IntelliResponse just announced the official launch of VOICES, a product that merges virtual agent technologies with big data analytics to deliver impressive potential value to businesses. Imagine how valuable it would be if you could read the minds of your customers. What if you worked for a financial institution and found out that many of your customers were starting to think about how to increase their credit limit? Or, better yet, what if you saw these same customers thinking about a new promotion from a competitor that was designed to make them switch credit card providers? Equipped with this mind-reading capability, you could be proactive in meeting customer needs. You could make information on credit limit increases more accessible, while matching or beating your competitor’s promotion. Instead of losing customers, you’d make existing clients so happy that they’d sing your praises.
IntelliResponse’s VOICES product puts this powerful capability into your hands. I was invited to see a live demo of the updated product prior to the official launch. Paul A. Smith, Vice President, Product & Services, walked me through VOICES features. VOICES is an analytical tool that has access to all the conversations that have occurred between your customers and your virtual agents. These conversations can take place in any of the channels where you’ve positioned IntelliResponse web self-service agents; the corporate website, Facebook page, or other consumer-facing channels. The VOICES technology analyzes the unstructured data from these many customer conversations and identifies core themes. The themes are displayed as bubbles in a graphical dashboard. The more often the theme pops up in conversations, the larger the bubble representing the theme. It’s basically the same concept as a tag cloud, where the most common words and phrases show up in the biggest font size. Color coding lets you stay on top of things by showing at a glance which topics are trending with customers and which ones are waning in importance on a given day.
VOICES offers you filtering tools that allow you to look at the themes in different ways. For example, you can filter the data to view only the themes that originate in conversations from a particular source, such as your company Facebook page. What’s more, VOICES allows you to drill down into any theme to take a closer look inside the mind of the customer. Each theme is broken down into subthemes. For example, you might drill down into the theme ‘credit card’ and discover the subtheme ‘how to personalize my credit card.’ If you’re not already offering credit card personalization services, it might be time to think about the possibilities.
The primary purpose of virtual agents, sometimes referred to as web self-service agents or service avatars, is to assist the customer by quickly and effectively answering their questions. Instead of waiting on hold for a human service rep, consumers can engage a virtual agent directly from a web page, a mobile app, or a social media site and get the answer they need. But IntelliResponse has tapped into a whole new source of value with the launch of VOICES. There’s gold in every conversation your customers have with virtual agents. Customers are asking questions about your products and services and giving hints about what they like, what they’re considering buying, or what makes or breaks a sale. Prior to VOICES, this treasure trove of knowledge was going uncaptured. With VOICES, you not only harvest the treasure, but you have tools you can use to make sense of it all.
I don’t have hands on experience with the product. As a cloud-based “software as a service” technology, though, it would seem that an organization could be up and running with IntelliResponse virtual agents and VOICES fairly quickly and easily. I can also see applications for VOICES inside the enterprise. For example, large corporations who run social networking applications within the intranet could benefit from having access to trending employee conversations and themes. The VOICES analytical engine is currently geared towards processing interactions with virtual agents, but I’m guessing that the technology could be easily extended to handle other sources of input in the future.
VOICES is definitely a trend setter in the virtual agent space, enabling organizations to hear what their customers are really saying. It’s up to the company to decide how to use that valuable information to improve the customer experience and excel beyond the competition.