Creative Virtual V-Person
An Offering from a Virtual Assisted-Service Pioneer
Creative Virtual V-Person can help deliver very good virtual assisted-service on web, mobile, and social channels through strong knowledge management and reporting. Large B2C and B2B organizations and city governments in English-speaking geographies should consider V-Person to add cross-channel virtual assisted-service to their customer service application portfolio. Its virtual agents can deliver answers to any customers’ questions, lowering cost to service and improving customer satisfaction.
NETTING IT OUT
Creative Virtual V-Person is the virtual assisted-service offering from Creative Virtual, a privately held supplier that was founded in 2002 and is based in London, UK, with offices in Stamford, CT, USA, and Mumbai, India.
Organizations purchase subscription licenses for cloud deployment or perpetual licenses for on-premise deployment of V-Person. To date, Creative Virtual claims that approximately 40 customer organizations have licensed it.
V-Person earns very good grades on the Customer Service Report Card for Virtual Assisted-Service—exceeds-requirements for answers, for question analysis and matching, and for analytic functionality; meets-requirements for customer service integration, product viability, and company viability.
Organizations can use V-Person to deploy virtual agents on web, mobile, and social channels to answer customers’ questions directly or through guided dialogs. Answers can integrate any application data through Python scripting.
We recommend that large B2C and B2B organizations and city governments in English speaking geographies consider V-Person to add cross-channel virtual assisted-service to their customer service application portfolio. Its virtual agents can deliver answers to any customer’s questions, lowering cost-to-serve and improving customer satisfaction.
(Click on image to enlarge.)
© 2012 Verizon, Inc.
1. This illustration shows Frank, the V-Person virtual agent for Verizon.
Answer Customers’ Questions and Solve Customers’ Problems
Customer service products help organizations deliver answers to their customers’ questions and solutions to their problems through their case management, knowledge management, search, account management, and social network management capabilities, capabilities that support self-service, assisted-service, and social-service channels. These products help answer and solve customers’ questions and problems about products and services, about business policies, processes, and practices, or about the elements of their customer relationships such as accounts, bills, orders, and contracts.
Virtual assisted-service products and services use software to:
- Solicit and receive customers’ questions, typically within a box on a web page, similar to the box for a chat session. Within the box are a text box into which customers enter their questions and an image of a person, a virtual agent.
- Analyze customers’ questions to determine the meaning and the intent. Analyses are typically natural language processing (NLP) and linguistic analytics.
- Match a customer’s question to the answer within a collection of predefined answers that best matches it. Matching also uses linguistic analytics. The collection of predefined answers is a knowledgebase.
- Deliver the best answers to customers within the box on the web page.
Virtual assisted-service is virtual because it uses software to determine and to deliver answers to customers’ questions. It’s assisted-service because it solicits questions and delivers answers in the style that live agents/customer service reps deliver answers on assisted-service channels. Customers escalate to virtual assisted-service from self-service activities when they have difficulty getting answers to their questions. Virtual agents are the faces of virtual assisted-service technology.
Virtual Assisted-Service Can Be a Low(er)-Cost Customer Service Channel
Virtual assisted can be a low(er)-cost customer service channel. It’s customer service software, not customer service staff. It can lower cost-to-serve by avoiding or deflecting assisted-service chat sessions and/or contact center calls. It can also prevent or delay abandonment and improve customer satisfaction, delivering answers to customers who might otherwise leave rather than call.
Virtual Assisted-Service Is Not New
Virtual assisted-service is not new. While we’ve been publishing research on it since 2007, virtual assisted-service dates back way more than five years. In fact, more than 45 years ago, there was “Eliza.” Eliza was the first virtual agent that I saw. Well, ok, I didn’t see her. Forty years ago online meant teletyped text. I typed a question. Eliza typed back an answer. And, ok, Eliza wasn’t exactly a virtual agent. She was a virtual Rogerian therapist. More specifically, Joseph Weizenbaum, now a professor emeritus of computer science at MIT, designed and developed Eliza in 1966. Eliza parodied a real Rogerian therapist by rephrasing “patient’s” statements and presenting them back to the patient as questions. For example, the response to "My head hurts" might be "Why do you say your head hurts?" The response to "My mother hates me" might be "Who else in your family hates you?" Eliza was named after Eliza Doolittle, the character in George Bernard Shaw’s play, Pygmalion. You can still get virtual assisted-service from Eliza. Just follow this link: http://www-ai.ijs.si/eliza/eliza.html.
The Best Virtual Assisted-Service—Fast and Accurate
As it is for all customer service, the best virtual assisted-service is fast and accurate. Customers won’t wait very long. They access your sites on fast devices using fast connections on fast networks. Your processing of their questions should never be the bottle neck to their completing their activities in doing business with you.
Accuracy is the key. Customers want the right answer. They’d prefer not to read a list of FAQs to match their questions with yours. (That’s what they expect a virtual agent to do for them.) They don’t want to wade through pages of possible answers like they’re forced to do when they use Internet search.
CREATIVE VIRTUAL V-PERSON
Creative Virtual is one of the pioneers in virtual assisted-service. The firm was founded in 2002 in London, UK, and introduced its first virtual assisted-service offering in 2003. Creative Virtual came to the U.S. in 2007. It’s a privately held company with a staff of approximately 50 employees.
V-Person is the current virtual assisted-service offering from Creative Virtual. It deploys on...
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