Improving the Customer Experience with Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Agents

Artificial Intelligence represents the future of customer engagement, and conversational virtual agent solutions will help businesses differentiate the quality of their customer engagement
order lookup; providing service activation and support ticket updates; and even giving answers to commonly asked questions like business hours and locations. The task library continues to evolve, adding more value to the intelligent agent application and taking more pressure off live agents, allowing them to focus on higher-priority tasks. 

The solution is sophisticated and advanced and continues to evolve with features that set an intelligent agent application apart from a traditional IVR platform.

Virtual Agents Have Advanced Skills

The application offered by Consolidated Communications can understand human speech in more than 100 languages and is able to respond using text-to-speech that is nearly indistinguishable from a human agent. Virtual agents can be configured with very basic skills: for instance, the most basic agent might simply answer the phone, ask the caller if they would like to maintain their place in the queue and schedule a callback when a live agent is available. An advanced agent has the skills to understand speech in multiple languages, determine the caller’s intent using natural language processing, process PCI-compliant payments and respond to clients in multiple languages.

Integrating with Existing Business Systems to Close the Loop and Solve Customer Inquiries

Once the Virtual Agent has a conversation with a customer, it will need to access other business systems and services in order to effectively respond to questions and solve problems. This is the process of fulfillment. Businesses can easily build an application that uses natural language to converse with a customer and then close the loop by communicating with back-end systems to fulfill the customer’s request. There are options for custom integration with a company’s specific back-end systems, as well as a set of pre-packaged integrations that work with popular business applications including customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, text messaging services, payment gateways and scheduling systems.

Virtual Agents Can Learn

Intelligent agents use machine learning to understand the various ways a business’s customers ask for things. A business simply provides a set of examples of customer inquiries and the virtual agents learn to understand the different and varying ways customers might ask for the same thing. For example, a business might teach the virtual agent to understand the phrase “I’d like to get my car fixed,” and over time the virtual agent will understand that “Can you fix my car?” means the same thing and will then be able to either respond or route the call accordingly. These kinds of efficiencies produce more correct answers to a wider variety of inquiries.

Businesses Can Influence the Voice and Tone

Businesses have a great amount of control over how the virtual agents communicate with tools that allow for customization of a more personalized voice. For example, the rate, pitch, volume or emphasis can be controlled, helping to create a more personalized interaction that is also a reflection of the business, whether it’s a professional tone or an upbeat and lighthearted voice.

A key concern for many businesses is compliance with strict industry regulations—and for good reason. The penalties can be staggering for violations associated with PCI-DSS and HIPPA fines, not to mention the potential damage to a business’s reputation if there is a violation. It’s important for businesses to look for solutions that are PCI-DSS and HIPAA compliant, which is this case means that virtual agents are able to collect sensitive customer data without revealing any information to a human agent while also maintaining high levels of data privacy and security.

Artificial Intelligence represents the future of customer engagement, and conversational virtual agent solutions will help businesses differentiate the quality of their customer engagement. When working with a cloud-based solution, like the application provided by Consolidated, it means high scalability paired with robustness, reliability and security—and ultimately a better and more engaging end-customer experience.


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