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4 Ways Intelligent Virtual Assistants Improve the Customer Experience

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This guide provides an overview of four main capabilities and benefits of using the intelligent virtual assistant to engage, optimize, and right-channel.

This guide provides an overview of four main capabilities and benefits of using the intelligent virtual assistant to engage, optimize, and right-channel.

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  • 1. 4 WAYS INTELLIGENT VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS IMPROVE SELF-SERVICE AND THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE engage guide optimize retain educate assist brand motivate assist listen empower engage guide powered by Spring2014Update New VideosInside!
  • 2. 4 WAYS INTELLIGENT VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS IMPROVE SELF-SERVICE AND THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE a CIVA Guide | 2 Introduction Intelligent virtual assistants are the key to accelerating your self- service initiatives and creating rich online experiences. Intelligent virtual assistants (IVAs) are no longer considered a rare or even “cool” addition to online self- service and customer engagement platforms. They are quickly being acknowledged for their critical optimization, brand engagement, and financial value. IVAs are powerful tools that further automate self- service interactions. IVAs can make strategically timed pre-emptive suggestions for product alternatives, essentially providing consumers what they need even before they know it themselves. They’re able to handle high-volume-low-value interactions or as needed, low volume deeper product interactions and education. By design, IVAs enable customers to efficiently accomplish their online goals such as answering questions about their account, filling out forms or applications, or getting needed technical support. Organizations from health insurance companies to financial services to travel sites are integrating IVAs as a core piece of technology to not only enhance the customer experience but drive down costs through increased efficiencies, increase and expand revenue streams, and leverage and energize the brand across multiple channels and mobile devices. In fact according to Gartner, by the year 2015, at least 15% of Fortune 1000 companies a virtual assistant will be a standard component of online interactions1. This guide provides an overview of four main capabilities and benefits of using the IVA to engage, optimize, and right-channel. In future guides, we will explore how IVAs are being used to create a meaningful but effective method to engage the customer throughout the lifecycle from acquisition to retention.
  • 3. 4 WAYS INTELLIGENT VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS IMPROVE SELF-SERVICE AND THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE a CIVA Guide | 3 4 WAYS INTELLIGENT VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS IMPROVE SELF-SERVICE AND THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE 1. Engage, Personalize, and Motivate: Immediate, meaningful connections get results. 2. Enable and Enrich: Service, speed, and accuracy make happy customers. 3. Right Answers, Right-Channel: Complex issues solved. Right online. 4. Deflect, Escalate or Both?: IVAs and Live Agents team up to service the customer.
  • 4. 4 WAYS INTELLIGENT VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS IMPROVE SELF-SERVICE AND THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE a CIVA Guide | 4 1. Engage, Personalize the Brand, and Motivate: Immediate, meaningful connections get results. Everyone has heard the expression, you only get one chance to make a good first impression. On the web and especially with mobile consumers, that must be done almost immediately in order to avoid website / cart abandonment. The Baymard Institute2, an organization that researches ways to improve the online user experience, found through 14 separate studies, an average of a 65.2% abandonment rate for first time visitors across all industries. Since there are so many potential areas where customers can fall off, why not engage them as soon as possible? Whether from an eCommerce or self-service perspective, an IVA creates a meaningful customer experience, enticing the visitor to stay longer and / or return. This virtual concierge can politely prompt your visitor to take action through specific paths or guide them throughout the online engagement. Imagine the peace of mind knowing your customer is greeted by an IVA who uniquely matches your organization’s identity and culture. If done right, the IVA avoids the uncanny valley phenomenon which occurs when the robot [or IVA] is too human-looking. The likeness seems "strange" to a human being and produces a feeling of uncanniness, thus fails to evoke the empathic response required for productive interactions3. CodeBaby’s IVA is designed to avoid the uncanny valley but keep important non-verbal cues such as a smile, a raised eyebrow, or a wave of a hand that create a sense of familiarity and trust. From our experience and research, creating an emotional connection is the key to differentiating your organization, engaging the customer, and encouraging self-service usage. Click here to watch this CIVA show all of the ways that avatars can increase the online gaming experience, from the user interface to website navigation assistance. TIP:Toyieldhigherconversionand ongoingengagementrates,connect withyourvisitorattheinitialpointof contact.
  • 5. 4 WAYS INTELLIGENT VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS IMPROVE SELF-SERVICE AND THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE a CIVA Guide | 5 2. Enable and Enrich: Service, speed, and accuracy make happy customers. Believe it or not, the majority of customers prefer web self-service and find it annoying if they must contact customer service to complete their order or get support. The consumer wants to interact with your brand when and how they desire, and the ease in which they can accomplish their goals regardless of channel is paramount to long term loyalty. Wasted time can cost your organization money. Check out some of these facts: ‣60.4% of customers are going to the support page first and WANT to resolve their issues online4. ‣52–85% of visitors say they would have contacted the contact center if the virtual assistant was not available5. When evaluating the potential of the IVA to enhance the self-service platform, organizations should identify critical areas for conversion, engagement, and deflection, with respect to specific high value product offerings, retention strategies or complex support issues. At the same time, organizations can take advantage of the conversational attributes and ability for the IVA to elicit responses and clarify the visitor’s intent. The IVA can increase average order value by directing the user to specific product offerings as well as create efficiencies by proactively guiding the user to ask questions.Throughout these interactions, the IVA is helping the customer narrow choices and provide faster resolution ultimately leading to a more satisfying online experience. Click here to watch Anthony, PCC’s intelligent virtual assistant, give students a detailed run down on FAFSA details. Since Anthony’s arrival on the Financial Aid website, he’s helped thousands prepare for the application process. TIP:Offerthetopfrequentlyasked questions/optionsdirectlyembeddedin thechator"dialog"boxbasedupon customerinquiriesorspecificgoals.
  • 6. 4 WAYS INTELLIGENT VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS IMPROVE SELF-SERVICE AND THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE a CIVA Guide | 6 3. Right Answers, Right-Channel: Complex issues solved. Right online. The 80/20 self-service rule can be looked at in a couple of ways: 80% of visitors are seeking only 20% of the content6 or the well-known 80% of inbound calls are caused by only 20% of the issues. That 20% is what customer experience and contact center leaders must identify to prioritize answers and resolutions that fall into high, medium and low complexity categories7. The trick is to determine which issues can be resolved with improvements to the website, the process, or the product / service and with the advent of IVA enhanced self-service, which transactions can be handled by the IVA. Enter, right-channeling, the process of directing customers to the most appropriate channel for their experience. IVAs improve right-channeling by taking on medium complexity circumstances that were normally handled by customer service agents. And according to some research, up to 95% all customer queries can be handled by an IVA depending on the circumstance8. By proactively empowering, educating and engaging customers to resolve their own issues with an IVA, organizations mitigate high cost, large volume transactions. In addition to call deflection benefits, the IVA acts as a business intelligence tool that works in tandem with other self-service features. For example, customer activated segments or answers can be analyzed for playback length and frequency, dialogue boxes can measure click-thrus and navigational behavior, natural language processing (NLP) reporting can show which keywords, phrases, and questions are being asked to refine answers based on service, product, and industry related changes, and the IVA can ask for immediate voice of the customer feedback based on a single answer or the full engagement. Click here to watch Reno’s Virtual Officer answer some FAQs, offer a contact form, and introduce residents to the community and crimes page. In the Spanish speaking version, you can watch here, she provides the same info but also helps residents by assisting with completing a crime report. TIP:IdentifyissuesforIVAhandlingsuch ashelpingusersfilloutformsand helpingthecustomermakeachoice betweentwoormoreoptions.
  • 7. 4 WAYS INTELLIGENT VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS IMPROVE SELF-SERVICE AND THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE a CIVA Guide | 7 4. Deflect, Escalate or Both?: IVAs and Live Agents team up to service the customer. Part of right-channeling means knowing when to proactively escalate to a live agent as well as giving the customer other options for self-service, or some combination of both. To help deflect live agent interactions, it’s important to strive for an 85% response relevancy rate measured through analytics and voice of the customer feedback. This is achieved through integration with a robust knowledge management engine and natural language processing in addition to consistently refining the knowledge base, analyzing the NLP responses as well as search terms used by the customer9. If the answers fall outside the 85% relevancy rate, it’s important to provide several options for next steps depending on the urgency and complexity of the issue - live chat being most preferable in terms of cost and speed. Once the live agent has assisted the customer, the IVAs can be reactivated to complete the online transaction such as filling out an application or completing a shopping cart transaction. According to Forrester research and best practices within our client base, IVAs should proactively solicit live help, either by chat, phone, or email in these circumstances10: ‣ The customer asks the same question multiple times in different ways ‣ Indicates on the voice of the customer survey or rating that he or she is dissatisfied ‣ Is in a preferred segment ‣ Asks a complex question that requires special licensing or various inputs to make a decision ‣ Indicates the desire to purchase an expensive service or product ‣ Demonstrates frustration Click here to watch “Lina” show users the educational components for exploring plan options prior to making a final decision. She guides, educates, and even offers the option to speak with a specialist via chat. TIP:Worktocreatehighlyrelevant answersbycontinuouslyupdatingthe knowledgebase,domaincontent,and socialresponses.WhentheIVAcan’t answer,provideeasyescalationoptions.
  • 8. 4 WAYS INTELLIGENT VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS IMPROVE SELF-SERVICE AND THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE a CIVA Guide | 8 Ready to Improve Your Self-Service and Enrich the Customer Experience? Contact us for more information or for a personalized demo. Or ask for a free ROI assessment that helps you provide the business case and data points to articulate the value of implementing a CodeBaby Intelligent Virtual Assistant on your website or CRM. We’re passionate about online customer engagement and look forward to helping you accelerate your self-service strategy. Learn More: Go to codebaby.com/online-solutions/ Email info@codebaby.com Sources: 1 Johan Jacobs, “Key Considerations for Virtual Assistant Selection”, Gartner, July 29, 2010 (http://www.gartner.com/id=1412520) 2 Baymard Institute, “14 Cart Abandonment Rate Statistics”, Speech Technology, February 25, 2012 (http://baymard.com/lists/cart-abandonment-rate). 3 Wikipedia, “Uncanny Valley”, Original Theory by Masahiro Mori, 1970 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncanny_valley) 4 Corporate Executive Board, “3 Reasons to Show Your Support Page a Little Love”, Our Viewpoint Blog, March 13, 2012 (http://cccbuzz.exbdblogs.com/2012/03/13/three-reasons-to-show-your-support-page- a-little-love/) 5 Ross M. Feldman, “Leveraging intelligent, interactive virtual agents to drive quality and savings in customer service” HP Viewpoint paper, October 2011(http://h20195.www2.hp.com/v2/GetPDF.aspx/ 4AA3-5329ENW.pdf) 6 Ben Werner and David Fulton, “Best Practices for Web Self-Service User Interfaces”, Oracle RightNow CX Cloud Service, June 2012 (http://www.oracle.com/us/products/applications/web-self-service-user- interfaces-1676881.pdf) 7 David Fulton, “Virtual Assistant Engagements Summit 2011 Presentation”, RightNow, 2011, (http://www.rightnow.com/files/slides/RightNow_Virtual_Assistant_Summit_2011_Slides.pdf) 8Ross M. Feldman, “Leveraging intelligent, interactive virtual agents to drive quality and savings in customer service” HP Viewpoint paper, October 2011(http://h20195.www2.hp.com/v2/GetPDF.aspx/4AA3-5329ENW.pdf) 9 Johan Jacobs, “Key Considerations for Virtual Assistant Selection”, Gartner, July 29, 2010 (http://www.gartner.com/id=1412520) 10 Diane Clarkson, “Five Essential eBusiness Criteria For A Successful Virtual Agent Vendor Selection”, Forrester, November 17, 2011 (http://www.forrester.com/Five+Essential+eBusiness+Criteria+For+A +Successful+Virtual+Agent+Vendor+Selection/fulltext/-/E-RES59335)
  • 9. © 2014 CodeBaby.com, Inc. All rights reserved. Request a Demo Call +1 877.334.3465 Email info@codebaby.com Go to codebaby.com/online-solutions/ About CodeBaby: CodeBaby Corporation is a global customer engagement technology company founded in 2001 by two Canadian physicians turned gaming entrepreneurs (former CEOs of Bioware and executives of Electronic Arts). Leveraging emotional engagement and gaming expertise, CodeBaby’s solutions drive engagement and retention for Fortune 500 customers within healthcare, financial services, banking, and eCommerce. Follow us @CodeBaby. Written and Designed by Audrey Dalton, Director of Content Marketing