Virtual assistants have taken the world by storm. Any website or mobile application is now
equipped with a virtual assistant to improve customer service and experience. You might
wonder if virtual assistants are really helpful. Let me answer this question with a statistic.
90% of the customer experience at Walmart is handled by an automated chatbot. Surprised?
Virtual assistants or chatbots, in general, help automate the entire customer relationship
management sector. Not only this, but they can also be used across various departments in the company.
The more customers that approach your brand for various products and services, the harder
customer relationship management becomes. One of the easiest ways to make this smoother is by installing a virtual assistant. These assistants can also work for order management and customer loyalty.
The virtual assistants are advanced to the point that they can take sales from customer acquisition to lead qualification and personalization.
Some popular virtual assistants include Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Microsoft’s Bixby. All these assistants make people’s lives easier and much more efficient. You can ask questions, get search results, schedule appointments, and even set timers using these assistants.
According to Forrester, chatbots have helped in the following ways -
● 88% reduction in the volume of email, chat, or phone.
● 74% of companies saw an increase in customer satisfaction.
● 75% cost savings.
● 56% of the companies saw an increase in their customer satisfaction within just one to
However, Forrester reports this year show that more than half the customers are frustrated with “dumb bots”.“Dumb bots” are chatbots that are poorly or loosely implemented, leading to the customers having poor or low-quality interactions.
So there is a huge gap between the idea and the implementation of chatbots. There are more than 1000 companies in the chatbot space, and not all of them live up to their promise. Many of them may not even have an AI to work with.
Why Does a Virtual Assistant Need AI?
AI or Artificial Intelligence helps make machines smarter and helps them learn on their own.
However, only proper implementation of AI can lead to results, otherwise, it can be a total mess.
Virtual assistants or chatbots are integrated with AI so that they can learn from their mistakes
and various experiences.
The virtual assistant needs to -
● Understand the customer
● Respond to the queries and texts meaningfully with domain knowledge, world knowledge
and common sense.
● Take actions to automate business processes.
Overall, a virtual assistant has to be interactive. Just with Natural Language Processing, the
virtual assistant may not function properly. So, virtual assistants require deep AI and this is what most companies in the market fail to understand.
Rulai and Virtual Assistant Ability Model
Rulai has come up with a Virtual Assistant Ability Model that consists of 5 levels. These levels
can serve as the basis for your virtual assistant. Once implemented, you can work towards
improving your assistant.
Let’s have a look at various levels of the Virtual Assistant Ability Model -
Level 1 - Human-Agent Assistant
In this level, the virtual assistant does not interact with the customers but provides suggestions to the customer service agent. Although this is quite basic, it is helpful.
Level 2 - Partial Automation
In Partial Automation, the assistant interacts with customers and answers expected questions
such as common queries and performs certain only.
Level 3 - Conditional Automation
For level 3, the virtual assistant can address various designed tasks and queries and transfers
to humans to solve problems.
Level 4 - Full Automation in Designed Domain
At this level, the virtual assistant can take care of the whole conversation, and the human only needs to design or recruit it. You can design it for domain-specific tasks and plan accordingly.
Level 5 - Human-Like Automation
Level 5 is what people call General Artificial Intelligence. This level of automation helps the AI handle tasks and unseen problems in the open domain. It can answer basic questions, plan and perform tasks, and process complex information.
With various advancements in technology, you can do so much more with just virtual assistants. That’s what the fourth and fifth models of virtual assistants are. There may come a point where you can train an assistant by simply conversing with it, just like you would train your sales rep or customer service agent.