This is the next entry in a series of posts previewing the topics and viewpoints that will be discussed at our annual Digital Workforce Summit in May. Click on the registration button at the bottom of this post for more information.

IPsoft Digital Workforce SummitConversational AI provides users access to personalized information and independently resolves issues with little-to-no human intermediation. Virtual agents powered by AI allow companies to automate comprehensive customer engagements at scale, which means users can expect consistent services regardless of spikes or lulls in customer activity, or time of year. Real-life examples of this kind of year-round customer service will be highlighted at this year’s Digital Workforce Summit (DWS), scheduled for May 8 in New York City. Let’s review a few reasons why AI is a technology for all seasons.

Never Wait in Queue

Customer service operations powered by human agents, particularly those that are solely phone-based, can only offer so much bandwidth before customers have to be placed on hold during spikes in call volume. When this happens too often (and for too long), it can directly translate into customer frustration that can ultimately damage your company’s brand or lead to losses in business. A Consumer Reports survey found that 66% of respondents listed long hold times as “highly annoying.”

Wait times are never a problem with virtual agents, as customers are not forced to wait in a queue regardless of whether the system is serving 10 customers or 10,010. The ability to scale to meet demand helps companies overcome seasonal spikes in user engagements. Virtual agents, we should note, don’t replace the need for experienced human agents, but rather free agents to handle complex or unique customer issues, thus providing another benefit to customers.

Most companies contend with predictable seasonal fluctuations at various points in the calendar; indeed, retail consultants SPS have identified six annual shopping seasons with unique customer traffic patterns. Businesses previously would need to hire additional temporary workers to meet demand during high-traffic periods. With virtual agents, companies can eliminate the expense and logistical challenges of hiring a temporary workforce to address these foreseeable events.

Virtual agents can also prove especially valuable when helping companies address unexpected spikes in demand for services. For example, in the wake of a regionwide natural disaster, an insurance provider would most like be facing a sharp rise in customer engagements. The speed and quality with which the provider can provide access to information and services during these crisis times can prove instrumental to customers’ wellbeing — and, once the crisis has passed, to the provider’s reputation.

In addition to providing consistent access to services, virtual agents allow companies to provide reliable experiences once they’ve connected. This versatility allows companies to quickly inject new/improved services into their customer engagements and sidestep the inherent lag that would be necessary with a purely human-powered service operation.

This scenario also contributes to compliance initiatives. Companies can easily edit consumer-facing processes which will allow them to implement changes instantly at scale and therefore remain in compliance with governmental or corporate protocols.

Learn From Those Who Came Before

Virtual agents can empower your company to deliver consistent and reliable customer experiences. But how do you arrive there? At this year’s DWS, attendees will hear directly from the AI pioneers who have come before them and learn lessons from their AI journeys, including their experiences with virtual agents. Visitors will also have access to immersive demonstrations of the latest conversational and autonomic technologies. Click the link below to register your team.

Click here to register for this year's Digital Workforce Summit