I recently had an opportunity to learn more about Aivo, the makers of the AgentBot virtual assistant technology. Aivo is based in Argentina and has a broad customer base in Latin America. The company is expanding into North America, having just opened an office in New York City and planning an office in San Francisco.
I spoke with Martin Frascaroli, Founder and CEO of Aivo. Frascaroli answered my questions about the company and how their technology works. He also shared his thoughts on the vision of the company and the value their product offers to clients and their customers.
Aivo’s AgentBot operates atop Aivo’s own natural language processing technology. AgentBot can understand customer questions and intent and deliver the most appropriate response based on the information available in its knowledge repository. But Aivo doesn’t strive to make AgentBot an exceptional conversationalist or a cognitive genius. According to Frascaroli, Aivo is all about providing an engaging and satisfying self-service experience for the customer.
For the client, AgentBot is designed for ease of both the initial set up and continued operation. In fact, Frascaroli made a point of stating that Aivo doesn’t want the client to have to depend on support services. The AgentBot intelligent assistant technology is straightforward to implement and there are monitoring and analytics tools that help the client continuously improve the system.
I asked Frascaroli to describe the typical client implementation. After a kickoff phase where the goals and scope of the project are set, the client can use AgentBot’s tools to begin creating their question and answer database. AgentBot offers interfaces to other critical customer support tools, such as live chat and ticketing systems. Once AgentBot is up and running, the client can leverage analytical insights to identify missing answers and make the agent smarter.
Though most of Aivo’s customers are large companies, Frascaroli says that they have pricing models that can fit the more limited budgets of smaller companies. Aivo enjoys much current success, but Frascaroli remembers what it’s like to be an entrepreneur with ambitions bigger than the corporate balance sheet and he’s open to finding ways to help growing companies use AgentBot.
I tried out some of the live instances of AgentBot on a few of Aivo’s client websites. AgentBot comes in many different forms and personalities. The common features of AgentBot include a simple static or animated character and a crisp, effective user interface. I was struck by the versatility of the user interface, which seeks to assist the customer by presenting all kinds of information in a variety of different forms.
Several of the user-facing AgentBot screens I saw were divided into two distinct panels. The left-hand panel contains the agent’s dialogue box, where users communicate with AgentBot by typing questions into a text box. Answers are displayed on the text box side and answers can contain links to website pages. Each AgentBot answer offers a way for the user to rate whether it was helpful or not.
The right-side panel typically starts out by displaying frequently asked questions with links to the answers. But this right-hand panel can transform itself into a versatile self-service platform, offering the customer all types of information. I saw an interesting example of this variety on the Galicia Bank website. The AgentBot for Galicia Bank answers lots of questions about banking, bank accounts, and credit cards using plain text. But when I asked a specific question about opening a credit card account, AgentBot popped up a short, animated video in the right-hand panel which walked me through the basics of credit cards.
Luigi, the AgentBot on the Fiat Argentina site, knows everything about Fiat models, prices, warranties, the history of Fiat, and more. When I asked Luigi about specific Fiat models, it used the right-hand panel to launch a very handy graphical comparison of the Fiat line-up. I could go straight to the panel to easily compare any two Fiat car models and get all the specifications on each one.
Aivo’s AgentBot is offering an easy-to-use and compelling self-service experience to customers in Latin America. In speaking with Frascaroli, it’s clear to see how committed the Aivo team is to expand AgentBot’s reach into North America, where it can continue to help customers find solutions on their own terms.