Karen HardyApril 26, 2022

The Business Case for Virtual Agents, and How to Deploy a Custom Solution Quickly

The use of virtual agents is exploding as companies look to improve customer experiences and increase efficiencies and cost savings through AI and automation. In a May 2021 study conducted by IBM, 99% of companies reported an increase in customer satisfaction as a result of using virtual agent (VA) solutions like chatbots and intelligent IVRs. VA technology has also peaked in response to pandemic-led behavioral changes. Per Forrester, over 60% of customers say their behaviors are different due to COVID as they avoid physical stores, put discretionary shopping on hold, and buy online as much as possible. Virtual agents can engage with customers across multiple digital channels, can scale to meet demand, and can be customized to deliver personalization. As self-learning systems, they’ll continually improve the more they interact with customers.

Avaya’s 2021 State of AI report also found that 40% of people believe AI solutions like virtual agents enable more intelligent working. Indeed, VA technology helps customer service workers do their jobs faster and more efficiently with a slew of capabilities – from AI-powered transcription to more complex Conversational AI. A well-designed virtual agent provides the ultimate win for organizations. It reduces call volumes to live agents and increases productivity and efficiency while elevating the customer experience to make their brands more engaging.

After speaking to a variety of companies across multiple industries, we realized that many could benefit from a well-designed, ready-to-deploy, cloud-based virtual agent as opposed to building one from scratch. Not every company has the internal resources to do this, nor should they have to for getting started. It is in response to this customer feedback we created Avaya Virtual Agent, a self-service, cloud-based virtual agent companies can easily configure and spin up in minutes. Avaya Virtual Agent provides a foundation so that businesses don’t have to build a virtual agent from the ground up. No coding skills are required.

Avaya Virtual Agent leverages our composable Avaya OneCloud™ Experience Platform, which gives users the option of constructing their own workflows or subscribing to pre-built experiences to become more responsive and adaptive to changing customer needs. Changes to the VA can be easily made from a simple dashboard without needing help from a developer team. You can start simple by having the VA handle straightforward tasks like bill pay or incorporate more advanced functionality like conversational AI into your business (Avaya Virtual Agent utilizes Natural Language Understanding to ensure customers have a great experience). The Avaya Experience Builders community can assist further, whether it be helping you get started or by addressing more advanced deployment requirements.

The possibilities with Avaya Virtual Agent are endless:

  • You could have your virtual agent “talk” to other systems and logically redirect IVR flows based on data dips.
  • You can send a code by SMS for multifactor customer authentication, with Avaya Virtual Agent being able to handle the process without any human intervention.
  • As mentioned, you can apply natural language technologies to create a conversational IVR that can communicate with customers in a natural, humanlike way and even read between the lines to understand their intent.

Avaya Virtual Agent can be deployed on top of both premises-based contact centers and CCaaS platforms. As a completely cloud-based system, on-premises users can port their virtual agent number to Avaya OneCloud, with Avaya Virtual Agent handling all IVR interaction and then transferring calls back to their premise-based systems.

If you want a way to create positive, memorable experiences for your customers while improving employee performance and operational outcomes, consider deploying Avaya Virtual Agent.

The Business Case for Virtual Agents, and How to Deploy a Custom Solution Quickly

Karen Hardy

Karen Hardy is the Vice President of Product Management at Avaya, driving the product strategy and roadmap that enables customer transformations to cloud-based innovation.  She has been with Avaya since 2011 and has served in both Product Management and Marketing leadership roles.  Karen brings over 20 years of experience in the contact center and customer experience industry and prior to Avaya led product marketing and management teams at Genesys and Aspect Communications (now called Alvaria).

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