), a form of business process automation technology based on metaphorical software robots (bots and chatbots) or AI-powered workers.

RPA systems develop the action list by previously watching and learning from the agent performing that task in the application’s graphical user interface (GUI) to later perform the automation themselves by repeating those tasks directly in the GUI.

Your virtual agent must learn from interactions and suggest improvements to create better customer journeys and smoothly hand off complex customer issues to live agents, leveraging state-of-the-art text-to-speech technology to deliver a natural, human-like service.

The main benefits of implementing a virtual agent in your contact centre are:

  • True 24/7 support: Enable customers to solve routine and basic service issues any time of day, automatically scheduling follow-up calls during after-hours interactions.
  • Reduce customer frustration and improve satisfaction: Leverage intelligent voice with around-the-clock conversational support. Create a future where routine tasks are automated and agents are free to solve more complex issues.
  • Increase operational efficiency through conversational routing: Analyse customer intent and route to the correct virtual agent capability, thus improving contact centre operational efficiency by solving issues effortlessly and with minimum or without any live agent interaction.
  • Improve self-service KPIs: Shorten the amount of time required for customers to get answers and resolve issues. Correctly and consistently answer questions to improve key metrics in your contact centre, such as First Call Resolution (FCR), Average Handle Time (AHT), Average Speed of Answer (ASA) and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT).
A headshot of Jafar Adibi

Jafar Adibi

Talking to a live agent should always be a fallback option for your customers along their entire contact centre journey. The beauty of a virtual agent is to have a 24/7 AI-powered assistant to address the most frequent issues at any time of the day or night. If a customer wants to ask a question, there is always an answer for it.

A virtual agent eases the adoption of AI for customer self-service applications, augmenting existing voice channels with predefined skills that can evolve to entirely conversational interactions.
Make sure your virtual agent is the right AI-spokesperson to your contact centre and delivers self-service that is conversational, intelligent and continuous.

This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of Talkdesk – View the original post

To find out more about Talkdesk, visit their website.

Published On: 14th Feb 2020 - Last modified: 19th Feb 2020
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