Multi-Channel Intelligent Virtual Assistants: Meeting Customers Where They Are

Customer-facing teams know that communication is key, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Thoughtful communication takes attention, time, and effort. This is true whether you are talking to someone in-person or over a digital channel such as email, SMS or website chat.

While technology can help scale communications via digital channels, it has to be the right technologies to ensure quality communication. For example, marketing automation platforms are great for reaching a large audience. And while traditional email campaigns and nurture programs can include a few elements of personalization, these types of messages are meant to inform recipients about something rather than engage them in a real conversation. That is, it’s rare for a prospect or customer to feel inclined to actually respond to a batch or nurture email. Similarly, simple chatbots are often pre-programmed with FAQ-type responses, but no one mistakes them for live, two-way conversations.

It’s important to note that email and website chat are just channels and not solutions in themselves. While they can operate via simple automation and rules-based bots, organizations seeking a more robust solution to engage their customers and prospects can leverage a more versatile Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA).

The ‘Need to Know’ About Intelligent Virtual Assistants

Intelligent Virtual Assistants help customer-facing teams attract, acquire and grow customers at scale. This runs the gamut from delivering a personalized first touch to incoming leads, persistently pursuing or nurturing a lead over time, autonomously identifying and elevating a sales-ready lead at the moment they express interest, driving customer health, or even renewing/expanding a customer engagement.

In other words, IVAs help organizations manage the entire customer lifecycle by delivering human-like messages across three digital channels, even when business professionals can’t. Intelligent Virtual Assistants can be deployed across website chat, SMS text messaging and email to deliver an engaging experience for customers and prospects, while simultaneously driving them to the next best action. Not only does this relieve capacity issues for your employees, but it also helps drive revenue opportunities.

Robust Communications Across the Customer Journey

Here’s what a three-channel conversation powered by an IVA looks like in practice:

A prospect lands on your website. She’s interested in learning more about your offerings by exploring testimonials from your existing customers. But instead of navigating the site herself, she is greeted by a website chat window powered by an Intelligent Virtual Assistant.

Utilizing the tap buttons or writing her own message, she requests information about your customer case studies. The IVA—utilizing Natural Language Understanding (NLU) and Natural Language Generation (NLG)—appropriately reacts to her request and supplies her with a link to where the case studies are located on your website.

After perusing a few case studies, the prospect decides she wants answers to a very specific question: “How much does your solution cost and how quickly can it be deployed?” The IVA understands the importance of this question and passes the prospect over to a Sales rep via an email or scheduling link. By setting up a meeting, the IVA fosters a connection between the prospect and your Sales rep so they can discuss the nitty-gritty of her pain points and your offerings.

But the conversation doesn’t stop there. The IVA then follows up via email with the prospect a few days later to make sure the rep got in touch with her and that she’s satisfied with how her meeting went. She responds, “Yes, I got what I needed. Let’s revisit this next week,” she says in an email back to the IVA.

The Intelligent Virtual Assistant understands the various intents and matches these intents to the best possible actions. Namely, reminding the prospect about your company at a later time. Again, this information is automatically saved into your CRM or marketing automation platform.

Picking Up the Conversation

The Intelligent Virtual Assistant follows up with the prospect autonomously, delivering a personalized email. She doesn’t respond. Never discouraged, the IVA follows up a few days later. This time, she does respond, saying she’s sorry she missed the previous email because she’s traveling at the moment: “Could you text me instead?” After confirming her mobile number, the IVA nimbly moves the conversation to SMS where the prospect shares an available time for your Sales rep to talk to the wider team.

Roughly 48 hours after the scheduled meeting, the IVA follows up with the prospect just to make sure she got everything she needed. The prospect is happy to report she and her team have decided to move forward with your company and look forward to onboarding as a new customer.

Augmenting Your Workforce

From the first touch to conversion, the Intelligent Virtual Assistant delivered a powerful customer experience, consistently moved the conversation towards the next best action, and assisted the Sales team in closing a deal.

This is just one example though. Beyond versatility across channels, Intelligent Virtual Assistants augment a number of revenue-generating teams including Sales, Marketing, Customer Success, Automotive Sales and Service, Finance, and Fundraising.

By covering the entire customer lifecycle, Intelligent Virtual Assistants drive topline growth and accelerate revenue opportunities, all while delivering operational efficiencies and scalability for customer-facing teams.

Meeting Customers Where They Are

Intelligent Virtual Assistants help organizations meet customers where they are; whether that’s live on your website, via email as a first-touch after a virtual event, or even over text message for contacts away from their computers.

Learn more about how Conversica’s Intelligent Virtual Assistants deliver a robust customer experience and drive revenue opportunities by exploring our Communication Channels Solution Brief.