4 Key Tips for Deploying a Virtual Assistant

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Filed under - Industry Insights,

Sebastian Reeve of Nuance shares tips from a banking leader to help you improve your virtual assistant deployment.

Creating the right virtual assistant (VA) strategy can be tough—it’s always good to get advice from other brands, especially those whose VA is already delivering some amazing benefits.

Nuance interviewed Hans Lindholm, Team Manager at Swedbank, to find out what made the bank’s deployment of Nuance Virtual Assistant so successful, and how it’s using the VA to satisfy customers every day.

In doing so, they found four key tips to help you in your virtual assistant deployment.

1. Content Is the Key to a Valuable VA

Swedbank’s VA was first deployed as an internal resource, acting as an FAQ bot to help employees find the key information they need without manual file searching. But it quickly evolved into a customer-facing VA, living in the bank’s log-in environment, and helping users with any account issues they faced.

During the VA’s transition, Swedbank learned an important lesson: content is king. As Hans explained, “Virtual assistants are nothing without great content. If they can’t offer the information and value your customers need, they’re just a piece of technology.”

This idea has shaped Swedbank’s optimization strategy over the past few years, with Hans team focusing on creating dedicated ‘act flows’—practical tasks that the VA can help Swedbank’s customers to complete.

2. Offer the Right Solution to the Challenge

One of Swedbank’s most popular act flows is unblocking a customer card for online purchases.

“Customers can easily access the unblocking function through the app. But when they’re frustrated with their issue, they might miss it,” explained Hans. “The VA can complete the action for the customer, but that’s a costly solution.”

Instead, Swedbank trained its VA to take one of two alternative approaches. If a customer asks why they can’t make online purchases—and they’re not logged into their account—the virtual assistant can ask them if their card is blocked and direct them to the required self-service area.

Alternatively, if the customer is logged into their account, the virtual assistant can identify the card they tried to use and show them where to unblock it.

It’s an approach that saves investment early on in the VA deployment journey, and encourages customers to use self-service options.

Hans offered further insight into the bank’s practical optimization strategy, explaining: “We’re focusing on the VA’s guidance capabilities as it’s an easy way to solve the customer’s challenge quickly. But in the future, we’re looking to create more personalized answers and complete act flows.”

3. Connect Your VA and CRM for Standout CX

The success of Swedbank’s ‘act flows’ depends, in no small part, on the VA’s integration with the bank’s CRM. The integration gives the VA everything it needs to know about a customer to solve their challenge—from the webpages the customer has tried to access, to the cards they have on their account.

“The integration with our CRM helps customers complete specific act flows like replacing their card and ordering historical account statements, all without interacting with an agent,” explained Hans. “It’s also helping us provide more personalized answers—such as telling customers their International Bank Account Numbers.”

These processes were previously manual tasks, taking up valuable agent time. But now, more than 80% of customer questions are answered by the VA, and the bank’s ‘replace card’ flow handles 25% of all debit card replacements.

4. VA and Live Chat Are Better Together

One of Swedbank’s most recent additions to its customer experience has been introducing Nuance Live Assist, a live chat service alongside the virtual assistant.

After deploying the live chat service in 2020, Swedbank has seen its customer satisfaction skyrocket, and its agents have more time to handle complex requests.

Currently, 43% of customers are happy with the automated answer they get from the VA. If they need more help, their case can be escalated to a human agent.

“Once a case is escalated to live chat, customer satisfaction rises to 85%,” Hans explained. “This means the VA does the upfront work to save agents time, the agent helps close the case, and our customers are satisfied.”

Hans left us with a valuable “lesson learned” for any brands coming fresh to the world of digital customer service: “We were really early with our virtual assistant as it was a priority for us, and we worked hard to develop its value over the years.”

“But I’d advise deploying your live chat first—it’s hard to guess your customer questions, so it’s helpful having a live agent as backup.”

Author: Guest Author

Published On: 10th Mar 2021 - Last modified: 16th Mar 2021
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