Inbound call centers receive calls from customers who have simple questions, complex issues or simply need assistance. At times, a customer might call in with already built-in frustration. So when the caller has to spend time listening to a list of menu items, “Press 1 for X…press 2 for Y…press 3 for AARGH!!!”, the aggravation is only compounded. So, while businesses are aiming to connect callers to the correct department and give them the help they need, they might inadvertently create more dissatisfaction. So what’s the solution? Many say it’s intelligent virtual agents.
Intelligent virtual agents, including Bright Pattern’s IVR, use a software system that allows the caller to explain, in their own words, the kind of assistance they require. Bright Pattern’s IVR uses speech-to-text technology based on Google and IBM integration.
By allowing the caller to “talk” to the intelligent virtual agent, a business is able to assist the customer in a timelier manner, increase their satisfaction level, and realize a cost savings over live agent interactions.
With the advancement of artificial intelligence, virtual agents are becoming more widely accepted and integrated into omnichannel call center platforms. “Well-trained” virtual agents are similar to their human counterpart, except they never have to rest, take a vacation or call in sick – and they’re less expensive, too.
But what are the advantages to an Intelligent Virtual Agent?
- Virtual agents speak your language. An intelligent virtual agent can understand more than 100 different languages and can respond appropriately in a voice pattern that’s almost indistinguishable from a live agent.
- Intelligent virtual agents can perform a variety of tasks that customers need. They can answer questions, and look up and process orders. And because Bright Pattern’s intelligent virtual agents are integrated into the omnichannel platform, the virtual agent can use any of the channels, such as voice, text, SMS, email, etc., that a live agent can.
- Intelligent virtual agents are scalable. Bright Pattern’s virtual agents are easy to set up and can be added to a business’ call center platform quickly and easily.
- While intelligent virtual agents provide excellent customer service, they can also collect sensitive personal data that customers might be hesitant to provide to a live human agent. When a business isn’t compliant, they can face thousands of dollars in penalties, and, perhaps even a prison sentence. By using an intelligent virtual agent to collect personal information, a business can avoid possible violations and penalties.
The market for call center software and services is growing more than 20% per year, meaning that businesses are quickly adding them to their call center platform. It’s estimated that by 2020, 70% of white-collar workers will interact with virtual agents daily.
Still, although the AI market is rapidly expanding, there are some pitfalls that businesses need to avoid to successfully set up an intelligent virtual agent.
The most important requirement when purchasing an intelligent virtual agent is purchasing from a reliable, experienced provider. The market now has more than 2,000 vendors, many of whom aren’t equipped to provide the product and services necessary to deliver and maintain the software needed for the virtual agent. This can lead to a virtual agent that is poorly designed and thus costs the business time and money, and also ruins their relationships with their customers.
As the AI market grows, and new technologies and innovations are being developed, it’s critical for a business to work with an established company with a stellar reputation. The cost of adding an omnichannel customer service software platform to a business can be a significant, yet key, expense, so working with a reliable, innovative company that a business can trust is essential to keeping a call center working smoothly and profitably.