As artificial intelligence (AI) technology has matured in recent years, it’s possible applications have exploded. From meowing on command to cleaning your house (and more than a few things in between), AI has and will continue to make an impact on our everyday lives.
In the contact center industry, that means the role of virtual agents is expanding. What was once used simply as a way to direct phone calls can now also be used to automate many tasks and even increase customer engagement and allow companies to know their customers better. Intelligent virtual agents (IVAs) allow companies to understand their customers on a microscopic level where even customer intent can be deciphered.
In the simplest terms, an intelligent virtual agent is an automated version of a customer service agent. It leads an intelligent conversation with customers, responds to their questions, and performs desired non-verbal behavior through integration with your backend systems.
Customer Engagement in Today’s Digitized World
Studies have shown time and time again that in today’s connected world, customer experience is a key differentiator. It’s easier to share good and bad experiences with others. And it’s easier to hop to different providers when a customer becomes dissatisfied with a product or service. A study by Rosetta Consulting showed that customers who are engaged by a brand make purchases 90% more often, and spend 60% more per transaction than those who are not engaged.
What’s more, customers also value a positive experience over a pricing difference. 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience.
With an IVA, you can use knowledge of the customer and their needs to ensure that your customers are engaged, happy, and well-served.
Three ways that IVAs can be used to optimize engagement
- Allow 24/7 access
According to customers surveyed in 2020, over 40% said that 24/7 real-time support availability is one of the most important aspects of a good customer service experience. With a virtual agent, you can ensure your customers have easy access to your contact center systems around the clock, no matter where in the world they are.
- Get more information about your customers
In the process of interacting with your customers and getting them what they need, IVAs can also gather information about them for your company, providing you with important insights into your customers. When you have a more detailed profile of your customer, you can use this information to keep them engaged, make them happy, and even potentially create new sales opportunities with them.
- Anticipate your customers’ needs
Going hand-in-hand with the information you gain about your customers, AI can also be used to streamline your customer’s journey in real-time. Natural Language Processing, while deciphering your caller’s request, can also use your data systems to anticipate what else they may need while still on the call. By recognizing your customer’s needs and proactively meeting them, you’re ensuring an engaged, impressed customer.
These are, of course, only a few of the ways that virtual agents can make life easier for your customer. And as technology pushes forward, the potential use cases will only expand. If you’re ready to start talking about how conversational AI could help your customers, get in touch with us today.