Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Virtual Agent Tips and Tricks: Best Practices for Virtual Assistant Implementation

With over 14 years experience in the Knowledge Management and Virtual Assistant space, noHold provides best practices to its customers. Spanning across industries such as Telecommunications, Hi-Tech, Finance, and more, noHold customers have achieved Return On Investment (ROI) while creating award winning eService experiences for their customers.

This excerpt from a recent best practices guide was designed for our client's implementation and ongoing success. Take a look below for a snapshot, and if you would like access to the full document, there are instructions below for contacting us.

This document will address the following:
• Content
• Positioning
• Promotion
• End User Experience
• Integration
• Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
• Tasks and Timeline
• Post-Pilot Roles and Resources

Positioning

Once you have determined your content, you will need to decide where you would like your VA to live and in what form. This means deciding where on your website you would like the VA to be placed, and if you anticipate this being a tool used on mobile devices. This step will help to drive promotion and the success of the VA.

Tip: Look at where your audience currently accesses support and contact information. In order to generate the most effect level of deflections from live agents, you will need to position the VA in places where people looking to answer questions will most likely engage with the tool.

This might mean integrating with your support page, positioning the VA to preempt the opening of a support ticket, etc.

Questions to ask when deciding on positioning:
  • Should the VA be mobile friendly?
  • Should the VA be positioned on the website support pages? Contact us page? Product pages?
  • Should the Virtual Agent be part of email and marketing communications to your audience?
  • Do you want the VA to have its own internal landing page?

Promotion

After determining the various aspects of scope, Cisco was faced with the challenge of driving self-service adoption. That is, now that the tools were in place, how would Cisco make sure that they maximized their investment and reach as many users as possible? “Promotion,” Mahmoud says. “And by promotion, I don’t mean like offering a coupon for customers, but make the customer aware that these platforms exist. Most companies make the assumption that once you have it online, customers will find it…you have to be proactive to make your customer-base aware of what their options to get support are.” – Tarik Mahmoud, Cisco

This step is directly related to the positioning of the VA. In order to attract customers to the VA, it must first be positioned so it can preempt other channels. Second, the VA must retain those customers by providing effective content. Before either of these things can be achieved, customers need to know that a VA is now available for them to use.

Tip: Here are some effective ways to promote your VA:
  • Good positioning on your site is the key. The link to the VA should be easy to find and located consistently throughout the site, not just under support, but possibly also in the Products page or Contact Us page.
  • Retain customers by providing a unique user interface. Integrate multimedia, Wizards, videos and your logo to foster brand recognition and loyalty.
  • Link to the VA from your community forums, blogs, and other support channels. Give your customers unrestricted access to this great tool.
  • Advertise the VA on your product packaging. The link to the VA should be clearly displayed on packaging, manuals and marketing collateral.
  • Advertise the availability of the VA as a competitive differentiator. “We offer 24/7 support no matter where you are in the world!”
  • Promote the VA in every communication with your customers: Newsletters, email blasts, and on the support agent’s email signature.
  • Advertise it on your IVR. Let people who are on hold know that the VA is available.
These are just a couple tips for implementing a Virtual Agent. To receive access to the full document and get best practice techniques on content, end user experience, integration, key performance indicators (KPIs), tasks and timeline, and post-pilot roles and resources please follow the link to the 'Contact Us' page and request a copy.