Thursday, April 24, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Interns Learn How to Manage Virtual Agent Content within Weeks

Around this time two years ago (2012), we announced the launch of a Virtual Agent for the Italian Consulate of San Francisco. This Virtual Agent is bilingual, responding to frequently asked questions in English or Italian. Virtual Agents are created to be extremely user friendly, not only for the general public asking the Virtual Agent questions, but also for back end administrators that maintain the content. The Italian Consulate of San Francisco employed two part time students to create the first instance of the Virtual Agent and User Interface (UI), with minimal training required. Since the tools are easy to use, the Consulate gives the responsibility of maintaining the content each semester to new interns.

“This is the first time that an Italian Consulate has used this Virtual Agent technology. It immediately turned out to be very efficient and a very useful tool.  Both the Consulate and the users are really satisfied. It is likely that other Consulates will follow our example.” Fabrizio Marcelli, Consul General of Italy. (2012)

To read the full press release, click here.

Just about a year after the implementation of the Consulates' Virtual Agent (2013), Diego Ventura, the CEO and founder of noHold, was awarded the special honor of the Order of the Star of Italy by the President of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano. This honor is given to Italians, both abroad and foreign, who promote friendly relations between Italy and other countries and create ties with Italy as well. Click here to read about noHold Being Knighted.

For future news, an award-winning leader in networking is following a similar path to the Italian Consulates’, handing some of the responsibility of maintaining the Virtual Agent to interns. Managing a Virtual Agent shouldn’t be tedious. We make it so entry level associates can effectively support the Virtual Agent with minimal training needed. The interns enjoy being part of a team, are excited about maintaining a 'cool' and effective technology, and the companies have found compelling ways to 'gamify' the whole process. How does your company maintain its Virtual Agent or self-service options? Tell us your story about using gamification to encourage contribution.