Intelligence Isn’t Just for Digital Employees

Yesterday we announced a global partnership to integrate components of the Teneo platform into Mphasis’ Customer Experience Management (CEM) solutions. The IT services provider sees natural language as a key technology for the future as the market for intelligent virtual assistants (IVA) or digital employees comes of age. And they’re not alone.

Analysts have been tracking the market now for the last few years. In 2012, the IVA market was valued at $352 million and forecasted to grow to $2.1 billion by 2019. TechNavio has said that it expects the Global IVA market to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 39.32 percent over the period 2013-2018. This type of rapid growth is a clear indicator that digital employees are set to take over the world, or at least your website and mobile apps, in the next couple of years.

However, as anyone who has tried to implement one will attest, not all IVAs are created equal. Many are still little more than glorified FAQs, and just as difficult for users to find the right answer.

The criteria for finding the right digital employee for your business should be much the same as you look for in your human ones. Do they talk and respond intelligently demonstrating an understanding of the context of the conversation? With Teneo you can expect an incredible 94% rate of first time understanding and that’s customers describing a problem or a query in their own words, not your jargon.

Can they learn new information quickly and easily, remembering facts to use later on again in the conversation? Are they able to recognize and tell you when a piece of knowledge is missing? Does their personality fit with that of your organization? In short, they should be humanlike, capable and easy to work with.

Digital employees were never meant to work as standalone solutions. Mphasis, for instance, in using Teneo for its CEM solutions allows the IVA to hand over from automated to live chat, and retain the conversation. There will be no need for customers to repeat the information they’ve just given. Already this is shown to improve the live chat agent’s efficiency by 35%. As it becomes more prevalent, so intelligent customer support using natural language will be competitive differentiator.

The other side to the coin is that these conversations, both automated and live, can be used to provide in depth information about your customers. This helps you to understand their needs and expectation better and deliver a more personalized service.

Sounds simple doesn’t it? But if you’ve ever tried to develop a natural language application not using Teneo, you’d have discovered it’s anything but fast or easy. That’s because other systems still rely on you having heavy duty linguistic skills and expertise.

A very simple analogy would be the need to understand PHP, CSS, MySQL, Java Script and HTML to build a website, instead of using WordPress. We’ve put all the skills, knowledge and experience built up over the last 15 years into a platform that is as intelligent and automated as the natural language interfaces you create with it.

This approach allows non-specialists to be able to build, integrate, deploy, capture data and use natural language technology – quickly, using a single platform. Both for IT service companies such as Mphasis, and for our numerous end-user clients, that’s a key differentiator.

 

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