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What Are Intelligent Virtual Agents?

Intelligent virtual agents (IVAs) are automated, self-service applications that use advanced conversational AI technology to deliver intuitive resolutions for common questions across voice and digital channels. It provides intelligent automation that deflects routine and repetitive conversations handled by live agents, freeing them to provide value where they are needed most.

IVAs have a wide variety of features, including speech recognition, natural language processing with text-to-speech, voice biometrics, transcription, and API integration. Always working and constantly learning new skills, they can also work on tasks across different channels, while performing back-office functions as well as react to changes in real-time.

IVAs offer capabilities that are similar to human service and support agents. They can also automate common tasks such as authenticating callers with voice biometrics, process PCI-compliant payments, look up orders, survey customers and answer all kinds of questions over the phone, web, or SMS. Many organizations also use them to provide call routing, appointment scheduling, office hours, direction.

Intention Analysis

IVAs understands the tone and intentions of customers. Therefore, they can recognize and predict various intents when customers interact, all in real-time with tailored responses.

Human-Life Automated Conversations

IVAs leverage Natural Language Processing (NLP), making it easier for customers to get support through the automated system. NLP dramatically simplifies the complexity of the interaction, while increasing the percentage of inquiries that can be automated. In addition, this lets you eliminate complex IVR menus and go beyond speech-enabled, directed dialog systems. This makes the user experience more conversational while enabling businesses to automate tasks that were previously too cumbersome to be handled using speech recognition.

When a live agent is needed, context such as customer identity, intent, and other CRM data can be used for routing to the right individual.

IVAs can also leverage Advanced Speech Recognition (ASR) to easily interact with customers regardless of grammar, accents, and background noise alongside text-to-speech in various languages with hundreds of different voices that sound lifelike. IVAs can also send text messages in different languages, providing a two-way multilingual chat interface.

Efficient Business Operation

Businesses find enormous value in IVAs as they solve key business problems:

Consumers are becoming more demanding. They now expect an immediate service response anytime, anywhere, and on any channel. They’re also looking for self-service options that enable them to solve problems without speaking to a live agent - and customers almost always prefer an Intelligent Virtual Agent over waiting for a live agent.

By off-loading common, repetitive, and sometimes mundane tasks to an IVA, agents are provided the opportunity to handle more fulfilling, high-value requests for assistance. In addition, these tasks continually challenge agents and tap into their knowledge and skills to help customers leading to a better customer and agent experience. What separates Intelligent Virtual Agents is that they never rest or take a vacation—and they’re substantially less expensive than live agents.

  1. Improved Customer Experience
  2. Improved Agent Experience

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Cloud-Based Agility

Moving to the cloud will allow for faster, easier deployments, seamless upgrades, flexible scalability, and reduced capital expenditures associated with on-premises systems.


Connected Journeys

The contact center should support customer journeys across web chat and social messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and others.


Omnichannel Unification

Shoppers will be coming in from many different channels, so it will streamline the customer experience to route interactions using the same logic.

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Customer Context

Agents must begin the conversation right where the customer left off online. When the customer’s needs are transferred to an agent in real time, your brand is creating a seamless transition from web to contact center. Remove customer stress, unneeded customer repetition, wasted time, and deliver a world-class customer experience



Customer relationship management (CRM) system integration can improve the shopper experience by using CRM data to find the last person spoken to, use shopper purchase history to find the best expert, etc. In addition, once the connection occurs, your staff can access past interaction history and CRM information to understand the customer’s journey and deliver a more personalized experience.


Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI can deliver next- best-action recommendations and assist in responses that will improve conversion rates, increase shopping cart value, and speed up responses.

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Real-Time Management

Supervisors should monitor messaging interactions in real time and assist if needed, even if they are not in the same location.


AI & PCI Compliance

Intelligent virtual agents (IVAs) can automate payment processing across digital channels and reduce your compliance risk by collecting sensitive customer data without revealing it to a human agent. Make sure that the IVAs can easily integrate with your payment gateways.


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