Self-service in customer support is not just a trend anymore, it’s here to stay. More customers opt to solve issues on their own through knowledge bases, web, chat, voice, or a combination of channels. According to Gartner, 81% of all customers across industries attempt to take care of matters themselves before reaching out to a live representative.
This tendency, coupled with increasingly mature artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, has raised attention to the role and impact of virtual agents in contact centers and customer experience (CX).
What is a virtual agent?
A virtual agent is a customer assistant that can autonomously solve customer issues through a conversational experience. To do so, virtual agents use AI speech capabilities, to understand customer intent, simulate conversations, retrieve information from different systems and perform transactional tasks to provide customers with a human-like self-service journey.
Additionally, virtual agents are capable of understanding each conversation topic, customer intent and mood to intelligently route interactions to the best suited live agents. These features are tremendously useful for virtual agents to escalate or provide warm handoff calls in critical situations and makes them an intelligent and natural alternative to an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system.
Virtual agents have significantly evolved in recent years, making the promises of automated customer service, significant cost savings and improved customer journeys a reality.
If you want to know how a virtual agent can help your contact center, download this step by step guide.