Leveraging the power of advanced Machine Learning (ML) and Natural Language Understanding (NLU), Intelligent Virtual Assistants are the latest iteration of Conversational AI technology – with scope and complexity far beyond that of an ordinary chatbot.
An Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA) has the deep domain knowledge to fully understand a user’s intents and preferences, comprehensively fulfill customer needs, and improve performance over time by learning from every interaction. The advanced capabilities of an IVA mean that automation and enhanced customer experience are assured outcomes. Brands that deploy Intelligent Virtual Assistants can thus ensure that their primary focus is where it should be – on ROI.
Needless to say, IVAs are a highly effective and crucial customer engagement tool for brands across industries. Let’s now take a deep-dive into four of the key benefits that brands can derive from deploying IVA solutions.
#1 IVAs Boost Productivity and Efficiency
Intelligent Virtual Assistants significantly boost the productivity and efficiency of a brand’s contact center or customer care department. Owing to their superior NLU and ML capabilities, IVAs can swiftly and accurately detect a customer’s intent, and execute the necessary task to fulfill the customer’s requirement – thus significantly increasing the likelihood of first contact resolution.
IVAs can also swiftly respond to around 80% of L1/L2 queries without the need for human intervention. This substantially boosts the productivity of customer support staff, who can now dedicate their attention to resolving more complex customer issues.
#2 IVAs Cut Costs and Boost Revenue
By automating the vast majority of customer queries, most of which are routine queries and FAQs, Intelligent Virtual Assistants significantly reduce brands’ dependence on human agents. Brands can thus use IVAs to scale up their customer support capacity without the need to incur substantial personnel costs. Moreover, since IVAs can handle higher volumes of interactions without additional cost, the operational cost per contact significantly reduces as well.
An IVAs ability to simulate human conversation and provide an engaging customer experience also contributes to quantifiable positive outcomes for a brand. IVAs can significantly boost website conversion rates. They have the intelligence to identify what a customer wants and promote products/services that match those requirements. They can analyze a customer’s past behavior and pinpoint opportunities that are likely to drive up-selling and cross-selling. Ultimately, the implementation of an IVA solution can contribute to year-on-year improvements in customer lifetime value, and even annual company revenues.
Learn how a leading insurance brand used Haptik’s IVA to transform their customer support experience: Read Case Study
#3 IVAs Deliver a Truly Omnichannel Experience
Intelligent Virtual Assistants can be deployed by brands across a range of platforms – websites, apps, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, iMessage, Alexa, Google Assistant, to name a few.
This omnichannel presence enables brands to be available to customers on their preferred platforms, significantly boosting customer engagement. Moreover, IVAs have the ability to retain context across channels. So, for instance, a customer might be able to start a conversation with a brand on one channel and pick up where they left off on another channel. This leads to better customer experience, as it helps customers avoid the frustration of having to repeat themselves.
#4 IVAs Help Build Customer Loyalty
Nearly 80% of American consumers consider speed, convenience, friendly service and knowledgeable help as the most important elements of positive customer experience, as revealed by a PwC report.
Intelligent Virtual Assistants can help brands deliver on all of these aspects. They are able to swiftly solve customer problems, and can be accessed on a customer’s preferred channel – thus ensuring speed and maximizing convenience. They can be integrated with a brand’s CRM system or other systems and databases, providing them with the knowledge base to effectively aid customers. And they have the ability to effectively simulate human conversation, adapting their language and tone to context, thus convincingly playing the part of a helpful customer support representative or sales assistant.
By delivering a swift, efficient and personalized customer experience, IVAs can boost customer engagement and retention – building lasting customer loyalty over time.
IVAs have certainly come a long way over the years, and the future of the technology is filled with even more exciting possibilities – with AI researchers examining the possibility of enhancing the emotional intelligence of the assistants. With the ability to understand not only what customers want, but how they feel at the time of the interaction, Intelligent Virtual Assistants will be able to deliver an even more engaging and personalized experience to customers – becoming an indispensable part of their lives and helping brands take their customer engagement efforts to even greater heights!
While we are a long way off from achieving that level of artificial empathy, in the here-and-now, IVAs already have the power to fundamentally transform the way your brand interacts with your customers, be it to inform, to assist, to convince or to sell.