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Jessica Cody - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog
On April 4, 2012, Creative Virtual hosted an enlightening webinar with Forrester Research, How Virtual Agent Innovations Can Benefit Your Mobile, Web, Call Center and Social Channels. The event was a huge success with a turnout of over 100 attendees from all over the world. The event was hosted by Forrester Research analyst Diane Clarkson and Richard Simons, CEO of Creative Virtual USA.
Richard Simons gave attendees a glimpse into the evolution of Creative Virtual’s V-Person™ technology and how it applies to the principles Diane Clarkson articulated about Virtual Agent technology in general. “The interest in our technology has grown exponentially,” Simons enthused.
The first highlight of Simons’ presentation was the revelation of V-Portal™, Creative Virtual’s new content management tool, which enables content to be shared across mobile, web, call center and social channels. Simons explained that the system was created in response to increasing demand for Virtual Agent technology, accompanied by a growing desire of customers to be able to manage more of the content themselves, within their organization.
“This is really what we believe to be the most advanced multi-channel Virtual Agent knowledge management system available today, and it can be hosted by us, in the cloud or hosted on-site,” stated Simons.
Simons’ presentation also featured an introduction of Creative Virtual’s Smartphone (iPhone and Android) solution that uses HTML5 (no app download necessary). This mobile Virtual Agent is platform independent, offers personalized content and is able to listen and talk to the customer using speech recognition and voice. Other important points made in Simons’ presentation included recent Creative Virtual deployments at E*TRADE and Autodesk, the use of Virtual Agents in company call centers (not just company websites), and the consolidation of Virtual Agent content across multiple channels.
Clarkson pointed out that online commerce has grown rapidly over the past couple of years. “In 2007, just more than one third of North American consumers were shopping online. Within 3 short years, 60% of North American consumers are shopping online.” This fact alone makes a strong case for Virtual Agent technology. Clarkson went on to explain the boom in social media as an avenue for customer service, the advantage of natural language processing to provide relevant answers (as opposed to search), and the need for a seamless transition between customer service channels (such as Virtual Agent, Live Chat and Callback). To demonstrate these points, she used examples of Creative Virtual’s implementations at Verizon, O2, National Rail Enquiries and Intuit.
Overall, the webinar was informative and provided insight into Creative Virtual’s V-Person solution and the latest developments in Virtual Agent technology. Creative Virtual would like to thank everyone that attended and participated. If you missed the event and would like to view the webcast, click here.
Creative Virtual is an established provider of Virtual Agents (VAs) with over 40 deployments of our V-Person product. Our clients include HSBC, Intuit, Verizon, CA Technologies, E*TRADE, Lloyds Banking Group, O2 and Virgin Media. A V-Person is capable of holding conversations with digital users in real time, 24/7. For users it means the sensation of communicating with a 'real' person, able not only to answer their questions, but also to understand the context of those questions and even hold entire conversations. Our solution can be used for the purposes of customer support, sales, marketing or call center assistance. For more information about Creative Virtual’s V-Person technology and implementations, please visit our website.
Publish Date: April 30, 2012 9:01 PM
Mobile devices are playing an increasing role in the lives of millions of people across the world, across all generations. As more and more online technologies deploy into the mobile realm, Virtual Agent technology is following this trend. Apple’s implementation of Siri, the voice-to-text virtual assistant feature they have added to the iPhone 4S, opened the world’s eyes to mobile Virtual Agent technology. Android also has added Vlingo, a similar feature that combines voice-to-text and voice recognition technology with its powerful “intent engine” to help users complete their desired action.
There are several key factors that make Creative Virtual’s mobile Virtual Agent an excellent online customer service solution:
- It provides an immediate response to a customer’s inquiry. Creative Virtual’s conversational transaction processing provides them with a straight forward answer to their question, instead of multiple and often confusing search results to choose from.
- Transactions take place in a conversational style similar to Instant Messaging, which is a familiar interface to mobile users. Transactions require fewer clicks to complete and this leads to a quicker answer.
- It makes excellent use of the restricted real estate on a mobile device, making it easier for the user to navigate and view what they need.
- It provides easy escalation to Live Chat or Call Back in the same window if the Virtual Agent cannot provide an answer, so the user doesn’t have to navigate elsewhere on the website for further assistance.
- The HTML5 interface runs across all mobile platforms without the need for specific apps.
Creative Virtual developed their mobile Virtual Agent device strategy with these needs in mind. Existing natural language processing is re-used, so implementing mobile content is simple,efficient and easy to maintain.
The integration with the mobile platform our strategy offers make it possible to locate nearby services easily (bank branches, doctors’ offices, etc.). The system is also able to easily provide customer specific account information (e.g. “What is my account balance?” or “What are my outstanding orders?”). Creative Virtual’s mobile Virtual Agent technology is easy to scale, with a low cost per conversation.
As opposed to using specific apps, which can be expensive to create and maintain, Creative Virtual uses a simpler method of deploying their mobile V-Person™ that is just as effective: a browser interface that runs across all mobile platforms. The browser takes advantage of specific device features on mobile devices and is easy to use. This is made possible by the use of HTML5, an emerging web standard that offers a device and manufacturer independent path. For more information on HTML5, check out this article from CNN Money.
Creative Virtual has implemented a mobile Virtual Agent browser version of Ask Verizon, which in 2010 brought on a dramatic increase in traffic for Verizon. The mobile version of Verizon’s V-Person is closely integrated with their backend systems, allowing users to find both general information, such as payment locations, and specific account information, such as their current balance. Many people are checking their account information and making payments while on the go.
Deployment on mobile devices is likely to expand the popularity of Virtual Agents. In his article “The Rise of Artificial Intelligence Personal Assistant”, Gregory Roekens predicts that “mobile is what will catapult [artificial intelligence] into adoption.” This, according to Roekens, is due to a smartphone’s ability to imitate the human cognitive process. “It can perceive through sensors that can not only replicate human senses (camera, touchscreen, microphone), but actually do more (geo-location, compass, etc.).” Indeed, the mobile platform allows Virtual Agents to assist users more intimately than on a computer.
Creative Virtual is an established provider of Virtual Agents (VAs) with over 40 deployments of our V-Person product. Our clients include Intuit, Verizon, CA Technologies, E*TRADE, Lloyds TSB, O2 and Virgin Media. The V-Person is capable of holding conversations with digital users in real time, 24/7. For users it means the sensation of communicating with a 'real' person, able not only to answer their questions, but also to understand the context of those questions and even hold entire conversations.
For more information about Creative Virtual’s V-Person technology and implementations, please visit our website.
Publish Date: February 28, 2012 2:36 PM
Creative Virtual has been shortlisted for the Econsultancy Innovation Awards in the category of “Innovation in Customer & User Experience” for their LivePerson Live Chat integration they launched earlier this year with O2’s Virtual Agent Ask Lucy. Econsultancy’s annual Innovation Awards shines a light on the finest creative thinking across the digital industry. Over 450 companies submitted entries, and around 150 companies were shortlisted across 19 categories. Among some of the big names Creative Virtual is up against in their category are Skype, Auto Trader UK, Neo@Ogilvy and Foviance. Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony in London on February 23, 2012.
O2 UK and Creative Virtual Ltd teamed up with LivePerson to take O2’s online Virtual Agent, Ask Lucy, to the next level by integrating the benefits of V-Person™ technology with those of Live Chat via a seamless handover process. This integration allows users to be escalated to a live agent when needed without leaving the Virtual Agent template, thereby providing a multichannel customer support experience within one user friendly implementation. When the user is handed over to Live Chat, avatar Lucy exits the template and is replaced with a new avatar depending on the gender of the live agent. Additionally, the conversation can be escalated to Live Chat with an O2 Guru. The avatar changes again to reflect whether the user is chatting with a male or female O2 Guru. This process lets the user clearly see when they are talking to a virtual or live person.
Creative Virtual is thrilled to be recognized for this accomplishment. Their demonstration of the Live Chat and Virtual Agent integration at the LivePerson Aspire 2011 conference this past October was very well-received by LivePerson customers, partners and prospects. Creative Virtual has formed a strategic partnership with LivePerson and look forward to continuing to implement this technology on more of their clients’ online customer support platforms.
Creative Virtual is an established provider of Virtual Agents (VAs) with over 40 deployments of our V-Person product. Our clients include HSBC, Intuit, Verizon, CA Technologies, E*TRADE, Lloyds Banking Group, O2 and Virgin Media. A V-Person is capable of holding conversations with digital users in real time, 24/7. For users it means the sensation of communicating with a 'real' person, able not only to answer their questions, but also to understand the context of those questions and even hold entire conversations. For more information about Creative Virtual’s V-Person technology and implementations, please visit our website.
Publish Date: February 20, 2012 6:21 PM