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How can we confirm IVAs will provide the same information as our contact center agents?

Question:

We’re considering the addition of intelligent virtual agent capabilities to provide 24/7 customer service. How can we confirm they will provide the same information as our contact center agents?

Answer:

To ensure an intelligent virtual agent (IVA) delivers responses that are consistent with a human agent – and vice versa –requires a single source of “truth” for all users: internal and external, human and automated. This does not mean that all constituents see the same answers, but rather all the information provided must stem from the same primary knowledge source and be customized to each group, or possibly even to each individual. Content management solutions or basic search capabilities are incapable of disseminating knowledge with this level of sophistication; a knowledge management (KM) application is required.

KM solutions, frequently powered by artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled technologies, provide a structured framework and process for authoring, collecting, organizing, presenting, maintaining and storing information in a manner that is readily accessible and easily consumed by all constituents. This can include information from internal sources (databases, documents, manuals, training programs, policies, procedures, employees, etc.) and from external sources (the web, customers, etc.). It may also include industry-specific regulations or compliance requirements. As importantly, in addition to explicit information, it should be used to capture and preserve tacit or “tribal” knowledge (best practices, lessons learned, post-mortems, etc.). Once the data is captured it can be rendered in the form most appropriate for the needs of each audience and channel.

It is imperative for prospects and customers to receive the same information regardless of the channel (e.g., voice or digital) or the resource (e.g., human agent or IVA). KM solutions make this possible, in addition to providing other broad benefits for the corporation, employees, partners and customers. These critical KM capabilities can be acquired in a wide variety of ways, including: on a stand-alone basis, through contact center infrastructure providers, in conjunction with other enterprise solutions such as customer relationship management (CRM) systems and enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications, and increasingly via workforce optimization (WFO) vendors.