Virtual assistants have been used in customer service for a number of years helping answering customers’ queries online, deflecting calls to the contact center and even helping out the contact center staff themselves. They might work tirelessly 24/7, but should they be doing more? After all no one likes a slacker at work.
For inspiration on how to make an online virtual assistant really earn their keep, we thought we’d share with you the top ten ways many of Artificial Solutions’ customers are using theirs.
1. Add other languages to support foreign nationals
Migration is on the increase. For some organisations, particularly utilities companies, even just a small percentage of customers that are foreign nationals from particular country can result in large volumes of customer support queries. Help them help you by providing self service support in their own language.
2. Increase use across channels
Don’t leave your virtual assistant in their ivory website tower. A virtual assistant can be very effective at resolving customer queries across a range of different channels such as email contact forms, mobile and even social media.
3. Distinguish between different types of customers
Many businesses have different types of customers such as corporate, small business and individuals that are all serviced on the same website. Teaching virtual assistants to distinguish the difference will enable them to provide even more precise answers to queries.
4. Personalize information for logged in users
Take that understanding even further by personalising information when the customer logs into their account. If a customer wants to know a delivery date or a balance on their account, just get the assistant to give it to them by integrating directly into your back end systems to deliver the answer.
5. Learn customer habits
Give customers what they want by increasing implicit personalization. If a customer always asks first to be shown their latest invoice, then get the virtual assistant to use their machine assisted learning skills to ask if they would like to be shown it straight away whenever they log in.
6. Keep customers smiling
Don’t underestimate the power of small talk. Call center staff are chosen not just for their ability to handle pressure, but for the way they can turn a possible complaint into a satisfied customer just with a word in the right place. A virtual assistant should be able to offer the right balance between being professional and letting their personality shine through too.
7. Expand the assistant’s business knowledge
Promote your virtual assistant and send them on a training course. Upgrade their knowledge to include sales information, not just customer support and use them to cross sell within the organisation from upgrades to alternative products that might suit the customer more. Use the data already gained from the customer’s account to provide expert, personalized advice.
8. Include live chat and website contact in data analysis
Data analysis of a virtual assistant’s chat log files can reveal all kinds of valuable information. Increase its value even further by including data from live chats and contact forms. This information can be used to discover a wide range of things that can affect an organisation’s bottom line from discovering exactly why a customer didn’t purchase, to the best time to email out special promotions.
9. Learn more about your customers
Virtual assistants can be instructed to ask questions if the opportunity arises during a conversation, giving the organisation insightful, actionable data direct from their own customers. Discover if customers would prefer a wider choice of colors or would a subscription be more attractive if a particular feature was added.
10. Don’t forget a virtual assistant excels when things get bad
Call center shut down because of extreme weather? Horsemeat found in pure beef burgers? Sudden changes in industry regulation? Remember to update the virtual assistant along with the rest of the team. Depending on the knowledge changes required it should only take a few minutes to get the assistant ready to take on the barrage of questions that is about to come their way.