Over the past few years, emergence of social media, mobile smart phones, big data, analytics and cloud has been fundamentally changing our lives and the way we work and interact. These forces have increased customer’s expectations, pushing the enterprises to reconsider their end-to-end customer experience strategy. Customer engagement solutions should focus on providing an enhanced direct experience and help enterprises increase revenue, expand margins, improve customer satisfaction and retention, and offer the much-needed differentiators in this competitive world.
Virtual Assistant technology is a new area that could be integrated with the existing applications, helping users to converse in natural language with a lifelike online avatar that responds to their queries in text or voice. They offer a personalized experience that reduces the need of being in touch with support team; builds a brand image and increases customer satisfaction. It could be integrated with the existing applications as well extending them and adding value to the services they offer.
Here we explore on how virtual assistant could be added to the Omni-channel communication solutions and talk about solutions developed for the insurance domain to help streamline and improvise their customer engagement opportunities.
Customer expects the appropriate response to their queries when they visit a support website or contact the helpdesk. They expect their queries answered, problems resolved so that the overall experience becomes a satisfying one. Not meeting their expectations would result in an unsatisfied customer and hence a loss to the enterprise brand. Other challenges in providing high quality service are the poor experience with support via web, phone or email, lack of product knowledge, long call waiting queues and linguistic misunderstandings etc.
Enterprises can significantly increase their brand value and sales by providing customers with fast and correct responses through an effective customer engagement services. It can help them improving their services, increasing customer satisfaction and retention. Enterprises can leverage virtual assistant solutions improving their various customer service functions including enrollment form filling, first notice of loss claim, front desk, meeting reminders and other personalized services.
As the Virtual Assistant solutions are getting popular, a lot of vendors have come up with their solutions in the market. Some of the popular vendors in are market are: Creative Virtual, eGain, INTELLIRESPONSE, next IT, Nuance Nina and ANBOTO.
Challenges in Customer Engagement Services
Here are some of the key challenges faced by the enterprises in managing customer engagements:
• Meeting the ever-increasing expectations of the tech savvy users having various channels for communication, including web, mobile, Facebook, Twitter etc.
• Making a good first impression when a web application or a mobile app is accessed for the first time and thereby increasing the chances of a revisit.
• Providing a personalized support at the time of a new account creation or product registration that may need involving an agent.
• Providing a user-friendly self-service feature that might be faster than talking to a live agent as a preferred mechanism.
A Virtual Assistant is a conversational lifelike, online avatar that can simulate a conversation to deliver voice or text-based engagement on any web application or mobile interface. They can converse in natural language with the avatar to respond to queries, understand questions, offer a detailed step-by-step activities for certain processes and provide cross-sell opportunities depending on interests, etc. It is very effective in scenarios where call rates are very high. They are capable of understanding different languages and can communicate in the natural language. Virtual Assistants can be very successfully implemented to optimize the number of support team size.
A Virtual Assistant not only resolves the query of the customers, but can also be configured to give more information about the promotions and offers. For the example, if we have to fly from one place to another, it will not only inform about the flights, but also provides the details about the hotels where we can stay, promotions and offers, luggage limits, climate of the destination and any other destination specific details that are configured.