What is a virtual agent?
A virtual agent is an advanced conversational bot that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) to interact with users, grasp their intent, and provide quick resolutions to them. Powered by machine learning, they are designed to identify patterns in conversations, ask additional questions, and become more “intelligent” over time. Virtual agents can offer contextual answers in real time — or hand over calls smoothly to a human agent when needed. Unlike simple chatbot, virtual agents can not only gather user information but also qualify leads, disseminate product information, create support tickets, sign up for events, and more.
What are the benefits of a virtual agent?
Virtual agents can benefit your business in several ways.
Increased agent productivity. Virtual agents can handle routine inbound calls like booking appointments, canceling orders, and other tasks without agent intervention. This way, they shorten your agent queues dramatically — enabling your agents to focus on more complex tickets and improve their service level agreement(SLA).
Operational savings and 24/7 availability. Virtual agents powered by a robust workflow and predefined logic can serve customers around the clock — without driving up your contact center overhead. Unlike human agents, virtual agents don’t incur hiring or training costs — just a one-time installation and programming cost.
Enhanced user experience. Virtual agents can grasp human language, deliver contextual and personalized responses in real time, and reduce hold times — improving user satisfaction and experience dramatically.
Better scalability. Well-designed virtual agents have a boundless handling capacity. They can be trained and deployed on as many touch points as you need, without requiring retraining or reprogramming. Growing businesses that maintain the right mix of human agents and scalable self-serve options like virtual agents can expand and sustain their support operations with ease.
How to choose the right virtual agent for your business?
A robust virtual agent will have certain key capabilities and features, including:
Multichannel access: Your customers should be able to access your virtual agent via website, mobile app, messaging apps, social media, SMS, or any other channel they prefer.
Conversational intelligence: Your virtual agent should be able to detect gaps in user-initiated conversations, ask the right questions to fill out missing context, and provide a holistic case outline to the next agent in queue.
Automation: When it comes to automation, look out for capabilities like intelligent hand-off, auto-assignment, auto-fetching of knowledge base articles, and proactive triggered messaging.
Learn more: Turn High-Performing Service Agents Into a Guide with Smart AI
Integration: Your virtual agent should seamlessly integrate with your CRM, order management systems, contact center software, and sales automation software so it can funnel leads to your sales reps efficiently. In addition, it should integrate with messaging apps like Messenger and WhatsApp so users can carry on the conversation on their preferred platforms.
Power your virtual agents’ capabilities with Sprinklr Service.
Most organizations struggle to serve their customers 24/7 without overworking their live agents and overrunning their contact center bills. Sprinklr’s next-generation customer service platform — Sprinklr Service — is purpose-built to complement and support your live agents with intelligent virtual agents that can resolve cases from wherever, whenever. Pairing industry-best AI with unified customer experience management (Unified-CXM), our virtual agents can minimize your support costs and maximize your agent’s productivity with features such as:
Smarter dialog automation to understand language switches, grasp user intent and cues, and retain context in multiple interactions.
Integration with Conversational IVR to allow users to switch from phone to chat seamlessly for faster resolutions.
Support for multiple channels and languages so all agents can handle customers and conversations from all geographies.
Self-learning agents that pull data from 100 million data points to improve their accuracy and speed with each successive interaction.
Integration with an AI-powered Knowledge Base software to help users self-resolve routine questions or gain additional knowledge — without waiting on hold for live assistance.
With Sprinklr’s omnichannel customer service software, your virtual agents can cater to customers on more than 30 digital channels to deliver smart and accurate responses that delight, retain, and convert users again and again.
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