Thursday, November 29, 2018

noHold's AI Platform Complies with Top Industry Standards


November 29, 2018, MILPITAS, CA – Security and compliance are key components to any successful business. According to Gartner, "Through 2022, at least 95 percent of cloud security failures will be the fault of the organization." (Gartner) We've seen these huge data breaches from some of the most popular companies in the world. For noHold, it has always been a priority to provide the best user experience for our customers, this includes maintaining privacy and a high level of security around our platform.

noHold is proud to announce that we are compliant with the following standards:
  • Cloud Controls Matrix – Provides fundamental security principles to guide cloud vendors and to assist cloud customers in assessing the overall security risk of a cloud provider. Some of the principle topics include Application & Interface Security, Datacenter Security, and much more. noHold has attested to all the control specifications put forth in the Cloud Controls Matrix.
  • WCAG 2.0 – Accessibility is everything. If your audience cannot use your tool, it is useless. WCAG compliance ensures all users can interact with noHold virtual assistants, even if they use screen readers or need high-contrast views of information.
  • SOC2 – A type 1 report, noHold has established controls based on the trust services criteria to ensure that we are doing everything we can do to keep information safe and user data private.
  • GDPR & EU-US Privacy Shield – These standards protect data collected and stored from European users. With GDPR coming into full effect last May, more emphasis is being given to the way in which data is handled, not just the infrastructure around it.
  • NIST SP800-53 – National Institute of Standards and Technology provides a control framework to ensure strict standards for Federal information systems. This provides an extra layer of scrutiny on our infrastructure design and practices.

In addition to the above standards, our hosting provider also complies with SSAE16, SOC2, SOC3, ISO/IEC 27001, ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and OHSAS 18001.
Francesco Ventura, noHold's Data Protection Officer, adds, "Data policy has never been more important. Between the geo-political landscape, technological advancements, and seemingly endless stream of data being collected, the whole ecosystem of providers, customers, and users should be paying much more attention to data policy. At noHold we are - and we actively implement policies and technology to combat any misuse or breach of information."
About noHold, Inc.
noHold is a privately held company established in 1999 and is headquartered in Milpitas, CA, USA (Silicon Valley). noHold is the acknowledged leader in Web based Self-service solutions with a mission to deliver real answers to real questions – real fast. Simple to use, easy to implement and as close to human as you can get, noHold turns automated customer support into cognitive customer interactions. noHold customers include Cisco, Dell, McAfee and a host of industry leaders. For more information: http://www.nohold.com.
Press Contact
Veronica Cech
Marketing Associate
408.946.9200 ext. 356
All other product and service names are the property of their respective owners.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

AI World Conference & Expo 2018

AI World is getting closer. Next week, thousands of attendees will gather to learn how to use Artificial Intelligence to build a competitive advantage. noHold's CEO, Diego Ventura, will be speaking at the conference about automating customer service and technical support in call centers. Below is a short message from Diego: 



Hope to see you there!
www.nohold.com

Thursday, November 8, 2018

noHold's CEO, Diego Ventura, Will Be Speaking at AIWorld's Conference in December 2018


AIWorld's third annual conference and expo is right around the corner! Over 3000 business and technology executives from all over will be coming together in Boston, Massachusetts on December 3rd through the 5th to learn how AI has impacted, and will continue to impact the enterprise.

Diego Ventura, CEO of noHold, Inc., is honored to be invited to speak at AIWorld. His session is on December 5th during the 2:05 PM time slot. With almost two decades of experience with Artificial Intelligence, Diego has become a pioneer when it comes to automated support and Virtual Assistants. At AIWorld, he will be joining a discussion panel talking about how to automate customer service and technical support in the call center.

noHold has help many companies reduce Average Handle Time at the call center, while maintaining excellent customer service with the use of Artificial intelligence. Check out the following resources for more detail:

Thursday, November 1, 2018

noHold Announces SICURA® Voice to Add Speech Recognition Capabilities to its AI Platform


October 31, 2018, MILPITAS, CA – Previously, noHold announced its ability to provide voice for its Virtual Assistants through Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant. Now, noHold is excited to be able to provide its customers with voice recognition and speech synthesis straight from its platform, SICURA.

Integrating SICURA with smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home has been a great first step toward providing voice to our Virtual Assistants, but in some cases our customers want complete control of the customer experience, so we created SICURA Voice. This new component includes:
  • Speech Recognition
  • Speech Synthesis
  • Multiple language support

The Speech Recognition is speaker independent, meaning that it can work with multiple users without training. It is also continuous meaning that it understands free speech, not just simple one or two word commands. It currently supports thirteen languages, ten are European and three are double-byte (Chinese, Japanese and Russian).

Our customers can now create their own voice enabled Virtual Assistant without the need of publishing it on a specific platform, or using a specific invocation phrase.

“noHold has been in the conversational interfaces space for almost two decades. Adding voice to our NLP and NLU solutions is a natural progression that helps us augment our customers’ capabilities,” said Diego Ventura, CEO of noHold, Inc.

About noHold, Inc.
noHold is a privately held company established in 1999 and is headquartered in Milpitas, CA, USA (Silicon Valley). noHold is the acknowledged leader in Web based Self-service solutions with a mission to deliver real answers to real questions – real fast. Simple to use, easy to implement and as close to human as you can get, noHold turns automated customer support into cognitive customer interactions. noHold customers include Cisco, Dell, McAfee and a host of industry leaders. More information can be found at http://www.nohold.com.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

3 Proven Advantages to Implementing a Virtual Assistant

Just last month (Sept 12)  noHold celebrated its 19th year in business. Since then, noHold has built over 1300 enterprise Virtual Assistants for Fortune 500 companies around the world. From the beginning the SICURA® platform was designed with business in mind. Making it one of the few Artificial Intelligence tools that can be managed and maintained without an engineer.  

Metrics prove that companies have seen great advantages from leveraging our Virtual Assistants such as:

  • 52% deflection in traffic to the Contact Center from the website.
  • 3.5% increase in sales the first month.
  • 45% reduction in escalation to Tier 2 Agents.
We believe that noHold's pursuit of better service is the driving force behind the focus in its technology, and continuous innovation has been the key to producing Virtual Assistants that stand the test of time. noHold's CEO and Founder of the company 19 years ago, Diego Ventura, has earned a reputation as a pioneer within this industry. He has been invited to speak at a few conferences in the coming months such as AI World (December 2018) and AVIOS' Conversational Interactions (March2019). 

Stay tuned for more details about those conferences soon. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Virtual Assistants: 5 things to consider when choosing the right technology

The Virtual Assistant (VA) market has grown exponentially in the past two years. This is an exciting time in the industry. Technology is improving daily and new methodologies for providing Artificial Intelligence are sprouting everywhere.

This brings a renewed need for identifying the right components of a VA technology. The following list was created based on the 17 years of experience noHold has in the AI and Virtual Assistant space.

Customer Experience
Addressing customer need is paramount. The people who purchase and use your product must be considered with the utmost importance. When choosing a VA technology, ensure a history of success by looking at long term customers. The amount of time that a customer has used a given technology not only indicates the customer’s appreciation of the experience, but also reflects the positive experiences gained by the ultimate end users - your customers. The more long term customers a VA provider has, the more likely they are to consider the customer first.

The second part of customer experience is to learn and cater specifically to your user base. This means utilizing methodologies like journey mapping to understand pain points for users and identification of where a VA can help. The user interface must also be flexible and meet the requirements of your users. That means mobile first, intuitive placement, clear position statements, and meeting the customer where they are - your website, Facebook, Twitter, and Google.

Scalability
You need a VA technology that is scalable. Handling hundreds or thousands of knowledge artifacts is imperative. Look for a provider that offers multiple import options and an easy-to-use set of authoring and editing tools so administrators can make modifications. Your ability to act fast on the content and information gleaned from the VA will ensure a higher degree of success.

The underlying resources need to respond to demand of the users - for example, automatically scaling with traffic spikes when a new product is released - is quite important too. Cloud hosting means your platform responds to demand without the need for human intervention. When your servers are in the cloud, you do not have to worry about planning and modifying systems to accommodate varying usage rates.

Administrators
Your customers come first and your platform administrators are just as important. They need tools and processes that enable them to quickly, accurately, and easily author new content, check reports, or deploy a new VA. Look for a technology that enables your people to become administrators, reducing any reliance on the vendor for providing content to your users. Look for a vendor who has SLAs in place that address customer questions within the same business day and who provides training certification for your employees, as well as continuing education services.

Reporting
Your VA must capture KPIs. Not to be confused with personally identifiable information (PII), but rather the type of experiences users have with the VA. You want to be able to identify with only a few clicks the top questions for a given day / week / month. You should be able to measure the number of answers the VA was able to provide, as well as the number that it couldn’t. You should be able to track clicking behavior to understand the information most interesting to your users.

Processes should be in place to move knowledge gaps through content drafts and ultimately approved solutions. Processes should be in place to track escalations - those users who couldn’t find an answer through the VA. These processes are important to help administrators as well as the overall customer experience. It is important to frame your VA as an entity that is in continually growing.

Compliance
Look for VA technology that meets a variety of compliance standards; like SOC 2, GDPR, and WCAG. Your users are concerned with security, privacy, and accessibility. Make sure you choose a VA provider that also prioritizes these things. The technology you choose should be low-risk for security vulnerabilities and should be protecting any user PII that is inadvertently collected. And if collected by design, for example to integrate with a CRM, the data should be collected with transparency to the user and transmitted securely. Your VA should follow guidelines that make it safe to use all over the world. And it should be accessible to everyone, regardless of whether they can see the screen.

For more a personal assessment visit www.nohold.com and contact us.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Use the Power of AI and your Best and Brightest Employees to Engage with your Customers

I am excited to share a guest blog post from noHold's very own Program Manager, Francesco Ventura.

Use the Power of AI and your Best and Brightest Employees to Engage with your Customers

Customer Engagement
Some see it as a trendy differentiator, others see it as a necessary business investment. Still others believe customer engagement is a way to deflect calls to your call center. In my view, it is a mix of all three and serves both businesses and consumers equally.

At its core, customer engagement opens the lines of communication between businesses and the folks who buy their products. The benefits are obvious:
  • Better brand management
  • Better understanding of customer needs
  • Better access to relevant support and customer service

Top Customer Engagement Tools
Social media, live chat, and traditional phone & email support are the most common customer engagement tools used today. Businesses are investing in these technologies because they want their customers to feel valued and they need ways to communicate with them.

But because these tools need human involvement from both customer and business, they are often costly alternatives to self-service. What's more, the tools listed above do not usually exist on their own - they are usually part of a wider customer engagement net that includes options to utilize each tool.

Virtual Assistants Provide Engagement Too
I don't just mean in the interactive and diagnostic way they interact with customers, but in their ability to act as the personal assistant to get customers where they want to go. We call it the concierge approach. The virtual assistant is positioned ahead of other options on your website, like chat or email. Customers begin interacting with it and the concierge will provide one of three outcomes:
  1. The customer will be guided to an answer immediately
  2. The customer will be asked to provide additional information which leads to an answer
  3. The customer will be guided to the most appropriate contact channel
Our experience has demonstrated that the concierge can answer about 80% of the questions that come in to other channels, like social, chat, and phone & email.

We realize however that there will always be a need for the human touch at some point. In the concierge scenario, that would come when the concierge doesn't have an answer, or when the best option is to transfer to a live agent (e.g., refund requests). And with noHold's APIs, we've been able to connect to a wide range of 3rd-party platforms: CRM, Chat, Social, and even the call center. This ability makes the transition seamless to the customer. Best of all, they need only one browser window open - no ping-ponging them from page to page, form to form, or queue to queue.

We believe the utilization of a concierge to handle those 80% of questions frees up your employees to perform better on the live contacts that do come in - less of a need to hurry the customer off the phone, more ability to deep dive into a problem, higher customer satisfaction, lower agent stress.

Also, the concierge is collecting and grouping user phrases in real time. Those data points represent actionable behavior metrics - areas where content may be needed, processes improved, feedback provided, or completely unknown issues are discovered. Indeed those grouped data points need to be reviewed and acted upon by humans. Imagine a team of highly knowledgeable customer engagement reps who get user input real time, in a secure platform environment.

The Action Plan
Create a virtual assistant based on your most common contact topics. Don't know what they are, read about EZintel and the ability to quickly gain insight into your customers' needs. Position your virtual assistant prominently on your website and other online channels. Review data collected by the virtual assistant and take action on it - create content, modify processes, listen to your customers. Empower your employees to make immediate changes in the virtual assistant platform.

If you want to learn more about the virtual assistant's role in customer engagement, please reach out.